'Our Thoughts and Prayers Are Not Enough': Visibly Angry Obama Calls for Gun Control Measures in Wake of Oregon Shooting

"Somehow this has become routine," Obama said Thursday evening

Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

President Barack Obama was visibly shaken as he addressed the nation on Thursday evening in the wake of the deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

“Somehow this has become routine,” Obama said from the White House. “The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine. The conversation and the aftermath of it – we’ve become numb to this.”

He added: “It cannot be this easy for someone who wants to inflict harm on other people to obtain a gun.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are not enough,” Obama declared, as he urged Americans to push for new gun control regulations.

On Thursday morning, a gunman, later identified as a 20-year-old male, opened fire at the rural college, killing at least 10 people and injuring at least 20 more, according to reports.

Obama went on to speak to anyone who would criticize him for “politicizing” this shooting. “This is something we should politicize,” he said emphatically. “It is relevant to our common life together.”

Comparing gun control to the issue of terrorism, Obama also said: “We spend over a trillion dollars and pass countless laws and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil and rightfully so. And yet we have a congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun violence. How can that be?”

He continued: “We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones.”

“So tonight, as those of us who are lucky enough to hug our kids a little closer, are thinking about the families who aren’t so fortunate, I’d ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws and to save lives and to let young people grow up.”

Obama concluded by saying that urging Americans to change. “I hope and pray that I don’t have to come out again during my tenure as president to offer my condolences,” he said.

“But based on my experience as president, I can’t guarantee that. And that’s terrible to say. And it can change. May God bless the memories of those who were killed today. May He bring comfort to their families and may He give us the strength to come together.”

If you have on-the-scene information about the shooting at Umpqua Community College, email alicia_dennis@peoplemag.com.

Multiple Dead in Oregon Community College Shooting

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