President Obama said Tuesday the nation should do “some soul-searching”: over its epidemic of deadly gun violence and “should be ashamed” it has been unable to address it.
“We’re the only developed country on Earth where this happens,” Obama said during a question-and-answer session on the social media website Tumblr.
“And it happens now once a week,” Obama added. “And it’s a one-day story. There’s no place else like this.”
While most of the Tumblr questions concerned the president’s student loan programs, and higher education in general, Obama turned emotional when one user asked about school shootings. Obama’s comments came just a few hours after the shooting death of a high school student in Oregon.
His “biggest frustration” as president, Obama said, has been that “this society has not been willing to take some basic steps” to keep guns away from people who “can do just unbelievable damage.”
The president again criticized Congress for blocking a proposal to expand background checks for gun buyers and said too many lawmakers are “terrified” of the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups.
While “our levels of gun violence are off the charts,” Obama said, the American people themselves have to demand new laws: “If public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change.”
Opponents of various gun control proposals said they would be ineffective, and some threaten Second Amendment ownership rights. They also said shootings are a mental health issue, an argument that Obama disputed.
“The United States does not have a monopoly on crazy people,” Obama said.
SOURCE: David Jackson
The gun safety organization Everytown said Tuesday’s incident was the 74th shooting in a school in the United States since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, when Adam Lanza broke through a glass door and gunned down 20 children at close range in December 2012. Read more.