US President Barack Obama speaking at a vigil for the 27 victims of the shootings at a Connecticut elementary school, says the US must do more to protect children. Mr Obama used a speech in Connecticut to urge the US to make the killing of 27 people in Newtown on Friday the last in a string of mass shootings during his presidency.
“These tragedies must end,” he told an interfaith vigil. “And to end them we must change.” As the president delivered his remarks to a secondary school hall filled with relatives and friends of the 20 young children and seven women who died, sobbing could be heard from the audience. Conceding that “no single law – no set of laws – can eliminate evil from the world”, Mr Obama insisted that this nonetheless must “not be an excuse for inaction”, asking: “Surely we can do better than this?”
Emboldened by his re-election last month, he pledged to use “whatever power this office holds” to prevent further slaughter, hinting that he would weigh into a policy debate frozen over the past decade by reluctance in Washington to alienate the pro-gun lobby. Yet the president’s remarks seemed likely to disappoint those from his Democratic party urging swift and decisive action on new gun control measures, promising only to “engage” with voters and communities “in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this”.
School shooting victims
The aftermath in pictures
British victim, Dylan Hockley