Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:32PM GMT
US President Barack Obama says the greatest frustration of his time in the office has been the inability to reduce unparalleled levels of gun violence in the United States, adding that the phenomenon is terrifying him.
“My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage,” Obama said on Tuesday at the White House.
“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,” he said, hours after a gunman shot and killed a student at an Oregon High School in the latest shooting incident.
Following the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, Obama pushed for gun reforms, including expanded background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines, but the powerful National Rifle Association of America and its people in Congress fiercely opposed the measures.
On December 14, 2012, twenty children and six adults were fatally shot by a gunman — who later killed himself — at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in the town of Newtown in the US state of Connecticut.
Obama said he was “stunned” that nothing was done following the Newtown shooting.
“Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There is no advanced, developed country on Earth that would put up with this,” he added.
“The country has to do some soul searching about this. This is becoming the norm, and we take it for granted in ways that, as a parent, are terrifying to me,” Obama noted.
Every year, more than 30,000 people are shot and killed in the United States.
The US averages 87 gun deaths each day as a function of gun violence, with an average of 183 injured, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the Centers for Disease Control.
The year 2012 was a record setting year for gun sales in the US.
About 4.5 million firearms are sold annually in the United States at a cost of 2 to 3 billion dollars.