President Obama's Comments On The Umpqua Community College Shooting Are So Weary

On Thursday afternoon, President Obama delivered remarks on the devastating Umpqua Community College shooting, which took place earlier that day. Looking weary, Obama was forced to deliver a version of the same speech he has given many times since taking office in early 2009. He's expressed his sincere sympathy for the victims and their families, emphasized the need for comprehensive gun reform, and expressed his hope that there will be no more tragedies like this one. Unfortunately, without the reasonable gun control reform the president has pushed for for years, statistically, there will be more.

Update: On Friday, it was confirmed that there were nine victim fatalities and that Mercer killed himself after Thursday's mass shooting at Umpqua Community College. On Saturday, there were reports that Mercer handed out a box to a fellow classmate that possibly contained his final note. The note that Mercer left detailed his depression and loneliness. In an interview with CNN on Saturday, Mercer's father wondered how his estranged son was able to obtain 13 guns. Mercer was a student at the college and was enrolled in the writing class where he opened fire. He previously attended a school for mentally unstable children and was briefly enrolled in the U.S. Army in 2008, before he was kicked out a month in for not demonstrating the basic administrative standards required to serve. All of his guns were purchased legally.

The victims' names were released Friday night: Lucero Alcaraz, 19; Treven Taylor Anspach, 20; Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18; Quinn Glen Cooper, 18; Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59; Lucas Eibel, 18; Jason Dale Johnson, 33;Lawrence Levine, 67 (assistant professor); Sarena Dawn Moore, 44.

Obama's most famous gun control speech took place in the Rose Garden in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting, which left 20 children and six adults dead. The president's most fervent attempt to instigate real gun control came in the spring of 2013, but was rejected in the Senate. Furious and devastated, Obama said, "I’ve heard some say that blocking this step would be a victory. And my question is, a victory for who? All that happened today was the preservation of the loophole that lets dangerous criminals buy guns without a background check. That didn’t make our kids safer.”

This is the 15th time Obama has spoken following a mass shooting.


Then, Obama referenced the time he gave a speech about mass shootings and how they needed to be prevented, and a mass shooting happened just later that day at a movie theater in Louisiana.

He listed a myriad of mass shootings that have happened in the United States.

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

One of the other big things that Obama talked about was how, even despite these mass shootings and rising death tolls, there will be those who shout "Don't take my guns."


Obama soon got even more personal, saying, "We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction." He mentioned that, generally, when something is unsafe, we work to change that. If Americans are killed in a flood other other disaster, we make those communities stronger. If a road is unsafe, we fix it. We have seat belt laws, he said, because we know they save lives.


And each time this happens, I’m going to bring this up. Each time this happens, I’m going to say that we can actually do something about it, but we’re going to have to change our laws. And this is not something I can do by myself. I’ve got to have Congress, state legislatures, governors, who are willing to work with me on this. I hope and pray that I don’t have to come out again during my tenure as president to offer my condolences to families in these circumstances. But based on my experience as president, I can’t guarantee that. And that’s terrible to say. And it could change.

May God bless the memories of those who were killed today.