President Barack Obama offered some of his most forceful words regarding gun violence in the nation just hours after the country suffered it’s 74th school shooting since Sandy Hook back in 2012, in addition to rejecting the notion that gun violence is intrinsically linked to mental illness.
During a Question and Answer session with David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, Obama was asked about the most recent school shooting and the lack of action on gun control as a nation. The President called his “biggest frustration so far” the reluctance of America to step up and do anything in regards to the rampant violence in the country, lamenting how even modest bills to expand background checks — something very popular with the majority of the country — fail to make it through the gridlocked Congress.
Stronger gun control measures have been on Obama’s agenda since the Sandy Hook shooting, but Congress’s lack of cooperation and the Tea Party’s snide and vindictive nature are making it difficult. Obama noted that his presidential powers only grant him so much room to act, however, saying that, “we don’t have enough tools right now to make as big a dent as we need to.”
Congress doesn’t appear like its going to be acting on the issue anytime soon, according to The Huffington Post:
Congress has shown little appetite to revisit gun control — let alone in an election year where Democrats face an uphill battle holding onto their Senate majority. House Republican leaders have said existing laws are adequate, although the lower chamber did boost funding for the national background checks database earlier this month shortly after a gunman left several dead near the University of California, Santa Barbara.
While discussing Richard Martinez, President Obama said that he was sympathetic. “As a father myself, I could not understand the pain he must be going through … just the primal scream that he gave out,” he said, highlighting the two emotional interviews that Martinez gave regarding the impotent response to gun violence.
President Obama also rejected the notion there’s an intrinsic connection between gun violence and mental illness, which is an angle that many in the media and many in the political sphere are trying to push; it’s become vogue to throw mentally ill people under the bus as “dangerous,” as a red herring to avoid harder regulations regarding magazine size restrictions and bans on certain types of firearms, which aren’t as popular as bashing mentally ill people.
The United States does not have a monopoly on crazy people. It’s not the only country that has psychosis. And yet we kill each other in these mass shootings at rates that are exponentially higher than anyone else. Well, what’s the difference? The difference is that these guys can stack up a bunch of ammunition in their houses, and that’s sort of par for the course.
You can watch the Q&A session below:
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