President laments gun-related violence

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Barack Obama decries latest shooting deaths.

The White House on Wednesday renewed its call for stricter gun controls in the wake of the fatal shooting near Roanoke, Virginia, of two local journalists while they were broadcasting live on air.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday spoke emotionally about the latest shooting to grab national headlines, saying the number of gun-related deaths in this country far outstrips deaths from terrorism. The station aired a clip of his comments on the shootings early — at time of writing, the president had not otherwise commented publicly on the attack. Obama was speaking about an on-air shooting in Virginia that left two journalists dead and the woman they were interviewing in critical condition Wednesday morning. The former secretary of state later addressed the shooting while campaigning in Iowa, telling reporters she was “stricken” to think that two young people “would be murdered on live television”. “We have got to do something about gun violence.

And I will take it on,” Clinton said. “There are many people who face it and know it, but then turn away.” Virginia’s governor, Terry McAuliffe, said he would continue to push for gun control during his time in office, even though he has been stymied by the state legislature in his previous efforts to expand background checks and enact tougher restrictions on firearm purchases. “I put it up again last year. It never sees the light of day,” McAuliffe, a Democrat, said during an interview with the Washington radio station WTOP. “Everyone who purchases a gun in the Commonwealth of Virginia should have to go through a background check. It doesn’t take … but three, four, maybe five minutes maximum.” Gabrielle Giffords, the former congresswoman who was shot in the head during the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, also chimed in on the horrific nature of a shooting broadcast live to the public. “Many times, they happen behind close doors, in homes and schools and movie theaters,” Giffords said in a statement with her husband Mark Kelly through their group Americans for Responsible Solutions, which works to fight gun violence. “But this time, the horror unfolded live and on air, for all to see.” The familiar statements came after Parker and Ward were shot and killed. Authorities confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that the shooting suspect – a man named Vester Lee Flanagan II, who went by Bryce Williams III – died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

While details were not yet available on how the shooter obtained his weapon, a 23-page document reportedly faxed to ABC News by an individual who identified himself as both Williams and Flanagan contained the ramblings of a troubled individual. The writer noted that he put a deposit down for a firearm in June, two days after the racially motivated shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

The individual also invoked other American mass shootings – namely the 1999 Columbine high school massacre and the shooting in 2007 at Virginia Tech – to express his admiration for the killers in those incidents. Earnest said that while the precise details of the shooting were still unfolding, officials from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were involved in responding and tracking down the alleged shooter and expected that federal officials would support their state counterparts in the ongoing investigation. The US Senate failed to pass universal background checks the following April, despite the support of 90% of Americans, and Congress has since made no effort to revisit the issue despite several high-profile mass shootings over the last two years – a series of them in the last couple of months alone. Obama has taken limited executive action to curtail gun violence, but Earnest acknowledged on Wednesday that the president “has reached a logical conclusion” that Congress is unlikely to take any action soon.

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site