US President Barack Obama has vowed to curb gun violence in America, saying the country is not doing enough to protect its children.
Obama made the comments on Sunday while addressing a memorial service for the victims of the Friday shooting tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
“We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change,” Obama said.
Obama went on to say that he would use all his powers to prevent a repeat of the Friday incident, during which a 20-year-old, identified as Adam Lanza, killed twenty children and six women.
“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,” Obama added.
“Can we say we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?”
“If we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no.”
Obama is being pressured to tighten the country’s gun laws after the shooting incident in Newtown. Critics argue Obama’s gun control record illustrates consistent failure to act.
The United States has notoriously lax gun control laws and the highest rate of gun ownership in the world; an average of 88 percent of the people in America possess firearms, according to a 2007 Small Arms Survey.
The US has experienced several mass killings this year including the Colorado cinema shooting in July, which left 12 dead and 59 injured, and the August killing spree at a Sikh temple, which left seven dead.