Obama tells families of Newtown victims and America “Surely we can do better”

President Obama speaking at vigil in Newtown, CT on Dec. 16, 2012

By Ruth Ferguson, NDG Editor

Sunday evening nearly 1,000 people crowded into a gym and stood outside in the cold rain to listen to vigil being held in honor of the 20 children and six adults killed on Friday. During Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s introduction of President Barack Obama he told the audience that the president said hearing the news of the shooting and death of the children as the worst day in his presidency on Friday.

As President Obama begin calling the names of the teachers and staff who perished on Friday, loud crying could be heard in the audience. And then again as he listed the names of each child who perished.

But it was not all tears, laughter was heard when the president recounted the promise of help from a young student to his teacher telling her, “I know karate, so don’t worry I will lead the way out!”

Many were surprised to hear Obama’s clear reference to likely coming gun control legislation that his  administration will pursue in the coming days.  However, at the end of his speech, the President received a standing ovation and reporters indicated that many in the audience nodded in agreement with him.

Earlier in the day on Meet the Press, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg challenged the president to do more – as he promised he would when running for office in 2008. Others want the public to realize that is not only gun control laws which must be revisited, but also the proper treatment for those suffering from mental health conditions. Education and support is necessary for family and community members who perhaps notice warning signs.

Also on the same show, Sen. Diane Feinstein announced plans to introduce an assault weapons ban on the first day of Congress in January 2013.

Obama pointed out this is the fourth time in his term that the nation has come together to mourn the lost of victims at a mass shooting and he challenged the listeners that we cannot merely consider this the cost of freedom in America.

According to the president, “Surely we can do better than this.”

Before the Obama spoke representatives from different faiths provided words of comfort and prayers according to the teachings of their particular faith. Earlier he met with families of the victims privately and shared words of comfort with them well past the allotted time which resulted in a significant delay of the service.

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