By Jacob Koffler
Updated: October 2, 2015 10:53 AM ET | Originally published: June 18, 2015

President Obama expressed his exasperation at the inability to change U.S. gun laws in a Thursday speech following a shooting at a community college in Roseburg, Ore. that left at least 10 dead.

As the number of mass shootings during his presidency has mounted—Thursday’s address was his 15th in response to one—Obama’s rhetoric about the need for gun control has grown more pointed. “As I said just a few months ago, and I said a few months before that, and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough,” Obama said Thursday. “It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America — next week, or a couple of months from now.”

Below are some of the other memorable statements Obama has made in response to shootings.

Holocaust Memorial Shooting

A white supremacist gunman killed a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. on June 10, 2009.

This outrageous act reminds us that we must remain vigilant against anti-Semitism and prejudice in all its forms. No American institution is more important to this effort than the Holocaust Museum, and no act of violence will diminish our determination to honor those who were lost by building a more peaceful and tolerant world.

Fort Hood Shooting

The U.S. military base shooting, one of the worst in the country’s history, left 13 people dead in Fort Hood, Texas on Nov. 5, 2009.

It’s difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas. It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an army base on American soil.

Trayvon Martin

Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed on Feb. 26, 2012 by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman. Obama read a personal statement after Zimmerman was acquitted in July 2013.

When Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago…I think it’s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away. There are very few African American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me.

Aurora Movie Theater Shooting

On July 20, 2012, 12 people were killed in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

We may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this. Such violence, such evil is senseless. It’s beyond reason.

Oak Creek Shooting

Seven people were left dead at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wis. on Aug. 5, 2012 in an attack by a white supremacist. In a statement, Obama reminded Americans of the importance of religious pluralism.

As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family.

Sandy Hook Shooting

On Dec. 14, 2012, a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. left 20 young children, six school employees and the shooter’s mother dead.

We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would—as a parent.

Michael Brown

Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. on Aug. 9, 2014, sparking outrage from the local community and across the country. Obama remained silent on the shooting for three days before releasing a statement.

I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.

Chapel Hill Shooting

Three Muslim-Americans were killed in their home in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Feb. 10, 2015.

No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship.

Charleston Shooting

Nine African Americans were killed in a Charleston, S.C. church on June 17, 2015 in an attack that was racially motivated.

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.


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