UNDATED (CBS) -- President Obama is presenting the nation's second-highest civilian honor to educators killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Later today he's taking his State of the Union message to Chicago a city with struggling to rein in gun violence.
President Obama is honoring the six adults killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The women are among 18 being awarded the nation's second highest civilian honor, the Presidential Citizens Medal. Pres. Obama says, "They gave their lives to protect the precious children in their care. They gave all they had for the most innocent and helpless among us.\"
Earlier this week in his State of the Union Address, the president called on Congress to vote on new gun control legislation.
Sitting in the First Lady's box were a teacher who survived Sandy Hook and the parents of a slain Chicago honors student.
The President is traveling to Chicago this afternoon where he'll rally support for his State of the Union proposals, and touch on the gun violence plaguing his hometown.
The head of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, responded to the President's State of the Union in a speech to gun owners on Thursday. He says, "And for our second amendment freedom, Mr. President, we will stand and fight throughout this country for our freedom. We promise you that."
LaPierre renewed his call for more armed guards in the nation's schools. And dismissed universal background checks saying supporters of the measure only want to get a list of gun owners and that would violate the privacy of law abiding citizens.