Originally published on The Huffington Post 12/16/12
On Friday, December 14th, President Obama addressed the nation in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn. as a parent. Here is the speech I believe he needs to give to Americans now as president:
“My Fellow Citizens: I speak to you today not as a parent, though as a parent I grieve with you for our children. I speak to you not as a fellow citizen, though as a fellow citizen I share your pain and hope to assuage your sorrow. I speak to you rather as president and chief executive officer of the United States of America whose first duty it is to protect American citizens — above all, those who cannot protect themselves, our children. A sovereign government acquires the right to govern only when it keeps the governed safe. Before anything else, the social contract must confer security on its citizens.
As a parent, I grieve with the affected families. As an individual, I ask myself how we might better recognize and treat the mental illnesses that contribute to these heinous massacres. But as your president I am bound to ask what can be done — what I can do now — to regulate, control and where necessary ban the micro-weapons of mass destruction with which the unstable and sick are making war on the unprotected and the vulnerable. As president, it is not enough for me to share you grief and counsel your sorrow, I must and I will confront those who defend weapons more zealously than children; who confound sport and safety with automatic weapons, large volume magazines and military ammunition designed to maim and kill; who hide behind a 200-year-old constitutional concern for militias well-armed with muskets in order to rationalize ownership of modern weapons for which there is no conceivable civilian use. Continue reading