Ten years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, former President Barack Obama is reflecting on the "visceral" tragedy that left 20 children and six adults dead in Newtown, Connecticut, per People.
"I consider December 14th, 2012 the single darkest day of my presidency," Obama wrote in the statement shared to social media on Wednesday (December 14). "The news from Sandy Hook Elementary was devastating, a visceral blow, and like so many others, I felt not just sorrow but anger at a world that could allow such things to happen."
Obama said the families who lost loved ones in the shooting have "borne that weight with strength and grace" and "drawn purpose from tragedy — doing everything in their power to make sure other children and families never have to experience what they and their loved ones did."
The former president noted that the work is "far from over," citing how mass shootings have hit the nation nearly every week in 2022.
"But of late, I've sensed that slowly, steadily, the tide is turning; that real change is possible," Obama said. "And I feel that way in no small part because of the families of Sandy Hook Elementary."
Since the December 14, 2012 shooting, lawmakers have passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which "enacts commonsense gun laws and provides funding for mental health support and anti-violence programs," according to People.
President Joe Biden, who signed the measure into law in June, said in a statement on Wednesday that the nation "should have societal guilt for taking too long to deal with this problem."
Biden said more "must" be done to combat gun violence, noting that he is "determined to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines like those used at Sandy Hook and countless other mass shootings in America."