Presidential candidates broke sharply along party lines in response to the mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon. Republican presidential hopefuls limited their responses to sending their “thoughts and prayers” to the families of the victims, reports Eugene Scott at CNN.com. But Democratic presidential candidates went further:
Sen. Bernie Sanders called for increased gun-control legislation, improving the mental health system as well toning “down the incredibly high level of gratuitous violence which permeates our media.”
Martin O’Malley tweeted, “Tweets won’t stop this. Thoughts and prayers won’t, either. Only real gun reforms will stop mass shootings from occurring nearly every day.
Vice President Biden noted “We’re basically only the civilized country in the world with so many mass shootings.”…The Second Amendment doesn’t say you can own an F-15 with hellfire missiles.”
Hillary Clinton said, “You know I know there is a way to have sensible gun control measures that help prevent violence, prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands and save lives.” She tweeted “We need sensible gun control measures to save lives, and I will do everything I can to achieve that. -H”
President Obama responded to the shootings with a call to action:
It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun…And what’s become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common-sense gun legislation..the majority of Americans understand we should be changing these laws — including the majority of responsible, law-abiding gun owners.
…We spend over a trillion dollars, and pass countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so. And yet, we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be?
…I would ask news organizations — because I won’t put these facts forward — have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side-by-side on your news reports.
Some media, including TDS are sharing charts comparing the respective death tolls for terrorism and guns in the U.S.
Throughout the period depicted in the chart, Republicans have been eager to spend trillions of dollars on ‘the war against terrorism.’ Yet, no Republican presidential candidate has expressed support for even modest gun control measures, and many have been quick to disparage Democrats for doing so — another major difference between the two parties on a matter of critical national security.