Former President Barack Obama offered condolences after the mass shooting at a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church left at least 26 people dead on Sunday.
“We grieve with all the families in Sutherland Springs harmed by this act of hatred, and we’ll stand with the survivors as they recover,” Obama tweeted Sunday evening. “May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst,” he added.
Obama’s remarks were a departure from those of President Donald Trump, who called the shooting an “act of evil,” without delving into any discussion about gun violence in particular, which has increasingly become the focus of some lawmakers in the wake of increasingly deadly mass shootings in the US.
While in office, Obama frequently used his remarks on mass shootings to ask lawmakers and citizens to reevaluate their positions on gun control.
Calls to take a more meaningful look at current gun laws grew loudest after the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history last month, where nearly 60 people were killed at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas — and before that, at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people died in July last year.
Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut railed against his congressional colleagues in a fiery statement on Sunday: “No one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do precisely nothing,” Murphy said.
He continued: “The paralysis you feel right now — the impotent helplessness that washes over you as news of another mass slaughter scrolls across the television screen — isn’t real,” Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, said in the statement. “It’s a fiction created and methodically cultivated by the gun lobby, designed to assure that no laws are passed to make America safer, because those laws would cut into their profits.”
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