‘Prayer,’ Obama Says After Another Shooting, ‘Is Not Enough’

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 9.30.30 AMMICHAEL D. SHEAR  Friday, October 2, 2015

Good Friday morning. The shootings that killed at least 10 people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., one of several mass shootings during President Obama’s tenure, rattled the campaigns and brought offers from the candidates of prayers and thoughts for the vicitms. But, in a news conference, Mr. Obama, clearly angry, said that such responses had become as routine as the shootings themselves.

President Obama’s face flashed with anger on Thursday night as he once again spoke to the American people in the wake of a mass shooting. But when it comes to preventing massacres, the president elected by promising “yes we can” has clearly come to the grim conclusion that he is powerless in the face of a country that is not yet ready to embrace tougher gun laws.

After previous shootings, Mr. Obama has been filled with resolve and determination. But that has changed. After failing to win passage of universal background checks in the aftermath of the carnage at a Newtown elementary school in 2012, Mr. Obama has essentially thrown up his hands, concluding that he cannot force change to happen.

On Thursday, he vowed to be the nation’s conscience on the issue, promising that each time this happens I’m going to bring this up.  Each time this happens I am going to say that we can actually do something about it, but we’re going to have to change our laws. But he acknowledged the limits of his power, the limits of the Oval Office.
To Americans he said: “If you think this is a problem, then you should expect your elected officials to reflect your views.” And he challenged gun owners to “think about whether your views are properly being represented by the organization that suggests it’s speaking for you.”
They were the remarks of a president torn up by grief and frustrated by a political system that refuses to respond to that grief in the way that he wants. Concluding his remarks, he asked God to bring comfort to the families of those killed and injured.
And may He give us the strength to come together and find the courage to change, he said.