Breaking News Emails
For at least the eighth time in his presidency, Barack Obama strode determinedly up to a podium after a deadly mass shooting Thursday and denounced an American culture that makes it "easy for a person who wants to commit harm on someone else to get their hands on a gun."
Obama, his voice rising in evident frustration after at least 10 people were killed at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, lamented: "Somehow, this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine. We become numb to this."
Obama said he extended his thoughts and prayers to the victims. But then he declared:
"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 carnage from being inflicted some place else in America next week or a couple months from now."
"How can you make the argument with a straight face that more guns will make us safer?" he asked, noting that there's about one gun for every man, woman and child in the U.S.
"When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer," he said. "When Americans are killed in hurricanes and floods, we make communities safer. When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities. We have seat-belt laws because we know it saves lives.
"The notion that gun violence is somehow different — that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt and protect their families and do everything they do under such regulations — doesn't make sense," he said.