President Obama on Monday condemned a weekend shooting rampage in Kalamazoo, Mich., calling it a stark example that more needs to be done to prevent gun violence in America.
The president said he phoned the mayor, police chief and sheriff in Kalamazoo to offer federal assistance in the investigation.
“Their local officials and first responders did an outstanding job in apprehending the individual very quickly,” he told a meeting of the National Governors Association at the White House. “But you’ve got families who are shattered today.”
Obama cited a series of executive actions he took last month designed to expand background checks on gun purchases, but he added that “it’s clear we’re going to need to do more to keep innocent Americans safe.”
An Über driver allegedly killed six people and injured two others during a Saturday shooting spree in Kalamazoo. The man, identified as police as Jason Brian Dalton, reportedly picked up passengers between shootings.
Obama cited last year’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria sympathizers as an incident that terrorized the nation, adding “here’s a hard truth, we probably lost even more Americans than that this weekend alone.”
“I’ve got to assume that all of your are just as tired as I am of seeing this stuff happen in your states,” the president continued.
“So that’s an area where we need to partner and think about what we can do in a common-sense way, in a bipartisan way, without some of the ideological rhetoric that so often surrounds that issue.”
The shooting in Kalamazoo was just the latest mass incident of gun violence that has occured in Obama’s presidency.
Obama has delivered forceful, emotional calls for new gun laws after shootings in Newtown, Conn., in 2012 and Charleston, S.C. in 2015.
But the president has repeatedly been stymied by Republicans in Congress in passing new gun laws, such as universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.
In January, Obama issued a new executive actions clarifying which gun sellers are required to conduct background checks on buyers.