President Barack Obama has weighed in on the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend, saying, “Until all of us stand up and insist on holding public officials accountable for changing our gun laws, these tragedies will keep happening.”
He also called out “the racist language coming out of the mouths of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments.”
Obama said he and Michelle Obama “grieve with all the families” but went on to note, “No other nation on Earth comes close to experiencing the frequency of mass shootings that we see in the United States.”
After addressing the need for tougher guns laws, he added: “While the motivations behind these shootings may not yet be fully known, there are indications that the El Paso shooting follows a dangerous trend: troubled individuals who embrace racist ideologies and see themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremacy. That means that both law enforcement agencies and internet platforms need to come up with better strategies to reduce the influence of these hate groups.”
Less than 20 minutes later, the National Rifle Association issued a statement in response to Obama’s tweet. The gun lobby group blamed the shootings on mental illness. “It has been the NRA’s long-standing position that those who have been adjudicated as a danger to themselves or others should not have access to firearms and should be admitted for treatment,” the group said.
Earlier today, President Donald Trump denounced white supremacy in a statement on the weekend massacres.
Here is Obama’s full statement, followed by the NRA’s response: