Obama says 'we should be ashamed' of failure to enact modest gun control measures

WASHINGTON Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:15pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron (not pictured) at the G7 Summit in Brussels June 5, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron (not pictured) at the G7 Summit in Brussels June 5, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama expressed deep frustration on Tuesday at the inability by Washington to enact even modest gun control measures, in the aftermath of a rash of shootings around the United States.

"The country has to do some soul searching about this. This is becoming the norm and we take it for granted in ways that as a parent are terrifying to me," Obama said in answer to a question at a White House online event sponsored by Tumblr.

The remarks were made amid a spate of shootings across the nation with the latest occurring at an Oregon High School on Tuesday. Last week, a man opened fire at Seattle Pacific University.

Obama spent the early part of 2013 trying to persuade Congress to approve legislation to approve legislation after a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children were killed. The move would have imposed some restrictions on gun ownership but the effort failed amid pressure from the National Rifle Association lobby.

Since Newtown, there have been 74 shootings at schools and campuses, according to a group called Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates for tougher gun laws.

The question that prompted Obama's comments on Tuesday was submitted a few days ago by someone who knew one of the victims of a rampage in which six students at the University of California at Santa Barbara were killed last month.

Obama said it was one of his greatest frustrations as president that basic steps could not be taken on guns, saying the United States is the only developed country in the world that permits this type of behavior.

"There's no place else like this," he said.

The president said it will take a change in public opinion to force Congress to move on the issue.

"I am prepared to work with anybody including responsible sportsmen and gun owners to craft some solutions but right now it’s not even possible to get even the mildest restrictions through Congress, and we should be ashamed of that," he said.

(Reporting By Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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Comments (25)
Mangog7227 wrote:
Considering there are 330 million Americans, the percentage of shootings and deaths are low. They tried staging a fake school shooting at Sandy Hook and failed, too many people questioned the completely false version given to the media. I lost my beloved brother to a gang member with a gun in 1995, I did not turn around and demand everyone turn their guns in like so many others. I wish someone there had brought a gun, he might still be alive. If they try to take our 2nd Amendment rights away there will be chaos like never seen before. MOLON LABE.

Jun 10, 2014 6:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MitchS wrote:
All this coming from the man who would rather look after illegal aliens than our veterans …. has he no clue about how many gun control measures that are already in place in this country. Let’s at least get some facts from this horrible event before we start talking about gun control. He will probably do all he can to exploit the victims the way he did following Sandy Hook.

Jun 10, 2014 6:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
tomtruth wrote:
It is a tragedy imposed on us by the millions of rabid gun nuts in this country. The government has bene useless in curtailing it.

Jun 10, 2014 6:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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