President Obama wiped away tears during his gun control speech, sharing his anger at Congress and gun rights groups for blocking gun control.
“Every time I think about those kids it gets me mad,” he said, pausing to bow his head before staring into the cameras while tears welled up into his eyes.
Obama wiped away tears from his face about five different times during his speech, pausing frequently to add more emotion and gravity to the event. He also deviated several times from his prepared remarks to add more feeling to the text.
Members of Obama’s staff were also wiping away tears as the president spoke as members of Congress sat silently in the room. Senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Health and Human Secretary Sylvia Burwell, and FBI directer James Comey attended the speech. Comedian and actress Amy Schumer also attended, seated in the front row. Representative Nancy Pelosi also attended, together with a handful of other Democratic members of congress. Gun control activists stood and cheered wildly in response to the president’s call for more gun control.
Obama recalled the story of Zavion Dobson, the teenager who sacrificed his life to shield three girls from a shooting that occurred in Knoxville, Tennessee.
“Greater love hath no man than this than a man lay down his life for his friends,” he said quoting scripture.
“I’m not asking people to have that same level of courage or sacrifice or love,” he added.
“But if we love our kids and care about their prospects and if we love this country and care about its future, then we can find the courage to vote, we can find the courage to get mobilized and organized.”