US President Barack Obama said that he was heartbroken when he heard a TV news reporter and a cameraman were shot dead during a live broadcast in Virginia on Wednesday.
He also condemned the number of killings related to gun violence in the United States, adding that ‘’What we know is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism.’’
Speaking to ABC, Obama said ‘’ It breaks my heart every time you read or hear about these kinds of incidents.’’
Earlier on Wednesday, White House Spokesman Josh Ernest had said that the shooting in Virginia was another example of gun violence that is becoming too common.
Ernest also said that, Congress could pass legislation that would hava a tangible impact on reducing gun violence in the country.
Hillary Clinton, Democrat Party candidate for the new elections to be held in 2016, also raised her voice against gun-related violence in the United States calling the issue ‘’political’’ during a campaign stop in Iowa.
She declared that ’’There are many people who face it and know it, but then turn away because it’s hard. It’s a very political, difficult issue in America, but I believe we are smart enough, we are compassionate enough to figure out how to balance the legitimate Second Amendment rights with preventive measures and control measures so that whatever motivated this murderer, who eventually took his own life, we will not see more deaths — needless, senseless deaths.’’
Another reaction was from Former Arizona Congresswomen Gabby Giffords, who had been shot in the head in 2011. In her tweet Giffords also referred to the country's gun violence problem.
Our country has a gun violence problem. Shootings like these are far too common here. My prayers are with the #WDBJ family.
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) 26 Ağustos 2015
University of Alabama criminologist Adam Lankford says that America has the highest rate of mass shootings in the world.
According to his work, the United States has had five times the number of mass shootings in the last 50 years than any other country, he also added that ‘’cultural propensity for violence is to blame’’
His report says, the factors that cause gun-related violence are America’s high rate of gun ownership, the idolisation of fame among US mass shooters and the dark side of American exceptionalism as Lankford calls.
He said that ‘’Because of its world-leading firearm ownership rate, America does stand apart and this appears connected to its high percentage of mass shootings. American mass shooters are 3.6 times more likely to arm themselves with multiple weapons than mass shooters in other countries."
Between 1966 and 2012, there were 291 documented mass shootings in the world with 90 of these (31%) taking place in the United States.
The Phillipines, with 18 mass shootings was second, followed by Russia with 15, Yemen with 11 mass shootings and France with 10.