President Obama has spoken about the on-air shooting yesterday that led to the death of two journalists from a local Virginia news station. He’s using the tragedy to further outline his position on gun violence, citing some startling statistics. “It breaks my heart every time you read or hear about these kinds of incidents,” Obama said on Philadelphia’s WPVI. “What we know is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism.”
Considering that strong statement, it makes sense that Obama has made gun control a pressing issue of his presidency. Although as commander-in-chief he’s responsible for continuing the international War on Terror that he inherited from President Bush, Obama understands the importance of solving our issues with gun violence at home. As president, Obama has had to endure shootings in movie theaters, naval bases and elementary schools. According to The Hill, Obama described the day the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary occurred as the worst day of his presidency. The American culture of mass shootings truly is a national emergency.
The fact that Obama compared domestic gun violence to terrorism demonstrates how seriously he takes the issue. Although he’s tried to pass gun control legislation, Obama has repeatedly struggled to convince the GOP-controlled Congress that any changes are needed with regards to the Second Amendment. As the Washington Post reports, many other things (cancer, automobile accidents, etc.) kill more people than terrorism. Yet Obama compared gun violence to terrorism in order to make a point about how differently we treat the two issues. Especially for Republican members of Congress, who typically consider fighting terrorism a top priority, that distinction is crucial. Obama wants the public to understand how out of control gun violence has become in this nation, and how it’s just as important to solve this issue as it is terrorism.
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