President Barack Obama spoke passionately and with frustration Thursday night after a gunman opened fire on a community college campus in Oregon, killing nine people.
"Somehow this has become routine," Obama said. "My response here, at this podium, is routine. We’ve become numb to this. It cannot be this easy for someone who wants to inflict pain on someone else to get their hands on guns.”
[NATL] Shooting at Community College in Oregon
U.S. & World
The president called upon Congress to implement what he called common sense gun control laws. He noted that critics would say that he had "politicized" the issue.
"This is something we should politicize— it is relevant to our common life together," he said.
The shooter, 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, also wounded at least nine others at the college in Roseburg, before dying himself.
Obama compared the United States to other advanced countries, saying that they changed their gun policies after only "one mass shooting." States with more gun control laws have less gun violence, he said.
Other countries also have people who are mentally ill, but the United States is the only developed country that sees shootings like the one in Oregon every month, the president said.
Obama added that "our thoughts and prayers are not enough."
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee criticized Obama in a statement on Facebook, saying that his "passion is grossly misplaced into destroying the Second Amendment" and that gun violence is "the fault of evil people doing evil things."
"With few facts, Obama is quick to admittedly politicize this tragedy to advance his liberal, anti-gun agenda," Huckabee wrote. "For this president to make a political pronouncement is at best premature and at worst ignorantly inflammatory."
Ohio governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich learned of the shootings during a taped interview with NBC News. He said that "stripping" citizens of their guns won't "get the job done" to prevent these tragedies.
"You can strip all the guns away, but the people who are going to commit crimes or have problems are always going to have the guns," Kasich said. Instead, he criticized the lack of treatment for the mentally ill in order to prevent shootings.
Earlier Thursday, other presidential candidates and politicians tweeted their thoughts and prayers for victims of the shooting.
Republicans Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham and Kasich and Democrats Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders were among those sending condolences.
Happened to get a call from Donald Trump a moment ago. Asked him about his thoughts on the Oregon shooting. Quote: pic.twitter.com/i9ytO9i67j— Philip Bump (@pbump) October 1, 2015
Many of the initial messages streered away from the politics of gun control but not all, including Rep. Xavier Becerra, a Democrat from California and chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, who challenged Republicans over gun safety.
Here is additional reaction from other public figures.