Making perhaps his strongest case to date for gun-control, President Obama on Sunday said the U.S. cannot continue to accept mass shootings like the one seen at the Washington Navy Yard last week.
Speaking at a memorial service killed in last week’s shooting spree, the president again played the role of comforter-in-chief, a duty he’s assumed multiple times during his time in office.
But this time, Mr. Obama made clear that he and lawmakers must do more than grieve with shattered families.
“Our tears are not enough. Our words are not enough. And our prayers are not enough. If we really want to honor these 12 men and women … We’re going to have to change. We’re going to have to change,” Mr. Obama said, speaking at a memorial service at the Navy Yard, where 12 people were shot and killed by gunman Aaron Alexis last Monday.
The president was even more forceful in his remarks than he was in December, when he also made a plea for gun control in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
“We cannot accept this. As Americans bound in grief and love we must insist here today there is nothing normal about innocent men and women being gunned down where they work … We don’t do enough. We don’t take the basic common-sense actions to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. What is different in America is it’s easy to get your hands on a gun, and a lot of us know this.”
Mr. Obama acknowledged that “the politics are difficult,” a reference to April’s failed Senate vote on a bill that would’ve greatly expanded background checks for firearms purchases.
But, the president said, action will be taken — the only question is when.
“It will happen because it’s the change we need,” he said.