President Obama wept on Tuesday as he reflected on the children killed during the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Announcing new executive actions on guns in the East Room, the president paused and wiped away tears when he spoke about first graders who were shot and killed at the Connecticut school. “Our right to peaceful assembly, that right was robbed of moviegoers in Aurora … and from first graders in Newtown. First graders,” Obama said.
“Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,” he added. “And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”
Obama delivered a dramatic performance in rolling out unilateral measures to curb gun violence, which he has called the most frustrating issue of his presidency.
Dozens of gun-control activists and families of gun victims attended the White House event, serving as a reminder of the mass shootings that have cast a cloud over Obama's time in office.
"Too many," Obama said of the shootings.
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who survived a gunshot wound to the head during a 2011 shooting in Tucson, was in the audience. The president was introduced by Mark Barden, managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, who lost his son in the Newtown shooting.