Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle responded to Monday’s mass shooting in Colorado by calling on Democrats to “make it harder for those with hate in their hearts to buy weapons of war.”
“It is long past time for those with the power to fight this epidemic of gun violence to do so,” the former first couple wrote in a joint statement Tuesday evening. “It will take time to root out the disaffection, racism and misogyny that fuels so many of these senseless acts of violence. But we can make it harder for those with hate in their hearts to buy weapons of war.
“We can overcome opposition by cowardly politicians and the pressure of a gun lobby that opposes any limit on the ability of anyone to assemble an arsenal,” they wrote. “In so many ways, our lives may soon start to return to normal after a long, difficult year filled with so much loss. But in a normal life, we should be able to buy groceries without fear. We should be able to go to school, or go out with our friends, or worship together without mentally planning our escape if someone shows up with a gun. We should be able to live our lives without wondering if the next trip outside our home could be our last.
“We should. But in America, we can’t,” they added.
President Biden, Mr. Obama‘s former vice president, has called on Congress to reinstate a federal ban on “assault weapons” after a man used a semi-automatic rifle to kill 10 people, including a police officer, at a Boulder supermarket on Monday.
The shooting came less than a week after an Atlanta shooting spree at several massage parlors left eight people dead, including six Asian women.
Mr. Obama similarly responded to last week’s tragedy by calling gun violence in the U.S. an “epidemic,” and he said the identity of the victims underscored “an alarming rise in anti-Asian violence that must end.”
FBI Director Christopher A. Wray told NPR in an interview last week that race did not appear to be a factor in the March 16 shooting.
A once-in-a-century pandemic cannot be the only thing that slows mass shootings in this country. It’s time for leaders everywhere to listen to the American people when they say enough is enough. pic.twitter.com/7MEJ87Is3E— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 23, 2021
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