Tuesday 17 January 2017

Why Obama is unable to enact simple measures to stop the gun massacres

Published 14/06/2016 | 02:30

Matti Mejia (left) and Shaina Roberts embrace after laying flowers at a memorial in New York for the Orlando victims. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Matti Mejia (left) and Shaina Roberts embrace after laying flowers at a memorial in New York for the Orlando victims. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

On Sunday, for the 15th time in his presidency, a stony-faced Barack Obama addressed his nation after a mass shooting. The only thing that was different this time was the body count.

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"Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history. The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle. This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theatre, or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that's the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well," he said.

Obama now makes the same speech after every mass shooting, each time with a little less emotion and a little less conviction. Despite being the most powerful man in the free world, gridlock resulting from unprecedented partisanship in Congress means he has been unable to enact simple measures to stop the massacre of his own citizens.

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