FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – On the third anniversary of the deadly shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, President Barack Obama in a Facebook post Monday said Congress "hasn't done anything" to prevent a similar tragedy from happening.
Six educators and 20 first-graders were slain by a single gunman on Dec. 14, 2012. Obama posted his remarks with a photo of him in Newtown at a memorial service with the victims' families.
"Three years on, how do we tell them that their Congress hasn’t done anything to prevent what happened to them from happening to other families?" Obama said.
"Soon after the shootings, I took a series of executive actions within my power to reduce gun violence and keep more of our kids safe. Their governor in Connecticut, Dan Malloy, worked with his legislature to pass some commonsense gun safety reforms – reforms that didn’t infringe upon anyone’s right to bear arms, but actually might have prevented another massacre in the meantime," he said.
But efforts by Congress to require virtually everyone who buys a gun to get a background check have been thwarted, Obama said.
"But the gun lobby and its allies mobilized to paint that compromise reform as an assault on our freedom," Obama said. "And even though background checks were supported by some 90 percent of the American people and a majority of NRA households, the Senate surrendered, voting to block those background checks – even with the families of Newtown in attendance."
In the three years since the Sandy Hook shootings, "tens of thousands of our fellow Americans have been mowed down by gun violence," Obama said. This month, 14 people were killed in California.
"Even after San Bernardino, they’ve refused to make it harder for terrorist suspects to buy semi-automatic weapons," Obama said, referring to legislation voted down in the Senate to prevent those on the no-fly list from buying guns.
Although Obama said that it's impossible to stop every act of violence, "what if we tried to stop even one?" he said "What if Congress did something – anything – to save one American, or a classroom of Americans, or a stadium’s worth of Americans from losing their lives to gun violence in the years to come?"
He urged Americans to continue to push for gun reform.
"America, this will change – but only when we stand up, together, and demand it," Obama said.
Click here to read the full post at President Obama's Facebook page.
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