Page 72 | Volume 1 | The Leadership Journal of Dallas Baptist University

72 Ducere Est Servire: THE LEADERSHIP JOURNAL OF DALLAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY In the Age of School Shootings: President Obama’s Moral Leadership in the Wake of the Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary (Dec 2012) Joshua N. Longmire, Ph.D. Dr. Joshua N. Longmire ('21, Leadership Studies) serves on the pastoral staff of LifePoint Church in Plano, Texas. School shootings have become commonplace in the United States. As of March 15, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security through the Center for Homeland Defense and Security: Naval Postgraduate School reports that there have been 314 K-12 school shootings since 2013, with 97 in 2018, the most since 1970.1 On December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, was devastated when a shooter opened fire and killed 20 children—all six and seven years old—and six adults.2 In less than 11 minutes, the shooter made Sandy Hook Elementary School the second most deadly school shooting in America, trailing only the 2007 incident at Virginia Tech.3 Following this horrific attack, President Barrack Obama addressed the nation, saying, “We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”4 Subsequently, President Obama’s actions in response to this deadly attack displayed moral leadership for the nation. This was a time for the President to stand above politics and embody what Franklin D. Roosevelt understood about the Presidency: it is “preeminently a place of moral leadership. All our great Presidents were leaders of thought at times when certain historic ideas in the life of the nation had to be clarified … . That is what the office is—a superb opportunity for reapplying, applying in new conditions, the simple rules of human conduct to which we always go back.”5 James MacGregor Burns, a preeminent scholar on leadership, defined moral leadership as “leadership that lives up to the highest values of