President Barack Obama speaks at a memorial service for the victims of the Washington Navy Yard shooting at Marine Barracks Washington Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. A gunman killed 12 people in the Navy Yard on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, before being fatally shot in a gun battle with law enforcement. The president and first lady Michelle Obama also visited with the victims' families.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray joined President Obama in using a memorial service for the victims of the Navy Yard shooting to call for changes to the nation’s gun laws.
Much of the city mourned once again on Sunday evening as the names of the twelve slain rang out across Southeast. Around 4,000 people came out to remember those lives that were snuffed out as they went about their work at the Navy Yard last week.
As family members and friends choked back tears, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray told them it's time for lawmakers on Capitol Hill to address America's epidemic of gun violence, adding the nation is "drowning in a sea of guns."
“These tragic occurrences never seem to move us any closer to ensuring that guns don't get into the hands of criminals or mentally unstable people," he said.
While President Obama remorsefully recalled this is the fifth memorial he’s held for victims of mass shooting since he’s been in office, he told the families that the twelve fallen from this region are not mere statistics.
“Your loved ones will not be forgotten. They will endure in the hearts of the American people, in the hearts of the Navy they helped keep strong," he said.
Like Gray, the president is also calling for action. He says what differentiates America from every other industrialized nation "is that its easy to get you hands on a gun."