says 'we should be ashamed' of failure to enact modest gun control
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[June 11, 2014]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President
Barack Obama expressed deep frustration on Tuesday at the inability by
Washington to enact even modest gun control measures, in the aftermath
of a rash of shootings around the United States.
"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," Obama said in answer to a question at
a White House online event sponsored by Tumblr.
The remarks were made amid a spate of shootings across the nation
with the latest occurring at an Oregon High School on Tuesday. Last
week, a man opened fire at Seattle Pacific University.
Obama spent the early part of 2013 trying to persuade Congress to
approve legislation to approve legislation after a school shooting
in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children were killed. The move
would have imposed some restrictions on gun ownership but the effort
failed amid pressure from the National Rifle Association lobby.
Since Newtown, there have been 74 shootings at schools and campuses,
according to a group called Everytown for Gun Safety, which
advocates for tougher gun laws.
The question that prompted Obama's comments on Tuesday was submitted
a few days ago by someone who knew one of the victims of a rampage
in which six students at the University of California at Santa
Barbara were killed last month.
Obama said it was one of his greatest frustrations as president that
basic steps could not be taken on guns, saying the United States is
the only developed country in the world that permits this type of
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"There's no place else like this," he said.
The president said it will take a change in public opinion to force
Congress to move on the issue.
"I am prepared to work with anybody including responsible sportsmen
and gun owners to craft some solutions but right now itís not even
possible to get even the mildest restrictions through Congress, and
we should be ashamed of that," he said.
(Reporting By Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Bernard
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