Obama Honors Gun Violence Victims by Leaving Seat Empty at SOTU

PHOTO: President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 20, 2015 PlayJ. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
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After a week-long push promoting new executive actions on guns, President Obama told supporters today that he will purposely leave a seat empty during his State of the Union address in honor of gun violence victims.

“We want them to be seen and understood that their absence means something to this country,” Obama said.

The president said the empty seat will be in the First Lady's guest box. The Obamas have hosted family members of gun violence victims in previous State of the Union addresses.

“We want to tell their stories and honor their memories," Obama said. "And we want to support Americans whose lives have been forever changed by gun violence and remind every single one of our representatives that it’s their responsibility to do something about it.”

President Obama also urged supporters of his gun proposals that “these kinds of important gestures only matter if it translates into action.”