Obama only mentioned guns once in his final State of the Union

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Last week, Obama was moved to tears when he talked about the schoolchildren who died at Sandy Hook while announcing his plan to tighten up gun control laws. Tonight, during his last State of the Union speech, he mentioned gun violence just one time, in passing, among a list of other things he's working on.

"I’ll keep pushing for progress on the work that still needs doing," he said. "Fixing a broken immigration system. Protecting our kids from gun violence. Equal pay for equal work, paid leave, raising the minimum wage."


The Gun Violence Archive says that last year, 692 children aged 0-11 were killed or injured by guns. Obama also mentioned last week that “it happens on the streets of Chicago every day," referring to those, especially children, who succumb to gun violence but aren't mourned by the nation.

According to the Gun Violence Archive's Mass Shooting Tracker—a crowd-sourced site that counts any incident of gun violence where at least four people were killed or injured as a mass shooting event—there were 330 mass shootings in 2015. That's pretty close to one a day.


Maybe the absence of guns in tonight's speech is a sign of fatigue from the president: he's had to address the nation 12 times in response to mass shooting events. When he spoke in October of last year about the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, which left nine dead, Obama lamented, "our thoughts and prayers are not enough."

Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.

Nidhi Prakash is a journalist in NYC via Sydney, London, Santiago, Auckland, Mumbai. She reports on international news, healthcare, labor news, and more for Fusion.