Following the shootings President Obama delivered an emotional address from the White House. As he spoke of the lost lives of the victims, most of whom were aged between five and ten years old, he was clearly moved. The incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut is the third major gun attack this year.
“As a country we have been through this too many times”, said the president, “we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics. This evening Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do which is hug our children a little tighter and we’ll tell them that we love them and we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight.”
In Washington, flags were flown at half-mast, while outside the White House demonstrators held a vigil for the victims. But many were there not just to mourn but to call for stricter firearms controls.
“Guns are created for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to kill”, said one man. “Assault weapons are designed to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. They have no place in our society, have no place in our communities and there is no claim of rights or sport or anything that in my mind that justifies that.”
What happened in Newtown will only add to the pressure to ban such weapons.