President Barack Obama is traveling to Newtown, Conn., Sunday to honor the 26 victims, including 20 children, killed at an elementary school Friday, and comfort the survivors. Obama is scheduled to meet with grieving families, thank first responders and attend an interfaith memorial service.
As he stands among the mourning Newtown community, though, many Americans across the country are pleading with the president to remember he is the person who is best able to prevent a massacre like this again.
“We grieve for the families of those we lost, and we keep in our prayers those who survived,” Obama said Saturday, one day after he used his weekly radio address to call for “meaningful action” to prevent similar slaughters in the future. The president offered no specification on what that action would be, although he has offered his condolences too many times before.
Five of the 12 deadliest shooting U.S. sprees have come during Obama's tenure, according to ABC News, and gun control was not a priority of his first term. The political dialogue around Obamacare and whether or not to extend the Bush tax cuts left little room to consider all the lives lost in Binghamton, N.Y.; Fort Hood, Texas; Tucson, Ariz.; Aurora, Colo.; and Oak Creek, Wis.
The president is scheduled to speak in Newton at 7 p.m. EST Sunday.
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Among the most vocal lawmakers pleading with the president to take action is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“The country needs [Obama] to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem,” Bloomberg said in a statement following the Connecticut shooting. "Calling for 'meaningful action' is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress."
Bloomberg appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday morning and tweeted a link to DemandAPlan.org, a movement dedicated to stopping gun violence that sprouted after the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. earlier this year.
Obama said when he first heard the news of the shooting he couldn’t help but grieve as a father. When he visits Newton on Sunday he’ll be asked to prove it.