US President Barack Obama has repeated his call for the gun laws to be changed after a 20-year-old man gunned down several people in the state of Oregon.
At least 10 people were killed and 7 injured in a shooting at the Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning. Earlier reports, however, had put the number of people dead and wounded much higher. The 20-year-old suspect was killed by police.
Following the mass shooting, Obama expressed his anger and sadness over the deadly incident and made another impassioned plea for gun control legislation.
He blasted Congress for refusing to change the country’s gun laws in response to a series of mass shootings across the United States.
“Somehow this has become routine,” Obama said at the White House in reaction to the shooting.
“We can actually do something about it, but we’re going to have to change our laws,” said the US president. “It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun.”
Obama again voiced his frustration at the failure of the Republican-dominated Congress to approve new gun control measures.
“To allow this to happen every few months in America, we collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction,” he said.
“Prayers are not enough,” he said. “This is a political choice we make.”
“This is not something I can do myself. I have to have a Congress and state legislatures and governors who are willing to work with me on this,” Obama stated.
Every year, more than 30,000 people are shot and killed in the United States. The US averages 87 gun deaths each day as a function of gun violence, with an average of 183 injured, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the Centers for Disease Control.
About 4.5 million firearms are sold annually in the United States at a cost of 2 to 3 billion dollars.
On December 14, 2012, twenty children and six adults were fatally shot by a gunman — who later killed himself — at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in the town of Newtown in the US state of Connecticut.
Following the Sandy Hook shooting, President Obama pushed for gun reform, including expanded background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines, but the powerful gun rights lobby and its people in Congress fiercely opposed the measure.
Obama has said the “biggest frustration” of his time in the office has been the inability to reduce unparalleled levels of gun violence in the country.