Category: Society / December 17, 2012 11:29 AM EST
U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking at a memorial service for the victims of the mass shooting in Connecticut, said on Sunday (December 16) the United States was not doing enough to protect its children and pledged in coming weeks to launch an effort to reduce violence in the country.
"We can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them we must change," Obama said at a somber interfaith service.
"In the coming weeks I'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this," he said. "Because what choice do we have? We can't accept events like this as routine."
All the dead children were either 6 or 7 years old, feeding more emotion into a revived debate about whether stricter gun laws could prevent future mass shootings in the United States.
Members of the audience wept when the president read the names of the 20 children and six adults who were shot at Sandy Hook Elementary school on Friday.