PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it. We’ve become numb to this.
We talked about this after Columbine and Blacksburg, after Tucson, after Newtown, after Aurora, after Charleston. It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun.
And what’s become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of commonsense gun legislation. Right now I can imagine the press releases being cranked out. “We need more guns,” they’ll argue, “fewer gun safety laws.”
Does anybody really believe that? There are scores of responsible gun owners in this country. They know that’s not true. We know because of the polling that says the majority of Americans understand we should be changing these laws, including the majority of responsible law-abiding gun owners.
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 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?
This is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America. We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.