President Obama posted remarks on the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook Massacre that called out Congress for blocking gun legislation while thousands of Americans have died from mass shooting violence.
President Obama wrote on Facebook:
Three years ago today, a gunman murdered twenty innocent schoolchildren and six of the educators who cared for them at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
Since then, tens of thousands of our fellow Americans have been mowed down by gun violence. Tens of thousands. More kids have lost siblings. More parents have lost children. More husbands and wives have had to bury the love of their life. Sometimes, it’s hard to put specific numbers on this epidemic and its causes – because Congress has actually prevented the CDC, our leading public health agency, from conducting serious research into gun violence. Did you know that? Some years ago, they actually voted to make it harder for public health experts to conduct research into gun violence – but even after San Bernardino, they’ve refused to make it harder for terrorist suspects to buy semi-automatic weapons.
Every time this happens, we’re told that commonsense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre or the one before that, so we shouldn’t do anything. We’re not fools – we know that we can’t heal every troubled mind, or stop every act of violence.
But what if we tried to stop even one? What if Congress did something – anything – to save one American, or a classroom of Americans, or a stadium’s worth of Americans from losing their lives to gun violence in the years to come?
I refuse to give up on this. Because I still believe that we can do better. I still believe that we can get this right. We may not have a Congress that’s willing to work with us on this right now. So the rest of us will have to do what we can. I recently tasked my team at the White House to take another look at any other actions I can take to help reduce gun violence. And if you care about this, then please help me – whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or neither. We especially need the help of responsible gun owners who grieve with us every time this happens, and feel like your views aren’t being properly represented. I know there are a lot of you.
I’ve heard from you. I’ve read your letters and emails.
Let me be absolutely clear – like I’ve said many times before, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. Period. No matter how many times people try to paint me as holding a different position. I also believe that most gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible, law-breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale. I believe there is a rational, bipartisan majority in America who agrees that we all have the right to worship freely and safely; the right to assemble peaceably; the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – and who doesn’t want to see those rights taken from us, as they were taken from worshipers in Charleston and Oak Creek; moviegoers in Aurora and Lafayette; students in Blacksburg and Roseburg, Columbine and Newtown, and kids on street corners in Chicago too often to tolerate.
Change, as always, is going to take all of us – from the grassroots up. The gun lobby is loud and organized in its defense of effortlessly available guns for anyone. The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and organized in our defense of our kids.
America, this will change – but only when we stand up, together, and demand it.
The word senseless is always used after each mass shooting, and it is true, the mass shootings are senseless acts of violence. What is more senseless is that common sense reforms that would make it more difficult for those who want to kill to get the weapons that can inflict the most harm are being blocked by a group of NRA owned members of Congress.
This issue has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. It is all about profit for the gun industry. Mass shootings increase paranoia from gun owners that the government is coming for their guns. This paranoia increases weapon and ammo sales; thus mass shootings are very good for the gun business.
President Obama is determined to get something done to make it more difficult for would-be mass killers to get guns.
If Congress won’t act, Obama is readying more executive actions.
While Republicans cater to the NRA, President Obama is showing his leadership by speaking out about the political cowardice that has created the perfect environment for mass shooters.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association