Friday, December 14, 2012

"Our Hearts Are Broken Today" - President Obama on Connecticut School Shooting

By now, most everyone knows that a young man went into an elementary school in Newton, CT, and opened fire with a pair of semi-automatic pistols, after first shooting his mother at their home. At the school, 26 people were killed it total - 20 of them were children, as well as the principal and a school psychologist.

Preliminary reports suggest the young man had a personality disorder - he also died in the massacre.

Christian Science Monitor offered the video of President Obama's statement - in which he cried. This is without question the most real and human presidential statement I have EVER seen in my 45 years. Fuck the political issues, this is a man who cares deeply and passionately about the nation he serves.

In a very real way, Obama's tears offered some Americans (if not many) a validation and a mirror of their own horrific feelings, as well as their fears. Some days, as he mentions, he is a father first, and a human being, and then he is President of the United States. This is what leadership looks like on the worst possible day in the lives of those who survive their murdered family members.

Video - Obama on Conn. shooting: 'Our hearts are broken today'

Obama on Conn. shooting, speaking at the White House, called for 'meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.' At this point, he didn't offer specifics.

By Linda Feldmann, Staff writer / December 14, 2012

His full statement:
This afternoon, I spoke with Governor Malloy and FBI Director Mueller. I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation and made it clear he will have every single resource he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families.

We've endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years and each time I hear the news, I react not as a president but as anybody else would as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there's not a parent in America who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.

The majority of those who died today were children. Beautiful little kids between the ages of five and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them: birthdays, graduations, weddings [wipes away tears], kids of their own.

Among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams. So our hearts are broken today. For the parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children. And for the families of the adults who were lost.

Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well. For as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children's innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain.

As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it's an elementary school in Newtown or a shopping mall in Oregon or a temple in Wisconsin or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.

This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter, and we'll tell them that we love them, and we'll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight, and they need all of us, right now. In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans, and I will do everything in my power as President to help.

Because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need, to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories, but also in ours.

May God bless the memory of the victims. And in the words of scripture, "Heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds."

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