Following a weekend terrorized by two separate mass shootings, Americans turned to their leaders for help. Instead, they got Donald J. Trump, giving a robotic, low-energy, noticeably scripted speech in which he got one of the cities wrong. So it was with great relief that, Monday afternoon, another American president released a statement that was heartfelt, stirring, reassuring, inspiring — all qualities one expects from the most powerful person on the planet in times of struggle.
“Michelle and I grieve with all the families in El Paso and Daytona who endured these latest mass shootings,” the 44th president of the United States wrote, getting the cities right. He then diagnosed the problem, not blaming video games or the mentally ill, as his successor did in his own statement.
“[N]o other nation on Earth comes close to experiencing the frequency of mass shootings that we see in the United States,” Obama wrote. “Every time this happens, we’re told that tougher gun laws won’t stop all murders; they won’t stop every deranged individual from getting a weapon and shooting innocent people in public places. But the evidence shows that they can stop some killings. They can save some families from heartbreak.
“We are not helpless here,” he added. “And until all of us stand up and insist on holding public officials accountable for changing our gun laws, these tragedies will keep happening.”