Obama: America Needs "Soul-Searching" on Gun Violence
President says gun related rampages are happening with "too much regularity"
After signing a bill on Monday that improves services to military veterans, President Barack Obama took a single question on Sunday's Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin. This is at least the third time Obama has had to address spats of gun violence resulting in multiple fatalities, during his first term in office.
The White House realized video (at 3:08 in the player above) and text of his remarks:
QUESTION: Mr. President, after the Wisconsin shooting, are you going to push for any further gun control measures?
OBAMA: Well, first of all, we’re still awaiting the outcome of a full investigation. Yesterday I had the chance to speak to both the Governor and the Mayor, as well as leaders of the Sikh community in Oak Creek. All of us are heartbroken by what’s happened. And I offered the thoughts and prayers not only of myself and Michelle but also for the country as a whole.
I think all of us recognize that these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity for us not to do some soul-searching and to examine additional ways that we can reduce violence. And as I've already said, I think there are a lot of elements involved in it, and what I want to do is to bring together law enforcement, community leaders, faith leaders, elected officials of every level to see how we can make continued progress.
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We don’t yet know fully what motivated this individual to carry out this terrible act. If it turns out, as some early reports indicate, that it may have been motivated in some way by the ethnicity of those who were attending the temple, I think the American people immediately recoil against those kinds of attitudes, and I think it will be very important for us to reaffirm once again that, in this country, regardless of what we look like, where we come from, who we worship, we are all one people, and we look after one another and we respect one another.
But as I said, the FBI is working with local officials and they’re still investigating what motivated this individual. And as we find out more, I suspect that not only the White House but others in Congress and at the local level will have more to say.