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Barack Obama Says The Lack Of Action After Sandy Hook Was ‘congress The Day Of His Presidency More Angry’

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Reflecting back on his presidency, former President Barack Obama said the “angriest” day of his two terms at the White House was when Congress failed to take action in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

“That was, not only maybe the saddest day of my presidency, but when Congress failed to do anything in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, was probably the angriest I ever was during my presidency,” Obama told Oprah Winfrey in a new Apple TV+ interview.

“I was disgusted and appalled by the inaction,” Obama continued. “Because you had parents who had just lost their children, sitting in front of senators and asking them for very modest, reasonable approaches. This wasn’t some radical agenda. They were asking for more effective background checks and other provisions to keep firearms out of the hands of disturbed folks.”

On December 14, 2012, a gunman stormed Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut and killed 26 people, including 20 children. The mass shooting remains the second-deadliest school shooting in the U.S.

“It was all viewed as politics as opposed to this human moment that we should have been able to respond to as a society,” Obama said to Winfrey.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley called the measure a “slippery slope compromising the 2nd Amendment” when the ban was brought to the Senate floor.

Newsweek reached out to Grassley for comment but did not hear back before publication.

Former President Barack Obama speaks in support of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during a drive-in rally at the Florida International University on November 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Obama told Oprah Winfrey in a new interview that the “angriest” day of his presidency was the congressional inaction to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Joe Raedle/Getty

“Gun violence is one of those issues that I think we are far away from the promise land on,” Obama said in the interview. “Because it’s become such a cultural hot-button issue. It’s become wrapped up with people’s sense of identity—the degree to which the county is divided and some of this is big urban and rural split.”

The former president also shared an anecdote about campaigning in rural Iowa where he and former first lady Michelle Obama “could see why somebody need to have something to fend themselves” with.

“It’s gotten very polarized. I think unwinding it, unwinding that polarization around that issue is going to take some time,” Obama added.

The full interview, “The Oprah Conversation: President Barack Obama,” is set to premiere globally on Tuesday, November 17 across the Apple TV app.

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