A day after US school massacre Barack Obama calls for solidarity

Washington:  President Barack Obama Saturday called for Americans to "come together" to prevent tragedies like the school massacre that killed 20 young children and six adults, one of the worst mass shootings in US history.

"This weekend, Michelle and I are doing what I know every parent is doing -- holding our children as close as we can and reminding them how much we love them," said Obama, father of Sasha, 10, and Malia, 14.

"There are families in Connecticut who can't do that today. And they need all of us now," he added, in his weekly address.

Twenty-seven people, including the shooter, were killed Friday morning at an elementary school in Connecticut. US media reported that a 28th victim, found at a residence in the town, was the shooter's mother.

"While nothing can take the place 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; and that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their own memories, but also in their community, and their country," he continued.

"Every parent in America has a heart heavy with hurt," Obama said. Friday, he fought tears in an emotional address about the tragic incident.

"We grieve for the families of those we lost. And we keep in our prayers the parents of those who survived. Because as blessed as they are to have their children home, they know that their child's innocence has been torn away far too early," the president said.

Obama said the tragedy was all too familiar, after similar deadly shootings at a shopping mall in Oregon, at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and at a movie theater in Colorado earlier this year.

"Any of these neighborhoods could be our own. So we have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this. Regardless of the politics," the president said, echoing his message from the day before.

Obama did not give details, but some US politicians called for a serious look at gun control laws, a subject which Obama, re-elected on November 6, did not tackle strongly in his first term.

Story First Published: December 15, 2012 17:14 IST