This afternoon, President Obama took to the podium of the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room to speak in response to today’s mass shooting at Umpqua Community College near Rosenburg, Oregon. The President decried Congress’ failure to address gun violence in stark, blunt terms.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: There is a gun for roughly every man, woman, and child in America. So how can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer?
We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. So the notion that gun laws don’t work, or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals will still get their guns is not borne out by the evidence.
We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.
And, of course, what’s also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue.
Well, this is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.
I would ask news organizations — because I won’t put these facts forward — have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side-by-side on your news reports.
This won’t be information coming from me; it will be coming from you. We spend over a trillion dollars, and pass countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so. And yet, we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be?
Well said, Mr. President.