The deadly shooting Thursday at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, immediately drew angry calls for more gun control from the entertainment and political worlds, but this time not all of the messages were aimed at Second Amendment advocates.
“Shame on you, Mr President@BarackObama – in 6yrs, you’ve done absolutely nothing to stop these gun massacres happening. NOTHING. #oregon.”
The tweet came from former CNN host Piers Morgan, a native of Britain known for his fierce criticism of America’s constitutional gun rights.
But Morgan also had words for his usual foils, tweeting, “You gun nuts disgust me” and, “I’ve got news for you: nobody outside America understands your gun obsession.”
In another tweet, Morgan said: “137 school shootings in America since Sandy Hook. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY SEVEN. DISGUSTING.”
At the White House briefing room Thursday, President Obama lamented that mass killings have become “routine” in the United States.
“I hope and pray that I don’t have to come out again in my tenure as president to offer my condolences to families under these circumstances. But based on my experience as president, I can’t guarantee that,” Obama said.
Anticipating the reaction of his critics, Obama said, “Someone will comment and say, ‘Obama politicized this issue.’
“Well, this is something we should politicize,” he said. “It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.”
Oregon State Police report at least 10 people were killed and more than 20 others were injured in the shooting Thursday. The shooter, a 26-year-old man, is dead, according to police.
Actress and director Rose McGowan tweeted: “Oh my god, Oregon State. When will this stop? This is madness. We must stop the NRA & its choke.”
Comedian Michael Ian Black wrote via Twitter: “Another massacre. Don’t wait to talk about it. Gun control now.”
Ben Carson: ‘The issue is the mentality of these people’
The Congress member who represents Roseburg, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., vowed to work on preventing similar incidents.
“Today’s shooting in Roseburg is a heartbreaking tragedy, and my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” he said in a statement. “I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Roseburg’s first responders for their work in responding to the event. Once we know more about what happened today, I plan to work with my colleagues in Congress to find ways to prevent tragedies such as these.”
At a campaign stop in Boston, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton called for “sensible gun control measures.”
“It is just beyond my comprehension that we are seeing these mass murders happen again and again and again,” Clinton said. “And as I have said, we have got to get the political will to do everything we can to keep people safe.
“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 continued. “And I am committed to doing everything I can to achieve that.”
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson took a contrasting approach in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, insisting more gun control is not the answer.
“Obviously, that’s not the issue,” he said. “The issue is the mentality of these people and we need to be looking at the mentality of the individuals and seeing if there are any early warning clues that we can gather that will help us as a society to be able to identify these people ahead of time.”