“If we truly care about this – if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience – then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them,” the president said.
“This is not normal. We can’t let it become normal. Period. Enough is enough,” he added.
The statement is just the latest in a growing list of comments the president has made in the wake of deadly gun violence during his tenure. Last month, Obama was visibly frustrated and angry as he addressed the nation after the deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, where 10 people were killed and nine others were wounded.
“This is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together,” Obama said at a press conference after the community college shooting. “This is a political choice we make to allow this to happen every few months in America.”
In this most recent mass shooting, a gunman armed with an AK-47-style weapon opened fire Friday afternoon at a Planned Parenthood clinic. Three people, including a police officer, were killed during a five-hour standoff. Authorities from the Colorado Springs Police Department said nine others, including five officers, were wounded. All nine are said to be in good condition at area hospitals.
The gunman, who has been identified as 57-year-old Robert Dear of North Carolina, walked out of the facility just before 5 p.m. local time and surrendered. He is being held behind bars without a bond until a court appearance Monday, according to ABC News.
Police have released little information about Dear beyond his name, so the motive for the shooting remains unclear. Although Planned Parenthood recognized there is still a lot of information missing, it also did not hesitate to draw a link between anti-abortion rhetoric and terrorist action against reproductive health centers. “We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement.
Planned Parenthood clinics have seen a surge in anti-abortion violence and harassment since the release of a series of deceptively-edited videos purporting to show officials with the organization discussing the illegal sale of fetal organs. Though the videos have been thoroughly debunked and repeated investigations have cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing, anti-choice extremists have used the occasion to ramp up their attacks on abortion providers.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, at least four Planned Parenthood clinics were burned down in arson attacks in a span of just over two months following the release of the videos.