In a twist of irony, President Obama revealed in an exclusive BBC interview just hours before a gunman opened fire in a Louisiana movie theater that the greatest frustration of his presidency are U.S. gun laws.
Noting that gun violence has killed more Americans than terrorism since the tragic September 11, 2001 attack, Obama called out the lack of “common-sense gun safety laws,” in America. The comments came before the Louisiana gunman — identified as John R. Houser — killed two women, injured nine, and killed himself Thursday night. And just a week ago, the FBI revealed that Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old accused of killing nine at a historic Black church in Charleston, S.C., obtained the gun thought to be used in the attack through a background check loophole.
“That is an area where …I feel that I’ve been most frustrated and most stymied,” he said. “It is the fact that the United States of America is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient common-sense, gun-safety laws. Even in the face of repeated mass killings.”
“It’s becoming more tolerant as a consequence,” he said. “There’s more interactions between groups. There are going be tensions that arise. But if you look at my daughters’ generation, they have an attitude about race that’s entirely different than even my generation.”
“Recent concerns around policing and mass incarcerations are legitimate and deserve intense attention,” he added. “And I feel that we are moving the ball forward on those issues.”
For more on the president’s interview, see here.