- The Washington Times - Monday, August 6, 2012

President Obama said mass shootings like the one in Wisconsin over the weekend are becoming far too commonplace and should prompt some “soul searching” by all Americans.

“All of us recognize that these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity,” Mr. Obama told reporters at a White House bill-signing ceremony when asked whether further gun control measures were needed.

He said leaders and representatives from different sectors of society need to come together for a national discussion on gun violence, but he declined to elaborate what measures or steps he would advocate.

“We’re still awaiting the outcome of a full investigation,” he said, adding that “all of us are heartbroken by what happened.”

The killing of seven people — including the gunman — at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., came less than two weeks after a mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that left 12 people dead and dozens injured.

The president referred to news reports that the alleged gunman may have been motivated by racist beliefs and said he would “recoil” if ethnicity proves to be a factor.

“Regardless of what we look like, where we come from, or where we worship, we’re all one people,” he said.

Later Monday afternoon, the president issued a proclamation ordering U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff until Aug. 10 at the White House and on all public buildings, ground and military stations and naval vessels “as a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence” that occurred Sunday.