President Obama speaking in Decatur, Georgia Thursday.
  • AP Photo/John Bazemore
  • President Obama speaking in Decatur, Georgia, Thursday

Tomorrow afternoon, President Obama will address students, parents, community members, and public officials in the gymnasium of Hyde Park Academy. He’ll discuss “strengthening the economy for the middle class and those striving to get there,” the White House says. He’s also expected to talk about Chicago’s gun violence. Here’s what I wish he’d say.

Two months ago, I had the somber duty of addressing the nation after the shootings at Sandy Hook. On that occasion, I said that we’d been through this kind of tragedy too often. We have to come together, I said, and do what needs to be done, regardless of the politics, to prevent more tragedies like this.

Last Saturday, Michelle was here in Chicago, attending a funeral service for Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old who was slain not far from where we are right now. Hadiya was standing in a park with friends when someone ran up and started shooting. In an instant, another precious life was lost. Hadiya was one of 42 people killed in Chicago in January. Many of them were young.

And so I say again: We must act.