President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama take a moment of silence in honor of the Newtown shooting victims on the one year anniversary of the tragedy, at the White House in Washington, Dec. 14, 2013.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Obama renews call for action on Newtown anniversary


President Obama called for more action to reduce gun violence on the one-year anniversary of the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

In his weekly address Saturday, the president praised the parents of the children killed at Sandy Hook for their resilience but conceded that the country has not done enough to address gun violence.

“And on this anniversary of a day we will never forget, that’s the example we should continue to follow,” Obama said of the parents of Newtown. “Because we haven’t yet done enough to make our communities and our country safer. We have to do more to keep dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun so easily. We have to do more to heal troubled minds. We have to do everything we can to protect our children from harm and make them feel loved, and valued, and cared for.”

The president and first lady Michelle Obama observed a moment of silence at around 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the White House, lighting 26 candles – one for each of the 20 children and six adults who were killed. 

Despite the fact that Congress failed to pass stronger gun regulations this year, Obama renewed his call to the public to refuse to treat tragedies like Sandy Hook as inevitable.

“As a nation, we can’t stop every act of violence,” Obama said in his address. We can’t heal every troubled mind.  But if we want to live in a country where we can go to work, send our kids to school, and walk our streets free from fear, we have to keep trying.  We have to keep caring.  We have to treat every child like they’re our child.  Like those in Sandy Hook, we must choose love.”