So far this year, 457 people in America have died in 353 mass shootings. That’s nearly one shooting for every day of the year. The most recent and deadliest shooting took place in San Bernardino, California, on Dec. 2 — a day that also brought another shooting in Savannah, Georgia.
All the while, politicians send thoughts and prayers yet little has been done to enact sensible gun control restrictions. Time and again, President Obama has addressed a nation in the aftermath of deadly violence, speaking of broken hearts and pleading for action on gun control.
Here are some of the most poignant quotes from four times in 2015 the president spoke to the public in reaction to a mass shooting in the United States.
Shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina
“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times. We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. Now is the time for mourning and for healing.
But let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it.”
Shootings at United States Military Facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee
“My main message right now is obviously the deepest sympathies of the American people to the four marines that have been killed. It is a heartbreaking circumstance for these individuals who have served our country with great valor to be killed in this fashion.”
Shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon
“I hope and pray that I don’t have to come out again during my tenure as President to offer my condolences to families in these circumstances. But based on my experience as President, I can’t guarantee that. And that’s terrible to say. And it can change.
May God bless the memories of those who were killed today. May He bring comfort to their families, and courage to the injured as they fight their way back. And may He give us the strength to come together and find the courage to change.”
Shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California
“Most of all, we stand with 14 families whose hearts are broken. We’re learning more about their loved ones, the men and women, the beautiful lives that were lost. They were doing what so many of us do at this time of year, enjoying the holidays, celebrating with each other, rejoicing in the bonds of friendship and community that bind us together as Americans. Their deaths are an absolute tragedy, not just for San Bernardino, but for our country.
It’s another tragic reminder that here in America, it is way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun. For example, right now people on the no-fly list can walk into a story and buy a gun. That’s insane. If you’re too dangerous to border a plane, you’re too dangerous by definition to buy a gun. So I’m calling on Congress to close this loophole now.”