President promises action to prevent future violence

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President Obama is promising to use "whatever power this office holds" to prevent future violence like that which claimed the lives of 20 first graders and seven adults at Sandy Brook Elementary in Newton Ct. on Dec. 14.

Speaking at a Dec. 16 interfaith prayer vigil in Newtown, Obama said that the nation is not doing enough to keep its children safe from harm. "These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change," he said.

While Obama said that no laws can prevent every senseless act of violence, he said the nation's political leaders have an obligation to make every attempt to prevent further loss of life from mass-shootings. Obama promised to engage citizens, law enforcement, mental health professionals and educators in an effort to prevent tragedies like this.

This is the fourth time that the president has had to speak after such a tragedy. His prior speeches--after the Fort Hood shooting; the Tucson shooting that injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.); and the movie-theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.--focused largely seeking justice and extending compassion.

The president's Newton address featured a strong call for a direct response: "Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage? That the politics are too hard?"

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.) said on Dec. 14 that she plans to revive assault weapon's ban in the next session of Congress. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D.-NY) issued a Dec. 16 statement that said she will work to revive a mandate for background checks on all gun sales, including sales at gun shows that aren't covered under the Brady Act.

For more:
- watch the president's speech (embedded video)
- read the president's remarks

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