President Barack Obama has come under fire after a video clip emerged showing the moment that he digressed from grave comments about the deadly mass shooting in Munich, Germany, to grin, chuckle, and crack a joke about his daughter Malia leaving for college.
Many viewers have expressed outrage about the way Obama shifted the topic casually from the mass murder to wisecrack on his personal feelings about his daughter leaving home. Although some viewers tried to defend Obama, many condemned him for digressing from the somber topic of a deadly shooting in which nine people were killed and several injured to joke about his daughter.
Critics slammed Obama’s behavior as embarrassingly inappropriate, saying he demonstrated self-centeredness by shifting the topic from a shooting tragedy to himself.
While briefing law enforcement on Friday afternoon at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building after news first emerged about the shooting rampage in Munich, Obama commented gravely about the tragic incident, noting that terrorism undermines freedom, according to the Daily Mail.
And as he made comments about the shooting in a somber mood, he began talking about how terrorism impacts negatively on the mundane but normal aspects of family life, including raising children.
But halfway through the comments, he detoured with an allusion to his daughter Malia. He spoke about parents watching their children “grow up and graduate from high school and now about to leave their dad.”
He broke the gravity and somber mood of the gathering by grinning and chuckling at the obvious reference to his daughter Malia.
“Some of you are aware there were shootings in Germany,” Obama began. “And we don’t yet know exactly what’s happening there, but obviously our hearts go out to those who may have been injured.”
“It’s still an active situation and Germany’s one of our closest allies. So we are going to pledge all the support they may need in dealing with these circumstances,” he continued.
“It’s a good reminder of something that I’ve said over the past couple of weeks — our way of life, our freedoms, our ability to go about our business every day, raising our kids and seeing them grow up and graduate from high school, and now about to leave their dad,” he said.
He then stopped, grinned, and waved a hand jovially.
“I’m sorry. I’m getting a little too personal,” he said chuckling, “getting a little too personal there.”
Obama’s inappropriate detour from grave remarks about a tragic shooting to joke about his already well-known feelings about his daughter leaving home drew giggles from a section of the audience.
But the lightheartedness was fleeting. He returned quickly to the subject of the mass shooting, re-assuming gravely tones and somber looks.
He praised law enforcement, saying that a lot “depends on the men and woman in uniform every single day, who are under some of the most adverse circumstances imaginable at times, making sure to keep us safe.”
The briefing came after a German-Iranian teenager, identified as David Ali Sonboly, shot and killed nine people in Munich on Friday at a McDonald’s. Although it was suspected at first that the shooting was an ISIS-linked terror attack, police later said the shooter was a mentally troubled youth who had no known links to ISIS.
According to Reuters, the shooter, who had been a psychiatric patient, had no criminal record but had been a victim of theft in 2010 and had suffered a physical harm during an attack in 2012.
Several of his classmates, including a 14-year-old neighbor, confirmed he had often threatened to kill his classmates and expressed the wish to massacre schoolmates who bullied him.
German police said at a media briefing on Saturday that the 18-year-old had researched mass shootings but there was no evidence that his action was politically motivated. There was also no evidence that the rampage was religiously motivated.
A book about student mass killings, titled “Rampage in My Mind — Why Students Kill,” was found in a bag he was carrying at the time of the shooting, according to CNN.
He also reportedly had a picture of Anders Breivik on his WhatsApp profile and was “obsessed” with German teenager Tim Kretschmer, who killed 15 people at a Winnenden school in Germany, on March 11, 2009.
He appeared to have deliberately targeted young people. Most of the victims were teenagers aged between 14 and 18. CNN reports he may have posted a false Facebook message announcing a “special offer” that lured several youngsters to the McDonald’s restaurant where the shooting took place.
[Photo By Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]