US President Barack Obama has extended his argument that the time for federal gun legislation is nigh, posting on Twitter that “expressions of sympathy aren’t enough” for the victims of armed violence in the country.
The president tweeted using his @POTUS account: “Here are the stats: Per population, we kill each other with guns at a rate 297x more than Japan, 49x more than France, 33x more than Israel.”
“Expressions of sympathy aren’t enough. It’s time we do something about this,” he said in another tweet.
The president’s first tweet had been retweeted 35,000 times and favourited 31,000 times.
He also praised his 2012 Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney when he tweeted “Take down the #ConfederateFlag at the SC Capitol” in the wake of Wednesday’s racist mass shooting at the historic African-American church, in which 21-year-old white man Dylann Roof opened fire on the parishioners.
“At some point we will have to deal with the fact that this kind of mass violence doesn’t happen in other countries and it is in our power to do something about it,” Obama added.
After the shooting in Charleston, the president said on Friday in San Francisco that more than 11,000 Americans were killed by gun violence in 2013 alone.
“If Congress had passed some commonsense legislation after Newtown, after a group of children had been gunned down in their own classroom, reforms that 90 percent of the American people supported...we might still have more Americans with us.”
The same day, another mass shooting that claimed seven people’s lives, including a two-year-old and eleven-year-old took place in West Philadelphia when a shotgun-wielding attacker fired into a block party.
Local police said they are investigating why the shooter targeted the block party on the Ogden street. The children were hospitalised and are in a critical condition, the police said.