"We've endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years," the president said, tearing up many times during a short address from the White House. "We're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this."
Michael Bloomberg, New York city mayor and an avid supporter of gun control, said: "The country needs the president to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem. Calling for 'meaningful action' is not enough. We need immediate action."
Lax gun laws are held by some to be the leading cause of gun violence in the US. According to the Centre for Disease Prevention, 31,593 people died in gun violence in 2011. An estimated 41% of gun-related homicides and 94% of gun-related suicides would not occur under the same circumstances had no guns been present, according to one study.
But a pushback has started. A conservative newspaper pointed out Saturday that Norway with its strict gun laws couldn't prevent Anders Breivik from massacring 69 people last year. The National Rifles Association leads the powerful pro-gun lobby, which has historically opposed gun controls basically arguing it's people who kill people, not guns.
The right to bear arms is a constitutional right in the US, backed by the Second Amendment. But the same law also provides for regulation, which the pro-gun lobby resists.