Another hideous mass shooting, this time at a community college in Oregon, where 14 people died including the gunman who opened fire on students in class. President Obama once again addressed the nation as mourner-in-chief, but this time around he expressed significant frustration at Congress for failing to act yet again on gun control.
During a brief televised statement delivered at the White House , the president lashed out at those who oppose gun limits by saying that their answer to such tragedies are more guns, not fewer.
“Does anybody really believe that?” he asked, clearly outraged.
The Oregon attorney general said that at least 13 people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore.
Mr. Obama pointed out that states with more gun restrictions tended to have fewer gun deaths, and countries like Britain and Australia with far stricter gun laws have much fewer gun deaths.
“So we know there are ways to prevent it,” he said.
He pointed out that the federal government had responded to mine disasters to insisting on safer mines, weather disasters by improving communities and highway deaths by insisting on safer roads and cars. But guns are so immune to such a response that Congress has forbidden the federal government from even collecting some statistics about guns.
Mr. Obama asked news organizations to tally the number of Americans killed by terrorist attacks over the last 10 years and to compare that with those killed by domestic gun violence. And he implicitly compared the trillions of dollars spent and multiple agencies devoted to prevent the relatively few terrorist deaths with the minimal effort and money spent to prevent the far greater tragedy of gun deaths.
And then he challenged voters to make gun safety a priority.
“If you think this is a problem, then you should expect your elected officials to reflect your views,” the president said.
And he promised to continue hammering away at the issue for the rest of his presidency.
“And each time this happens, I’m going to bring this up,” Mr. Obama said. “Each time this happens, I’m going to say that we can actually do something about it.”
And each time it happens, Mr. President, our Congress will make sure nothing is done. And until we as voters start firing members of Congress over lack of gun safety laws, nothing will change.
It's not on you, Mr. President. It's not on Congress, to be honest. It's all on us.