Page 74 | Volume 1 | The Leadership Journal of Dallas Baptist University

74 Ducere Est Servire: THE LEADERSHIP JOURNAL OF DALLAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY To demonstrate President Obama’s moral leadership, the current study will be constructed through the lens of presidential leadership as defined and prescribed by Dr. Robert Denton in Moral Leadership and the American Presidency. According to Denton, presidents lead the nation through their words, deeds, actions, and the symbolic dimensions they make in the institution of the presidency. When speaking of a president’s words, he is referring to their public discourse. Deeds refer to a president’s specific legislative agenda. For actions, he is referring to their personal character, personalities, and habits. Finally, for their symbolic dimensions, he is referring to the historic, mythic, and public expectations of the institution of the presidency. All of these come together to form the public impression of the president. In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, President Obama used words, deeds, actions, and symbolic dimensions to combat the fear that came from this violence especially aimed at school children. WORDS The words of presidents, through speeches and interactions with the American people, are able to invite Americans to see the world through their leadership perspective, shaping the public’s perception of their direction.12 Through his words, President Obama was able to sympathize with those that lost love ones and proclaim to the nation that this violence had to stop. The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was not the first instance of a shooting in the Obama Administration nor the last. President Obama consoled the nation fifteen times during his time as president.13 On January 5, 2016, during his last year in office, President Obama addressed this unrest in the nation by saying, “It [the shooting of Rep. Gabbard Gifford in 2011] wasn’t the first time I had to talk to the nation in response to a mass shooting, nor would it be the last. Fort Hood. Binghamton. Aurora. Oak Creek. Newtown. The Navy Yard. Santa Barbara. Charleston. San Bernardino. Too many.”14 Year, after year, President Obama and the American people faced the perpetual fear of more shootings happening in the nation. The Sandy Hook shooting was a turning point in the rhetoric that President Obama used to address the need for gun control to combat the violence affecting society. He used his platform as president to show