Former President Barack Obama said that ‘disaffection, racism and misogyny’ help fuel mass shootings and argued the COVID-19 pandemic can’t be the only thing that slows the rate of gun violence in the U.S.
Obama sent out a statement Tuesday on the heels of the country’s latest massacre, after 10 were killed Monday at a Boulder, Colorado supermarket. The Colorado shooting comes less than a week after eight were killed at three spas in Atlanta, Georgia. Six of the victims were Asian-American women.
‘A once-in-a-century pandemic cannot be the only thing that slows mass shootings in this country,’ Obama said, backing new gun control actions.
Former President Barack Obama responded to the shooting Monday in Boulder, Colorado. He argued ‘disaffection, racism and misogyny’ often motivates gun violence, while also saying a ‘once-in-a-century pandemic’ cannot be the only thing that slows the rate of shootings
Obama sent out a statement Tuesday saying while it will take time to ‘root out the disaffection, racism and misogyny’ that he said fuels so many mass shootings, ‘we can make it harder for those with hate in their hearts to buy weapons of war’
Police units stand in front of King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado where a 21-year-old gunman shot and killed 10 people Monday, less than a week after a gunman shot up three Atlanta spas
‘It will take time to root out the disaffection, racism and misogyny that fuels so many of these senseless acts of violence. But we can make it harder for those with hate in their hearts to buy weapons of war,’ the former president said.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden said he wanted Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. He asked the Senate to pass two bills that passed the House earlier this month that plug up background check loopholes for gun buyers.
The White House said Biden was open to using executive action.
Obama used executive action on guns during his time in office, as Congress was in the deadlock it remains in today.
Despite Democrats having control of the Senate, the gun bills aren’t likely to get the 60 votes needed to override an expected GOP filibuster.
‘We can overcome opposition by cowardly politicans and the pressure of a gun lobby that opposes any limit on the ability of anyone to assemble an arsenal,’ Obama said. ‘We can, and we must.’
Obama saluted the actions of Officer Eric Talley, who responded to the shooting and was killed in action, writing that he hoped the officer’s death wasn’t in vain.
‘Because in addition to grief, we are also feeling a deep, familiar outrage that we as a nation continue to tolerate these kinds of random, senseless acts day in and day out without taking any significant action – an outrage that people in Colorado have known far too often over the years.’
The 1999 massacre of 13 people at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado set the table for hundreds of school shootings in the decades following.
In 2012, 12 were killed and 58 were injured when a shooter massacred people at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater as they watched the newest Batman film.
The Boulder, Colorado shooter was identified as 21-year-old Ahmad Alissa, a Syrian-born U.S. immigrant.
Alissa’s motivations haven’t been confirmed, but his brother said the shooting was ‘not at all a political statement, it’s mental illness.’ He described Alissa as being ‘paranoid’ and ‘very anti-social.’
An investigation is also ongoing into last week’s Atlanta shootings. The 21-year-old shooter, Robert Long, blamed his behavior on a ‘sex addiction,’ though it was Asian-American spas that were targeted, as hate crimes have dramatically increased against members of the community since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic.
Previous mass shootings have been clearly linked to the shooter’s racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic views.
The Charleston shooter, Dylann Roof, was a white supremacist who killed black Americans in a historically black church in 2015.
In 2018, an anti-Semite gunman attacked a Squirrel Hill synagogue in Pittsburgh, shooting worshippers.
The Pulse nightclub was targeted in Orlando, Florida in 2016 for its LGBTQ patrons.
The shooter, Omar Mateen, had pledged allegiance to ISIS