Obama: US gun laws responsible for mass shootings

2015-10-02 06:01
Paramedics return to their ambulances after taking patients to Mercy Medical Centre in Roseburg. (AP)

Paramedics return to their ambulances after taking patients to Mercy Medical Centre in Roseburg. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - US President Barack Obama blamed pro-gun lobbies and their supporters on Thursday for the latest gun massacre in the United States, in which 10 people were slain at a rural north-western community college.

Obama called on Americans to demand "common-sense" gun control laws from Congress.

"This is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America," he said.

Speaking in the White House briefing room to respond to a mass shooting for what US news outlets reported was the 15th time of his presidency, a visibly angry Obama took legislators to task for failing to enact laws to help keep guns out of that hands of killers.

Politically powerful gun lobbies

He said anti-gun control positions taken by politically powerful gun lobbies are out of step with public opinion, and said the notion that the US constitution prohibits any regulation of guns "doesn't make sense".

He called on voters to demand change: "We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction."

Ten people were confirmed dead and seven wounded after a 20-year-old man opened fire on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, authorities said.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said the gunman was dead, too, after a shoot-out with law enforcement officers who responded to an emergency call at 10:38 on Thursday. Authorities believed he had acted alone.

Hanlin said 10 people were confirmed dead and seven injured amid conflicting casualty reports.

Douglas County Fire Marshal Ray Shoufler told broadcaster CNN that the shooter had apparently opened fire inside a classroom in a science building on the isolated, hilltop campus. News reports said that dead and wounded were found in multiple classrooms.

'Popping noise'

Cassandra Welding, a student at the college, told CNN she was in a morning class when she heard "a popping noise, almost like a balloon" in a classroom next door.

A classmate opened the door to see what was happening, and was shot in front of her, she said.

"We locked the door, turned off the lights," she said. "We called 911 and called our parents and loved ones, just saying I love you. We didn't know what was going to happen, if those were our last words or not."

Roseburg is 287km south of the state capital Portland, in rural Douglas County.

Umpqua Community College is the county's only college-level educational institution, Hanlin said. The timber-logging region is a "peaceful community", Hanlin said.

"This is a huge shock to the entire community, to have this level of crime," he said.

Umpqua Community College's website appeared to be offline on Thursday after the shooting. State authorities listed its enrolment at more than 4 600 in 2013. Hanlin said many students are older adults studying to begin new careers.

The shooting was the 45th time a gun was fired in a US school since the beginning of 2015, according to gun-control group Everytown.

Young men with guns massacred 13 people at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, 32 people at Virginia Tech in Virginia in 2007, and 26 people including 20 small children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  us shooting

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.