President Barack Obama lamented the latest burst of gun violence in America — the shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood — and again called for the need for tighter gun control laws.
"If we truly care about this — if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience — then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them," Obama said in a statement Saturday. "Period. Enough is enough."
Three people were killed when a gunman — later identified by police as Robert Dear, 57 — launched gunbattles with officers from inside a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood on Friday. Nine others were wounded, and Dear was taken into custody after the five-hour standoff.
Police have not given a motive for why Dear allegedly staged the shooting rampage at the Planned Parenthood, and it was unclear whether he lawfully obtained his AK-47-style weapon.
Obama said the shooting is especially rattling during this holiday week.
"The last thing Americans should have to do, over the holidays or any day, is comfort the families of people killed by gun violence — people who woke up in the morning and bid their loved ones goodbye with no idea it would be for the last time," Obama said. "And yet, two days after Thanksgiving, that’s what we are forced to do again."
The president also praised the officer who was killed, Garrett Swasey, for helping to save other lives. But, he warned, America can't sit back on the ongoing issue of gun violence: "This is not normal. We can't let it become normal."
Obama during his presidency has had to address the nation following a mass shooting at least eight times. When he last spoke in October following a massacre at a community college in Oregon that left 10 dead, he said he was frustrated by how "numb" people have become.
"Somehow, this has become routine," he said. "The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine. We become numb to this."