Former President Barack Obama asserted that gun ownership has become “an ideological ... and a partisan issue” as he declared that Americans argue about matters that don’t “have to do with keeping our children safe.”
In an interview with “CBS Mornings” co-host Nate Burleson that’s set to air in full on Tuesday, Obama said discussion on the matter “has become sort of a proxy for arguments about our culture wars.”
“I think somehow — and there are a lot of historical reasons for this — gun ownership in this country became an ideological issue and a partisan issue in ways that it shouldn’t be,” Obama said.
“It has become sort of a proxy for arguments about our culture wars, you know? Urban versus rural. Race is always an element in these issues. Issues of class and education, and so forth,” he added.
Obama’s comments were shared as the U.S. had recorded 216 mass shootings in the country in 2023 as of Sunday morning, according to the Gun Violence Archive. There have been 15,544 deaths due to gun violence in the U.S. so far this year and 12,447 injuries.
In the “CBS Mornings” interview, Obama proceeded to distinguish the matter of gun violence in America from other “very practical” approaches to matters that the country takes.
“Like we do, let’s say, for example, with car safety, where we say, ‘All right, we got a bunch of accidents.’ Let’s have seat belts and let’s make cars safer and let’s engineer our roads so that we prevent them,’” Obama observed.
“Instead of thinking about it in a very pragmatic way, we end up really arguing about identity and emotion and all kinds of stuff that does not have to do with keeping our children safe.”