Former President Barack Obama called for stricter gun laws Tuesday following the mass shootings that took place in Colorado and Atlanta.
In a statement, the former president said he and his wife, Michelle Obama, are grieving with the families of the victims of the Colorado shooting but “are also feeling a deep, familiar outrage.”
The shooting in Colorado took place at a supermarket and left 10 dead including a local police officer who was first.to arrive on the scene. The shooting in Atlanta last week left eight dead including six women of Asian descent. The shootings come as the country is still working to fully reopen.
“It is long past time for those with the power to fight this epidemic of gun violence to do so. It will take time to root out the disaffection, racism and misogyny that fuels so many of these senseless acts of violence,” Obama said. “But we can make it harder for those with hate in their hearts to buy weapons of war.”
“We can overcome opposition by cowardly politicians and the pressure of a gun lobby that opposes any limit on the ability of anyone to assemble an arsenal. We can, and we must,” Obama concluded.
Vice President Kamala Harris called the incident “absolutely tragic,” during a swearing-in ceremony for William Burns, who was named CIA Director. However, she later sidestepped a question on gun control during the ceremony according to CNN.
During his time in office, Obama tried to push Congress several times to take action on gun control., however, no significant action was taken as former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to introduce gun control bills for a Senate vote.
Obama did sign several executive orders to curb gun violence after the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, but it didn’t work as later that same year six people were killed in July 2012 by a gunman at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, and 70 people were killed the next month at a Colorado movie theatre.