After another deadly shooting by another man who bought his weapons legally, President Obama yesterday expressed his grief over the massacre at the Sikh temple in Milwaukee but struggled for a response that would amount to more than soothing platitudes.
While he said he was “heartbroken” over the brutal killing, he said Americans need to do more “soul searching” to find ways to reduce violence.
“All of us recognize that these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity,” Obama said at a White House bill-signing ceremony when asked whether further gun control measures were needed.
He said elected officials and community leaders must come together to discuss what should be done.
But just three months before an election, it is clear that the president has no interest in actually trying to push for any gun control measures. After the deadly shooting in Aurora, CO, several Democratic gun control advocates said they wished they had the president’s influential voice to speak out, but they knew it was unlikely to happen right now.
Perhaps realizing that the president needed to sound more forceful on gun control, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Obama remained in favor of renewing an assault weapons ban but, he said, “there has been reluctance by Congress” to pass it.
Obama said the motives behind the attack in Milwaukee hadn’t been made federal authorities in a definitive way, but that if it turned out the shooter was motivated by the “ethnicity of those who were attending the temple, I think the American people immediately recoil against those kinds of attitudes.”
“It would be very important for us to reaffirm once again that in this country, regardless of what we look like, where we come from, who we worship, we are all one people,” the president said.