Tag Archives: Newtown

President Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama Mark the One-Year Anniversary of the Sandy Hook Shooting, 12/14/13

The President and First Lady observe a moment of silence and light candles at the White House in honor of those lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Now Is the Time — The President’s plan to reduce gun violence: http://1.usa.gov/1b6Af35

President’s Weekly Address: Marking the One-Year Anniversary of the Tragic Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, 12/14/13

The President:

“One year ago today, a quiet, peaceful town was shattered by unspeakable violence.

Six dedicated school workers and 20 beautiful children were taken from our lives forever.

As parents, as Americans, the news filled us with grief. Newtown is a town like so many of our hometowns. The victims were educators and kids that could have been any of our own. And our hearts were broken for the families that lost a piece of their heart; for the communities changed forever; for the survivors, so young, whose innocence was torn away far too soon.

But beneath the sadness, we also felt a sense of resolve – that these tragedies must end, and that to end them, we must change.

From the very beginning, our efforts were led by the parents of Newtown – men and women, impossibly brave, who stepped forward in the hopes that they might spare others their heartbreak. And they were joined by millions of Americans – mothers and fathers; sisters and brothers – who refused to accept these acts of violence as somehow inevitable.

Over the past year, their voices have sustained us. And their example has inspired us – to be better parents and better neighbors; to give our children everything they need to face the world without fear; to meet our responsibilities not just to our own families, but to our communities. More than the tragedy itself, that’s how Newtown will be remembered.

And on this anniversary of a day we will never forget, that’s the example we should continue to follow. 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.

And as we do, we can’t lose sight of the fact that real change won’t come from Washington. It will come the way it’s always come – from you. From the American people.

As a nation, we can’t stop every act of violence. 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. And together, we must make a change. Thank you.”

Source: http://1.usa.gov/1ed6yFx

West Wing Week: 04/19/13 or “Selflessly. Compassionately. Unafraid.”

This week, the President responded to the terror attack in Boston, met with Americorps volunteers, invited the Wounded Warrior riders to the White House, and for the first time, asked a citizen to deliver the weekly address.

President Obama: Gun Lobby and Allies “Willfully Lied About the Bill”

“I’ve heard some say that blocking this step would be a victory. And my question is, a victory for who? A victory for what? All that happened today was the preservation of the loophole that lets dangerous criminals buy guns without a background check. That didn’t make our kids safer. Victory for not doing something that 90 percent of Americans, 80 percent of Republicans, the vast majority of your constituents wanted to get done? It begs the question, who are we here to represent? ….

So all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington.

But this effort is not over. I want to make it clear to the American people we can still bring about meaningful changes that reduce gun violence, so long as the American people don’t give up on it. Even without Congress, my administration will keep doing everything it can to protect more of our communities. We’re going to address the barriers that prevent states from participating in the existing background check system. We’re going to give law enforcement more information about lost and stolen guns so it can do its job. We’re going to help to put in place emergency plans to protect our children in their schools….

To all the people who supported this legislation — law enforcement and responsible gun owners, Democrats and Republicans, urban moms, rural hunters, whoever you are — you need to let your representatives in Congress know that you are disappointed, and that if they don’t act this time, you will remember come election time.

To the wide majority of NRA households who supported this legislation, you need to let your leadership and lobbyists in Washington know they didn’t represent your views on this one.

The point is those who care deeply about preventing more and more gun violence will have to be as passionate, and as organized, and as vocal as those who blocked these common-sense steps to help keep our kids safe. Ultimately, you outnumber those who argued the other way. But they’re better organized. They’re better financed. They’ve been at it longer. And they make sure to stay focused on this one issue during election time. And that’s the reason why you can have something that 90 percent of Americans support and you can’t get it through the Senate or the House of Representatives.

So to change Washington, you, the American people, are going to have to sustain some passion about this. And when necessary, you’ve got to send the right people to Washington. And that requires strength, and it requires persistence….

And I see this as just round one.”

Full text: 1.usa.gov/Z4kUPh

Weekly Address: Sandy Hook Victim’s Mother Calls for Common Sense Gun Responsibility Reforms

“Please help us do something before our tragedy becomes your tragedy.

Sometimes, I close my eyes and all I can remember is that awful day waiting at the Sandy Hook Volunteer Firehouse for the boy who would never come home – the same firehouse that was home to Ben’s Tiger Scout Den 6. But other times, I feel Ben’s presence filling me with courage for what I have to do – for him and all the others taken from us so violently and too soon.

We have to convince the Senate to come together and pass commonsense gun responsibility reforms that will make our communities safer and prevent more tragedies like the one we never thought would happen to us….

Now is the time to act. Please join us. You can talk to your Senator, too. Or visit WhiteHouse.gov to find out how you can join the President and get involved.”

Transcript: http://1.usa.gov/125xqyt

White House Video Roundup, Part 2

President Obama Speaks in Chicago, Illinois on Strengthening the Economy for the Middle Class

President Obama discusses the plan he laid out in the State of the Union to strengthen communities and families, and make sure every American and every community willing to do the work has the opportunity to lift themselves up.

President Obama Presents the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medals

We are a nation of 315 million people. Out of all these folks, around 6,000 were nominated for this medal. And today, you’re the ones receiving it not just for what you do, but for what you represent — for the shining example that you set every single day and the inspiration that you give each of us as fellow citizens, including your President….

The Presidential Citizens Medal is awarded to Rachel D’Avino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, and Victoria Soto for dedicating themselves to their students and to the community of Newtown, Connecticut. Some had been at Sandy Hook Elementary School for only weeks; others were preparing to retire after decades of service. All worked long past the school bell to give the children in their care a future worth their talents. On December 14, 2012, unthinkable tragedy swept through Newtown, etching the names of these six courageous women into the heart of our nation forever. The United States honors Rachel D’Avino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, and Victoria Soto for their extraordinary commitment to the students of Sandy Hook Elementary School. http://1.usa.gov/12REKzy

President Obama’s Bilateral Meeting with President Napolitano of Italy

I want to thank the people of Italy for their enormous contributions to the NATO Alliance. Italy is one of our biggest contributors in Afghanistan, and makes enormous sacrifices. They welcome and host our troops on Italian soil. The economic bonds between our two countries are very significant. And in all this, President Napolitano has shown himself to be a visionary leader who has helped to guide and steer Europe towards greater unification, but always with a strong transatlantic relationship in mind. http://1.usa.gov/WvvLz1