President Barack Obama spoke about the Planned Parenthood shootings on Saturday, offering sharp words of criticism on the availability of assault rifles in the U.S. and saying, “Enough is enough,” the New York Times is reporting.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 28, 2015
In a written statement, Obama decried the fact that firearms — assault weapons in particular — are readily available and with limited controls in place to keep them out of the hands of persons prone to violence.
“We can’t let it become normal. If we truly care about this — if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience — then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is enough.”
Without mentioning other mass shootings specifically, Obama then went on to lament the growing number of mass shootings that have taken place during his presidency.
“The last thing Americans should have to do, over the holidays or any day, is comfort the families of people killed by gun violence — people who woke up in the morning and bid their loved ones goodbye with no idea it would be for the last time. And yet, two days after Thanksgiving, that’s what we are forced to do again.”
During the Obama administration, several high-profile mass shootings have claimed dozens of lives. Perhaps the most notable of those shootings are the Sandy Hook Shooting, in which 20 children and six adults (plus the perpetrator, Adam Lanza) were killed, and the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting, during which James Eagen Holmes shot and killed 12 people in a darkened, crowded movie theater. Both perpetrators were known to be mentally ill.
In response to those and other shootings, the Obama administration has continually tried to introduce new gun control legislation — in particular, legislation aimed at expanding background checks as well as banning high-capacity magazines; however, those attempts have gone nowhere in the Republican-held Congress.
Currently, according to MSN, officials within the Obama administration are looking into other options to try to implement at least some new gun-control measures without congressional approval, through executive action, although as of this writing there are no firm plans in place. Obama did not specifically call for any new gun-control measures in Saturday’s statement.
The Planned Parenthood shooting, not unexpectedly, became a topic of discussion among 2016 Democratic presidential candidates. However, neither of the two leading Democrat candidates, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernie Sanders, mentioned the shooting in the context of gun control. Rather, both candidates chose instead to focus on Planned Parenthood.
I strongly support Planned Parenthood and the work it’s doing. I hope people realize that bitter rhetoric can have unintended consequences.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 28, 2015
Planned Parenthood has been the subject of increased criticism of late since videos were released that appeared to show employees selling fetal body parts. Planned Parenthood has decried the videos, stating that they’ve been “deceptively edited.” Whether or not the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooter — identified as Robert Lewis Dear — was acting in response to those videos, or what motive he may have had at all, is unclear as of this writing.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 28, 2015
Dear is currently in police custody and being questioned.
Do you agree with Obama’s remarks on Planned Parenthood? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]