Yesterday, President Obama gave an address at a prayer vigil in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and 6 women were killed in a mass shooting last week.
[Full transcript here.]
It was a powerful address, particularly this part:
This is our first task, caring for our children. It's our first job. If we don't get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.Surely, we can and must expect more.
And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we're meeting our obligations?
Can we honestly say that we're doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm?
Can we claim, as a nation, that we're all together there, letting them know they are loved and teaching them to love in return?
Can we say that we're truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?
I've been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we're honest with ourselves, the answer's no. We're not doing enough. And we will have to change. Since I've been president, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by mass shootings, fourth time we've hugged survivors, the fourth time we've consoled the families of victims.
And in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and in big cities all across America, victims whose -- much of the time their only fault was being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
We can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.
We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society, but that can't be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this.
If there's even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town from the grief that's visited Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek and Newtown and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that, then surely we have an obligation to try.
I hope the President will, as he promised, pursue meaningful legislation to stem the tide of gun violence in the US. For right now, I am just glad that he is our President. There are times when I am just immensely grateful that we don't have a total dipshit as a president, and this is one of them.