U.S. President Barack Obama spoke shortly after 12:15 p.m. PST on Friday, addressing the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza went on a shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing as many as 18 children and 26 total (the number continues to fluctuate and is not considered final).
Here is the full transcript of Obama's statement. Video of his press conference is embedded below.
This afternoon, I spoke to Governor Malloy and FBI Director Muller. I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation. And made it clear that he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families.
We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news, I react not as a President, but as anybody as would as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.
The majority of those who died today were children. Beautifully little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old.
They had their entire lives ahead of them. Birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams. So our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children and for the families of the adults who are lost.
Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well. For as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from then too early. And there are no words that will ease their pain.
As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown or a shopping mall in Oregon or a temple in Wisconsin or a movie theater in Aurora or a street corner in Chicago. These neighborhoods are our neighborhoods. And these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics.
This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter. And we’ll tell them that we love them. And we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight. And they need all of us right now.
In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans. And I will do everything in my power as President to help. Because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need to remind them that we are there for them. That we are praying for them. That the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories but also in ours.
May God bless the memories of the victims. In the words of scripture, "heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds."
President Obama was clearly emotional during the statement. He was visibly affected by the first national mass shooting tragedy to encompass children of this age ... K-4, meaning 5-8.
Tearing up and wiping his eyes throughout his remarks, his comments regarding "meaningful action" raise hope for those who are pro-gun control, who look at the Second Amendment and recognize that it refers to a militia.
What, if anything, can pass through a House of Representatives controlled by a Tea Party minority, though, when they can't even agree on a solution to the fiscal cliff?