Yesterday, another school shooting occurred at a high school in Portland, Oregon. The shooter, who was a student, opened fire on the school, killing one student and injuring a teacher, before killing himself.
Speaking to reporters, Troutdale Police Department Chief Scott Anderson identified the student killed as 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman, a freshman.
Anderson met with the student’s parents Tuesday afternoon and “they want you to know that Emilio was a great kid and he was loved by all,” he said.
On the same day of the shooting, President Obama held a live Q&A on the social media site, Tumblr, and vented about gun violence.
“We’re the only developed country on earth where this happens. And it happens now once a week. And it’s a one-day story. There’s no place else like this,” Obama said.
Obama also spoke of what he called the worst day of his presidency, the Sandy Hook shootings.
“Why aren’t we doing something about this?” Obama said of the recurring violence. “I have been in Washington for a while now and most things don’t surprise me. The fact that twenty 6-year-olds were gunned down in the most violent fashion possible and this town couldn’t do anything about it was stunning to me.”
After the Newtown shootings, Obama launched a campaign to enact legislative reforms, including expanded background checks for gun purchases, but of course they were stifled by Congress and the National Rifle Association.
“Most members of Congress — and I have to say to some degree this is bipartisan — are terrified of the NRA,” Obama said.
“Until there is a fundamental shift in public opinion in which people say, ‘enough; this is not acceptable; this is not normal,’” he said. “Until that’s a view that people feel passionately about and are willing to go after folks who don’t vote reflecting those values — until that happens, sadly, not that much is going to change.”
The president suggested the root cause of the violence was easy access to guns rather than mental health issues of the shooter.
“The United States does not have a monopoly on crazy people. And yet, we kill each other in these mass shootings at rates that are exponentially higher than any place else,” he said. “Well, what’s the difference? The difference is, is that these guys can stack up a bunch of ammunition in their houses and that’s sort of par for the course.”