Obama Blasts US Gun Laws amid Spate of Shootings
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - US President Barack Obama expressed deep frustration at Washington's inability to enact even modest gun control measures, calling for some national "soul searching" in the aftermath of a new rash of shootings across the country.
“The country has to do some soul searching about this. This is becoming the norm and we take it for granted in ways that as a parent are terrifying to me,” Obama said Tuesday in answer to a question at a White House online event sponsored by Tumblr.
“My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage,” Obama said.
No developed nation on earth would put up with mass shootings that happen now once a week and disappear from the news within a day, Obama said – no nation except America, France24 reported.
It was a moment of bleak reflection and weary resignation for the president, who said he thought universal background checks were the least the country could do after a 20-year-old with a semi-automatic rifle shot his way into an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, and massacred 20 children in December 2012.
Since then, there have been “at least” 74 shootings at schools and campuses, according to a group called Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates for tougher gun laws.
“We should be ashamed,” Obama said, hours after yet another deadly school shooting, this time in Oregon. “There’s no place else like this.”
The candid admission that gun control is all but a lost cause for his presidency marked a stark change in tone.
Despite shelving efforts to get Congress to vote on gun control, White House officials have always insisted they haven’t abandoned the issue. In 2013, Obama issued 23 executive orders related to gun violence in an attempt to take whatever modest steps he could without requiring a congressional vote.
Obama said he respects gun rights and the American tradition embodied by the Second Amendment. But he blamed the National Rifle Association (NRA) and well-financed gun manufacturers for making lawmakers “feel the heat” if they supported tighter gun controls.