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.
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.
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.
Aurora Movie Theater Shooting
On July 20, 2012, 12 people were killed in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
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.
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.
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.
Chapel Hill Shooting
Three Muslim-Americans were killed in their home in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Feb. 10, 2015.
Nine African Americans were killed in a Charleston, S.C. church on June 17, 2015 in an attack that was racially motivated.
- The Man Who Thinks He Can Live Forever
- Rooftop Solar Power Has a Dark Side
- How a Government Shutdown Could Affect You
- Colleges Get Creative to Boost Mental Health
- Is It Flu, COVID-19, or RSV? Navigating At-Home Tests
- Paul Hollywood Answers All of Your Questions About The Great British Baking Show
- How Canada and India's Relationship Crumbled
- Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time