This issue has the President more than irritated. Think of what we could have done, he told a crowd Saturday night at a DNC event in Los Angeles.
The President talked about going to Oregon to visit with the families of the people who’d been shot at the community college. “And it seems like I have to do this every two months or so,” Obama said. “And while I was there, there were actually two more shootings at two other schools, one in Arizona, one in Texas — while I was visiting the families of these victims.”
Noting that some people protested him on behalf of their understanding of their Second Amendment rights, Obama continued, “But I came away feeling just as strongly as I did the day it happened when I went to that podium in the White House to say, this is a choice we make. This is not a natural disaster. This is not inevitable. This doesn’t happen in other countries.”
“We’re not more violent than other developed countries in the world; it’s just that when we commit violence we’re more deadly. It’s a decision that we make. And it’s not just mass shootings, but it’s the same decision that leads us to have, in neighborhoods all across this country — in big cities, and sometimes in smaller ones — young people shot every day on the streets,” the President said.
Obama pointed out, “It’s easier to buy a gun than buy a book.”
How did we get here?
“My favorite statistic in 2012 was that among people who don’t vote I beat Mitt Romney by 25 percent,” President Obama said to laughter. “Now, I did fine. I ended up getting over 50 percent in two consecutive elections, which hasn’t been done since Mr. Eisenhower.”
“But think about it — 40 percent — more than 40 percent of people still didn’t vote. And if they had, I would have had a Congress that would have cooperated with me… and we would have been making so much more progress,” Obama said. “But they didn’t. They didn’t participate because they had listened to the cynics who told them that nothing changes and nothing is going to work.”
Cynicism and complacency, he told the audience, is what we are fighting the most.
President Obama said we’ve made a lot of progress but we have a Congress that’s broken so we can’t get a lot of work done. He condemned money in politics for part of this, “And part of the reason it’s broken is because money has come to dominate too much of the political agenda in Washington, that lobbyists have too much influence.” But another part is those ideologues who are willing “burn down the house” unless they get “100 percent of what they want”. (Waving hello to the Tea Party and House of Representatives.)
The bottom line is that if more people who supported President Obama had voted in 2012 (and 2014), we might very well have passed or at least debated gun safety measures. Instead, we have a Congress wasting money on the ongoing political investigations into a made-up conspiracy about Benghazi, which have proven to be illegal.