Like clockwork, you can be sure whenever a mass shooting occurs in our nation, elected leaders will be quick to offer up their heart-felt thoughts and prayers to the families of victims killed and to the injured.
Yesterday, the usual group of concerned politicians took to the Twittersphere after a gunman shot and killed 10 people and wounded 7 at a college in Oregon. Here are some of their messages:
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and all those affected by this terrible tragedy at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. – Sen. Pat Roberts
My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragedy at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College. – Sen. Dean Heller
I join in sending my thoughts and prayers to victims and their families and thanking first responders on the scene. – Rep. Steny Hoyer
But an angry President Obama was having none of this business as usual.
“Our thoughts and prayers are not enough,” declared Obama in comments made from the White House briefing room. The president urged voters to demand changes to our nation’s gun laws by pressing their elected officials for action.
Said the president, “Somehow, this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine … we’ve become numb to 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,” Obama said. “But based on my experience as president, I can’t guarantee that — and that’s terrible to say. And it can change.”
With about 15 months remaining until the end of his term, and having now spoken after more than a dozen senseless killings during his administration, the odds of President Obama not having to offer his condolences to any more families of shooting victims are as slim as any sensible gun legislation passing through Congress.