President Obama sat down with CBS news to address the San Bernardino shootings that left at least 14 people dead and many more wounded. Police continue to search for three armed suspects, who brandished AK-47-like firearms and may be equipped with body armor. Obama’s presence behind a podium after such tragedies has grown routine, and Wednesday’s incident is the latest in a line of mass shootings where he has addressed the nation.
During Obama’s response after the Oregon college shootings, he did use the word “routine.” He called for changes in gun control laws, and he warned that his opponents would accuse him of politicizing a tragedy. Obama was fine with that prospect, for “this is something we should politicize.” On Wednesday afternoon, he renewed his calls for gun control. A weary Obama stressed how the United States’ level of gun violence has “no parallel”:
“The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in world .. [there are] steps we can take, not to eliminate every one of these mass shootings, but to improve the odds that they don’t happen as frequently … Some may be aware of the fact that we have a no fly list where people can’t get on planes, but those same people who we don’t allow to fly could go into a store right now in the United States and buy a firearm and there’s nothing we can do to stop them. That’s a law that needs to be changed.”
To put things into perspective, this is the 15th time President Obama has addressed the press after mass shootings in the United States. And when news of the San Bernardino shootings first broke, reporter Mike Rosenberg reminded Twitter how the frequency of these mass shootings has reached distressing heights.