Former President Barack Obama sounded off on Thursday following the deadly Florida school shooting, calling for "common-sense" gun laws.
Suspected 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz killed at least 17 people when he brought an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle to Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday and opened fire. The tragedy marks the 18th school shooting in 2018 and 25th fatal school shooting since Columbine in 1999.
"We are grieving with Parkland. But we are not powerless," Obama stated via Twitter. "Caring for our kids is our first job. And until we can honestly say that we're doing enough to keep them safe from harm, including long overdue, common-sense gun safety laws that most Americans want, then we have to change."
The tweet from the 44th U.S. commander in chief comes after President Trump addressed the American public with remarks from the White House, speaking of unifying bonds and emphasizing mental health in his remarks. Trump's address did not include any mention of gun laws or legislative reform relative to semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15 used by Cruz on Wednesday.
"To every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly: We are here for you whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain. We are all joined together as one American family, and your suffering is our burden also," Trump said. "No child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an American school. No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye."
Since Obama took office in 2009, the nation has dealt with a number of deadly mass shootings, including the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Obama memorably gave an emotional press audience in 2016 when he spoke of the tragedy in Newtown, CT.