President Obama Sunday suggested Americans may not care enough about gun violence, indicating that insufficient outrage about killings with firearms is behind the failure to pass his gun control agenda.
Second Amendment advocates believe they care as much about Obama about the killing of innocents but that other measures, including arming for self defense – particularly in “gun-free” zones – keeping guns away from dangerous people, treatment of mentally ill individuals such as the Navy Yard shooter, and other changes are in order instead of new government restrictions on a Constitutional right.
Speaking at a memorial in Washington Sunday for the victims of the Navy Yard shootings, Obama said Americans may need to simply care more to do things that are “politically uncomfortable” and make the country safer.
Do we care enough to keep standing up for the country that we know is possible, even if it’s hard, and even if it’s politically uncomfortable? Do we care enough to sustain the passion and the pressure to make our communities safer and our country safer? Do we care enough to do everything we can to spare other families the pain that is felt here today?
Our tears are not enough. Our words and our prayers are not enough. If we really want to honor these 12 men and women, if we really want to be a country where we can go to work, and go to school, and walk our streets free from senseless violence, without so many lives being stolen by a bullet from a gun, then we’re going to have to change. We’re going to have to change.
In addition to lacking the proper compassion, Americans need to accrue more wisdom, Obama said:
Wisdom comes through the recognition that tragedies such as this are not inevitable, and that we possess the ability to act and to change, and to spare others the pain that drops upon our hearts. So in our grief, let us seek that grace. Let us find that wisdom.
Obama said the country was beginning to accept mass shootings as “the new normal.” And yet the president himself barely interrupted his public day even as the massacres unfolded, mentioning them only briefly before unfurling a previously planned partisan attack on Republicans.