Within moments of police confirmation that a violent criminal, Chris Harper-Mercer, had murdered students at a Roseburg, Oregon community college, President Obama said on Oct. 1 the shootings should be “politicized.”
In a statement delivered by the president on the “Shootings at Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, Oregon,” held in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at 6:22 p.m. EDT, President Obama said, “Well, this is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.”
Obama also said in those remarks following the shooting that the only way to halt “gun violence” was for voters to choose politicians in 2016 who would vote to disarm citizens:
He said, “And it will require that the American people, individually, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or an independent, when you decide to vote for somebody, are making a determination as to whether this cause of continuing death for innocent people should be a relevant factor in your decision. If you think this is a problem, then you should expect your elected officials to reflect your views.”
Obama also suggested that gun owners revolt against the “organization” that claims to represent them—a clear reference to the National Rifle Association, though he didn’t name it.
He said, “And I would particularly ask America’s gun owners—who are using those guns properly, safely, to hunt, for sport, for protecting their families—to think about whether your views are properly being represented by the organization that suggests it’s speaking for you.”
The president also said the United States should emulate other countries’ responses to mass murder, in particular, Australia, whose ban and confiscation of privately owned firearms he has mentioned before as a model he would like to follow:
He said, “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.”
Click here to read the president’s full remarks, or watch the accompanying video to see what the president said.
What do you think of the president’s statement?
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