Uh oh. We’re getting beyond Republicans and Tea Partiers. Now President Obama is mad at U.S. society.
Not as in “high society.” As in all of us.
The president said today that the failure of America – not Congress, not Republicans, but America – to get behind gun control measures he supports “makes no sense,” and that United States is a kind of gun-loving misfit among “advanced, developed” societies.
The nation, he says, has some “soul searching” to do and should be “ashamed.”
From a question and answer session he held at the White House today via Tumblr.:
My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage.
We’re the only developed country on Earth where this happens. And it happens now once a week. And it’s a one-day story. There’s no place else like this. A couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting similar to Columbine or Newtown. And Australia just said, well, that’s it — we’re not seeing that again. And basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws. And they haven’t had a mass shooting since.
Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country on Earth that would put up with this.
Now, we have a different tradition. We have a Second Amendment. We have historically respected gun rights. I respect gun rights.
But the idea that, for example, we couldn’t even get a background check bill in to make sure that if you’re going to buy a weapon you have to actually go through a fairly rigorous process so that we know who you are, so you can’t just walk up to a store and buy a semiautomatic weapon — it makes no sense.
And until that changes, until there is a fundamental shift in public opinion in which people say, enough, this is not acceptable, this is not normal, this isn’t sort of the price we should be paying for our freedom, that we can have respect for the Second Amendment and responsible gun owners and sportsmen and hunters can have the ability to possess weapons but that we are going to put some commonsense rules in place that make a dent, at least, in what’s happening — until that is not just the majority of you — because that’s already the majority of you, even the majority of gun owners believe that.
But until that’s a view that people feel passionately about and are willing to go after folks who don’t vote reflecting those values, until that happens, sadly, not that much is going to change.
So the country has to do some soul searching about this. This is becoming the norm, and we take it for granted in ways that, as a parent, are terrifying to me.
And I am prepared to work with anybody, including responsible sportsmen and gun owners, to craft some solutions. But right now, it’s not even possible to get even the mildest restrictions through Congress, and we should be ashamed of that.
So please search your souls and get back to him.