“If Congress had passed some commonsense legislation after Newtown, after a group of children had been gunned down in their own classroom, reforms that 90% of the American people supported … we might still have more Americans with us”.
The morning after the shooting, Obama made a direct and personal call for bolstering gun control laws from the White House, admitting the current balance of power in Washington makes any meaningful action unlikely. “But I don’t want to be naive”, said Chelsea Parsons, who oversees gun policy for the liberal Center for American Progress. Ultimately, congress will follow the people.
“At some point as a country, we have to reckon with what happens”. It’s not good enough to show sympathy.
“You don’t see this kind of kill, on this scale, with this kind of frequency in other advanced countries on earth”, Obama said.
“It sends at best mixed messages, and at worst, for hateful people like Roof, it’s an affirmation”, Riley said.
Gun violence “costs this country dearly”, Obama said.
“I refuse to act as if this is the new normal or to pretend that it’s simply sufficient to grieve and that any mention of us doing something to stop it is somehow politicising the problem”, he said. “That’s how we honor those families (in Charleston)”. We have to have a conversation about it and FIX THIS.
The mayor says “my heart is broken” by the actions of what he calls “an evil man with his bigoted mind”.
A year ago Obama also publicly pointed to Australia as an example after, in the space of a few days, a student was shot dead at an Oregon high school and a couple went on a shooting rampage in Las Vegas that left two policemen and a Wal-Mart shopper dead.
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam would not address whether the Charleston shootings would change lawmakers’ attitudes, saying, “As the NRA has done for decades, we will not comment until all the facts are known”. “We’ve got to shift how we think on this issue, and we have the capacity to change”, he said.
“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government“.