Wiping away tears, President Barack Obama on Friday lamented the school shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn., calling for “action” to prevent future tragedies after a series of gun massacres on his watch.

“As a country we have been through this too many times. … We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics,” Obama said in a statement in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House.

Obama said that after such a tragedy, he first reacts as a parent.

“That was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do. The majority of those who died today were children. Beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old,” he said, pausing for several seconds and wiping a tear from his eye.

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