President Obama Oregon Shooting Speech. 'Some How This Has Become Routine'
President Obama condemned the mass shooting at an Oregon college on Thursday, but added that "our thoughts and prayers are not enough" to stem this tide of violence. "There's been another mass shooting in America," Obama said at the White House. Obama said he has been to Roseburg, Ore., where the shooting took place, and "there are really good people there."
"Somehow this has become routine," Obama said. "The reporting has become routine. My response here, from this podium, has become routine." President Obama lamented the fact that he was making comments about yet another shooting – this time at a community college in Oregon – saying the process has become “routine” for him and new families who mourn the loss of loved ones. “I hope and pray that I don’t have to come out again in my tenure as president to offer my condolences to families under these circumstances.
But based on my experience as president, I can’t guarantee that,” the president said in the White House briefing room. The shooting, which left at least 20 people dead and injured, according to the governor's office, took place Thursday morning at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The identity of the 20-year-old shooter has not been released. The president said that just as his remarks on shootings have become routine, so too have the reactions from politicians and opponents of stricter gun regulations. “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,” he said. Rather than shying away from the political dimension to mass shootings, the president leaned in to it, saying that Thursday’s events were direct products of political decisions – those made by lawmakers and by those who elect them. “We collectively are answerable to those families, who lose their loved ones because of our inaction,” he said. In a veiled reference to groups like the National Rifle Association which has opposed most of the president’s efforts to tighten gun purchasing laws, he urged firearms owners to reconsider their affiliation with the group. “I would particularly ask America’s gun owners, who are using those guns properly, safely, to hunt, for sport, or protecting their families, to think about whether your views are properly being represented by the organization that suggests it’s speaking for you,” he said.
The president has said the failure to pass more stringent gun safety laws is one of the greatest frustrations of his presidency thus far.
"If you ask me where has been the one area where I feel that I've been most frustrated and most stymied, it is the fact that the United States of America is the one advanced nation on Earth in which, we do not have sufficient common-sense gun safety laws, even in the face of repeated mass killings," he told the BBC in July.
Obama, as he has done several times after mass shootings, spoke from the White House briefing room. He called for more common sense gun restrictions, but predicted that the statements from gun rights groups would were being written as he spoke. Someone, he said, would say that "Obama politicized this issue." Oregon officials said a 20-year-old man killed 13 people and injured at least 20 more in a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, about 180 miles south of Portland. Obama has spoken in the wake of shooting tragedies on at least a dozen occasions, including the 2012 murders at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and this past summer's killings at African-American church in Charleston, S.C. The president has frequently called for legislation to try and stop gun violence, including enhanced background checks, an assault weapons ban, and improved mental health programs.