A noticeably frustrated President Obama Thursday addressed the routine that the nation has developed in the aftermath of a mass shooting just hours after yet another incident.
“There’s been another mass shooting in America this time at a community college in Oregon. That means there are more American families — moms, dads, children — whose lives have been changed forever,” the president said.
He discussed the feelings and the empathy onlookers will express, the process of learning about the victims — who they were and wanted to be — and the political discourse that ultimately leads nowhere.
“But as I said just a few months ago and I said a few months before that and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. And it does nothing to prevent this kind of carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America. Next week or a couple months from now.”
At times his speech echoed comments he’s made in the past, comparing the U.S. and its gun laws to other advanced nations and the regularity of America’s mass shootings.
“Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine, my response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it, we’ve become numb to this,” he said and listed a number of recent mass killings such as Charleston, Aurora, Newtown as well as older incidents like Columbine and Tucson.
He also gave an overview of political opponents response to mass killings.
“And what’s become routine of course is the response to those who oppose any kind of commonsense gun legislation. Right now I can imagine the press releases being cranked out,” he said. “‘We need more guns,’ they’ll argue. ‘Fewer gun safety laws.’ Does anybody really believe that?”
He then referenced national poles that show the American public agree with more gun laws, and statistics showing that states with more gun laws result in fewer gun deaths.
“How can you with a straight face make the argument that more guns will make you safer?” he asked and added, “The notion that gun laws don’t work or just or make it harder for law abiding citizens — or criminals will still get their guns — is not borne out by the evidence.”