In the wake of a shooting spree at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, President Barack Obama delivered an address to the nation to express his condolences for the families of the victims. However, Obama also used the opportunity to once again call for stricter gun control regulations, insisting that easier access to guns directly leads to more mass shootings.
“There’s been another mass shooting in America, this time at a community college in Oregon,” Obama began. “In the coming days we will learn about the victims. The young men and women who were studying and learning and working hard, their eyes set on the future, their dreams, on what they could make of their lives. And America will wrap everyone who is grieving with our prayers and our love.”
According to the president, the government needs to intervene in order to avoid another tragedy like the one that just unfolded. “As I said just a few months ago … our thoughts and prayers are not enough,” he said. “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 carnage from being inflicted some place else in America.”
Obama conceded that enforcing stronger gun laws is “not something that I can do by myself,” as it would require the joint effort of the legislature and state and local governments. However, he argued that “the notion that gun laws don’t work” is “not borne out by the evidence,” and that lax gun laws are “a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months.”
The president directly targeted pro-gun groups like the National Rifle Association. “I would particularly ask America’s gun owners, who are using those guns properly, safely, to hunt, for sport, for protecting their families, to think about whether your views are properly being represented by the organization that suggests its speaking for you,” he said.
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