From the White House Tuesday, President Obama discussed a series of executive actions he's rolling out to curb mass shootings in America, a number of "common sense" solutions the president says he hopes will finally stem the tragedies that have become all-too-common.
In a moving speech, the president explained that the new measures—stronger background checks, better enforcement of gun safety laws already in place, better support for mentally ill Americans, and improved technology that would make it harder to steal guns, among others—won't rob citizens of their Second Amendment rights. Rather, Obama said, they would offer more protection of other rights, like peaceful assembly.
The president held it together pretty well when outlining the folly of Congress and the differences the new mandates might create. "We know we can't stop every act of violence," Obama said, "but maybe we can try to stop one."
But there was one memory that brought Obama to tears: With a swell of emotion, Obama pointed to recent incidents where minority groups were targeted and killed by guns: Jews in Kansas City, Sikhs in Wisconsin and first graders in a school in Sandy Hook.
That's when he broke down.
“Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,” Obama said.
Obama added that what felt like an unspeakable tragedy for most Americans is routine in parts of the U.S.: “And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”
We're ready for things to change.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.