President Barack Obama has declared that the worst day of his four year presidency was the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting earlier this month. While speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the president expressed his desire to strengthen gun laws and the long term impact the eve t had on him.
“I think anybody who was up in Newtown, who talked to the parents, who talked to the families, understands that something fundamental in America has to change,” Obama said during Sunday’s program. “All of us have to do some soul searching, including me as president, that we allow a situation in which 20 precious small children are getting gunned down in a classroom.”
Immediately following the Newtown, Conn. shooting that claimed the lives of 27 people, Obama assembled a taskforce led by Vice President Joe Biden to report on possible measures to deter gun violence in the future. The president identified gun control as a “central issue” of his second term, intent on not letting current discussion fade after his second inauguration.
“The question then becomes whether we are actually shook up enough by what happened here that it does not just become another one of these routine episodes where it gets a lot of attention for a couple of weeks and then it drifts away,” Obama said. “It certainly will not feel like that to me. This is something that – you know, that was the worst day of my presidency. And it’s not something that I want to see repeated.”
The National Rifle Association, America’s foremost gun lobby, proposed that the government place armed guards within the nation’s schools in order to stop similar incidents. Obama is skeptical of the NRA’s suggested solution, but will likely need support from America’s gun-owning community to push new legislation forward. Still, he remains optimistic that a middle ground can be reached.
“I think there are a vast majority of responsible gun owners out there who recognize that we can’t have a situation in which somebody with severe psychological problems is able to get the kind of high-capacity weapons that this individual in Newtown obtained and gun down our kids.”