Obama will acknowledge students shooting death in Nashville - WSMV Channel 4

Obama will acknowledge student's shooting death in Nashville

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By Kevin Liptak
CNN White House Producer

(CNN) - It's the issue that dominated last year's State of the Union address, but two days after President Barack Obama gave gun control only a brief mention in this year's speech, he'll confront the nation's gun violence crisis head-on during a stop in Nashville.

Obama is heading to Tennessee to talk about education, but he will speak at a high school where students are still reeling from the recent shooting death of one of their classmates.

The White House said Obama would acknowledge the incident at the beginning of his remarks, which will focus largely on education policy and turning around failing schools.

"It's a tragedy, a terrible tragedy," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One. "The president will obviously speak about matters of education at the event, but I think you can expect he will have something to say about the tragedy at the top of his remarks."

The shooting that left 15-year-old Kevin Barbee dead happened Tuesday. Another teenager was playing with a pistol when it discharged, striking Barbee in the face.

The shooter, 17-year-old Kaemon Robinson, initially fled, but later turned himself over to police.

"A Metro Schools crisis team is at McGavock right now offering grief counseling to students who need it," the school district said in a tweet Wednesday. "This young man's life was just getting started, and his passing is a great tragedy."

Police say their investigation is ongoing.

After 2012's school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Obama pressured lawmakers to approve new gun restrictions, including new background checks on gun sales. That proposition, considered the most likely to gain bipartisan support, failed to win congressional approval.

Obama signed almost two dozen executive actions designed to combat gun violence, but no further legislative efforts gained traction on Capitol Hill.

At Tuesday's State of the Union address, Obama devoted only a small portion of his speech to gun control, telling lawmakers he was willing to do more by himself to keep Americans safe from gun violence.

"I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook," he said.

Article on CNN.com

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