Obama regrets not tightening gun control, he tells packed Amsterdam event
Former United States President Barack Obama quickly wrapped a nearly-full Ziggo Dome around his finger during an Evening with Barrack Obama on Monday. He started the evening by complementing the Dutch capital. “Try to appreciate what you have,” he told the audience, Parool reports. “You have a beautiful city.”
The Evening with Barack Obama lasted just over an hour. The 44th American president spoke about his career, his family, and his concerns about the future. He said he’s saddened that he failed to tighten gun laws in his country. The 2012 mass shooting in Sandy Hook, where 20 children were killed, was the “lowest point of his presidency” and “the closest thing to cynicism I’ve ever come.”
Obama does not blame himself for the United States not stepping in harder when Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Europe was divided at the time, and he worried about starting a military conflict that could lead to a third world war, he said.
Obama said that his family keeps him grounded - “They make me not believe my own hype.” And for the future, he is worried about the climate, AI, and geopolitical shifts.
The former U.S. president stressed that all progress toward improvement is an achievement. Things don’t have to be perfect to be good. “Better is good,” is the snippet of wisdom he sent his audience home with. “Thank you, Amsterdam,” he said as he waved to the bleachers before exiting the stage.
Before the event in the Ziggo Dome, Obama spent the day in Amsterdam. He took a boat trip through the canals, went to see the tulips in Noordbeemster, and had lunch at restaurant 1612.
The restaurant knew they were getting an important American guest - American security booked the room in advance and came to check the exits. Restaurant manager Micka van Westen told AD that it was a complete surprise when the former president walked in the door. Obama ordered a goat cheese salad and french fries made from potatoes grown in the local Beemster region, Van Westen said.
“We had already decided that Obama did not have to pay, but at one point, one of his security guards pulled out his credit card and said: I will pay for him. We also received a generous tip in good American fashion. When he left, we asked his security guards if we could take a selfie with him, and Obama was really fine with that. My friend texted that a selfie with Obama in the Ziggo Dome cost 3,000 euros. We got it for free, and his food was also paid for.”