BARACK Obama wept yesterday as he remembered 20 pupils wiped out in a school shooting.
The US President, outlining new steps on gun laws, wiped away a tear at the White House as he told how the killings in Connecticut in 2012 “changed” him.
Surrounded by relatives of shooting victims, Mr Obama said the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms needed to be balanced by the right to worship and gather peacefully.
“Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,” Mr Obama said, tears rolling down his cheek.
“That changed me, that day,” he said, after being introduced by Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son was killed in the shooting. “My hope earnestly has been that it would change the country.”
After that tragedy, the President failed to persuade Congress to strengthen gun laws.
He has blamed lawmakers for being in thrall to the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) gun lobby group.
He said Americans needed to be “just as passionate” as the NRA in changing gun laws, but acknowledged it wouldn’t happen during his final year in office.
Mr Obama laid out executive action he is taking to require more gun sellers to get licenses and more gun buyers to undergo background checks.
The stocks of gunmakers Smith & Wesson Holding Corp and Sturm Ruger & Co Inc have climbed since the announcement.
Smith & Wesson was up 10 per cent to $25.58 a share and Sturm Ruger was up more than 6 per cent at $65.46. – The sun