President Barack Obama, tears running down his face, reminded Americans on Tuesday afternoon about the 20 elementary-school children who died in the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
“Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,” Obama said after rattling off a list of personal liberties taken from the victims of gun violence, during his remarks announcing new executive actions on gun control.
While he said he respects the Second Amendment as a former constitutional law professor, Obama said that other rights, including freedom of religion, have been taken away from the victims of mass shootings.
“Second Amendment rights are important, but there are other rights we care about as well. And we have to be able to balance them,” he said. “Because our right to worship freely and safely, that right was denied to Christians in Charleston, South Carolina and that was denied to Jews in Kansas City and that was denied to Muslims in Chapel Hill and Sikhs in Oak Creek. They have rights, too.”
As he ran down the list of other mass shootings that occurred during his presidency, Obama got emotional when he got to the mention of Newtown.
“Our right to peaceful assembly, that right was robbed from moviegoers in Aurora and Lafayette,” he said. “Our unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara and from high schoolers at Columbine. And from first graders in Newtown. First graders. And from every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from their lives from a bullet from a gun. Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”