Obama spoke at a press conference on Tuesday about last week's shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which claimed three lives. He restated what has by now become a familiar refrain: Mass shootings are less frequent in other developed nations because they have stricter gun laws.
“I say this every time we’ve got one of these mass shootings: This just doesn’t happen in other countries,” Obama said.
The following day, a shooting took place at San Bernardino's Inland Regional Center, a facility that helps people with developmental disabilities. Many details have yet to emerge, but local officials have reported that at least 14 people are dead and upwards of 14 more are injured. Up to three suspects are believed to be at large.
Speaking from Paris, where he was attending the COP21 climate change conference, Obama on Tuesday contrasted the country's response to terror attacks with the way it handles gun violence -- something he has pointed out before. The president noted that the U.S. is "rightly" willing to dedicate resources to combating terrorism, yet has proven unwilling to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
"We devote enormous resources to rooting out networks, debilitating organizations like ISIL, maintaining the intelligence and improving the information-sharing that can identify those that try to kill innocent people," Obama said, using an alternate name for the self-described Islamic State. “Yet in the United States we have the power to do more to prevent what is just a regular process of gun homicides that is unequaled by multiples of 5,6, ten.”
Obama said that while he would continue to take executive action to strengthen gun control, it is mostly up to Congress to change the nation’s gun laws.
The president echoed these sentiments during a brief interview on Wednesday as the San Bernardino situation was developing.
"We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world," Obama told CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell, "and there's some steps we could take, not to eliminate every one of these mass shootings, but to improve the odds that they don't happen as frequently, common-sense gun safety laws, stronger background checks."
Following the shooting in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June, The Huffington Post compiled a video of more than a dozen statements Obama has made after shootings. Mass Shooting Tracker, which defines a mass shooting as one in which at least 4 people are shot, has counted 198 mass shootings since then.
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