Page 75 | Volume 1 | The Leadership Journal of Dallas Baptist University

75 the nation the moral leadership that was required to move forward. Specifically, he used his words to show that everyone had the right to freedom from fear. Instead of treating each shooting that has affected the United States individually, after Sandy Hook, he started treating all gun violence as a national problem.15 By continuing to name the other shootings that had happened during his administration, President Obama connected the shootings together to bring the public attention to the need for change. In the first mass shooting after Sandy Hook, President Obama reminded the nation of the tragedies that it had experienced, saying, As President, I have now grieved with five American communities ripped apart by mass violence. Fort Hood. Tucson. Aurora. Sandy Hook. And now, the Washington Shipyard. And these mass shootings occur against a backdrop of daily tragedies, as an epidemic of gun violence tears apart communities across America.16 Beyond speaking of the specific shootings, President Obama understood that the national conversation on gun control was loudest in the aftermath of mass shootings and, then, only briefly.17 President Obama reminded the public that this one shooting was not new, saying, “Once more, we come together to mourn … . Once more, we pay tribute … . Once more, our hearts are broken … . Once more, we ask why. Once more, we seek strength and wisdom through God’s grace.”18 While this cadence of “once more” seems to reflect frustration, it is also a way to make the past present in the conversation about gun control.19 President Obama’s words move past the one mass shooting to connect each of them in a call of remembrance and a call to change. The postSandy Hook rhetorical change showed the nation that anyone and everyone was affected by this violence, and it was necessary to make changes to reduce the number of shootings to free the American people from living in fear. President Obama’s words connected citizens to mobilize them against these types of mass shootings. Calling on Congress to pass laws to prevent this tragedy from happening again, President Obama reminded the American people of the fundamental rights that have been passed down from the founding of our country. He stated, IN THE AGE OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS: PRESIDENT OBAMA’S MORAL LEADERSHIP