(WASHINGTON) AP — President Barack Obama on Sunday memorialized the victims of the Washington Navy Yard shooting by calling for a transformation in the nation’s gun laws to address an epidemic of gun violence, saying, “There’s nothing inevitable about it.”
Reprising his role of the nation’s consoler in chief after yet another mass shooting, Obama said Americans should honor the victims of last Monday’s shooting by insisting on a change in gun laws. “It ought to obsess us,” Obama said.
“Sometimes I fear there is a creeping resignation that these tragedies are just somehow the way it is, that this is somehow the new normal. We cannot accept this,” Obama said.
He said no other advanced nation endures the kind of gun violence seen in the United States, and blamed mass shootings in America on laws that fail “to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people.”
“What’s different in America is it’s easy to get your hands on a gun,” he said. He acknowledged “the politics are difficult,” a lesson he learned after failing to get expanded background checks for gun buyers through the Democratic-controlled Senate this spring.
“And that’s sometimes where the resignation comes from: the sense that our politics are frozen and that nothing will change. Well, I cannot accept that,” Obama said. “By now, though, it should be clear that the change we need will not come from Washington, even when tragedy strikes Washington. Change will come the only way it ever has come, and that’s from the American people.”