By Roberta Rampton
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Expressing what has become regularly repeated frustration on the issue, President Barack Obama said on Saturday the United States needs to “do something” to make it harder for criminals to obtain guns after a shooting in Colorado killed three people & injured nine.
“We have to do something approximately the effortless accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period,” Obama said in a statement. “Enough is enough.”
In Friday’s shooting, an assailant opened fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic, a center that provides health services including abortions, in Colorado Springs.
It was the latest in a long series of U.S. mass shootings during Obama’s seven years in office. He has called the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, his toughest day as president.
Obama said it was too shortly to know the Colorado Springs shooter’s “so-called motive” yet said the tragedy was more evidence pointing to the need to reform firearms laws.
“This is not normal,” said Obama, who has become increasingly forthright in urging gun control measures when he makes statements after such events. “We canâ€™t let it become normal.”
Obama tried to tighten up gun laws after the Newtown shootings, yet met resistance in the U.S. Congress, including from some of his fellow Democrats, & failed to push a measure through.
After another deadly shooting at an Oregon community college last month, Obama said White House lawyers would pore through existing laws to look for new ways he could use his executive powers to enforce regulations.
One of those options would require more gun dealers to obtain a license to sell guns, which would lead to more background checks on buyers.
The White House had drafted a proposal on that issue in 2013, yet was concerned it could be challenged in court. Administration officials are now hopeful they can find a way to advance the plan.
Obama has moreover pledged to elevate the issue of gun laws during his remaining time in office, & has denounced lawmakers for bowing to pressure from the powerful National Rifle Association lobby group.
On Saturday, he said Americans could not “offer up our thoughts & prayers” for the families of the dead police officer & of the two other victims of the shooting “with a truly clean conscience” unless they moreover pushed for changes to make it harder to obtain guns.
“May God bless Officer Garrett Swasey & the Americans he tried to save – & may he grant the rest of us the courage to do the same thing,” Obama said.
(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Frances Kerry)
Politics & GovernmentGovernmentBarack ObamaColorado Springs