Pres. Obama cites ‘homegrown extremism,’ escalates call for gun control

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama escalated his call that dangerous people not be allowed to obtain high-powered weapons Monday, saying the country needs more "soul-searching" a day after a gunman used a legally purchased firearms to kill 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando.

In remarks in the Oval Office, Obama said the attack was an example of "home-grown extremism" that wasn't carried out at the specific direction of ISIS. He was speaking after receiving a briefing from top law enforcement officials, including FBI Director James Comey.

And while Obama vowed to go after extremist groups that have called for attacks on Americans, he also renewed what has now been an years-long push for laws making it harder for criminals to obtain firearms.

Acknowledging that his political opponents would criticize him for raising gun control after a terrorist attack, Obama said both issues need to be debated simultaneously.

"We are going to have to make sure that we think about the risks we are willing to take by being so lax in how we make very powerful firearms available to people in this country," Obama said. "My concern is that we start getting into a debate, as has happened in the past, which is an either/or debate."

"It's not an either/or. It's a both/and," Obama said. "We have to counter extremism, but we also have to make sure it's not easy for somebody who decides they want to harm people in this country to be able to obtain weapons to get at them."

In his initial response to the shooting on Sunday, Obama made only brief mention of the country's gun laws, which he's tried unsuccessfully to alter since the deadly Newtown shooting in 2012, which claimed the lives of 20 six- and seven-year old children. He expanded his calls a day later, saying the fact the Florida incident was a terrorist attack shouldn't distract from the conversation about guns.

"It's crazy. It's a problem," Obama said of laws that prevent law enforcement agencies from being alerted when a person on a watch list purchases a gun.

"The danger is it ends up being the usual political debate, and the NRA and the gun control folks say 'Obama doesn't want to talk about terrorism,'" he said. "The point is if we have self-radicalized individuals in this country, then they are going to be very difficult to find ahead of time. And how easy it is for them to obtain weapons is going to make a difference if they are able to carry about attacks like this or not. And we make it very easy."

Obama has pressed Congress unsuccessfully to pass legislation that would place tighter restrictions on gun sales. He has taken unilateral action, including a measure earlier this year that expanded background checks, but the White House says he's exhausted his executive power on the matter.

16 comments

  • walloffthenorthside

    Well, we can all rest easier because Barack said Orlando is not part of a larger plot. I bet ISIS was laughing at the radio as they drove their Ryder truck full of guns and explosives over the north Florida border into Georgia.

  • CYNIC

    There is a larger plot, it’s called many things. It’s called jihad, i’ts called caliphate, it’s called islam. We just don’t like to say those words because we might offend potential voters…with tons of money. So instead they treat these all as “lone wolf” attackers, and absolve themselves of any responsibility to track and prevent these crimes. If it’s just one guy, how are the feds supposed to stop him? But if it’s a network or group then that means communications that can be intercepted, intelligence that can be investigated, and multiple threads to follow. That leaves room for failure which leads to having to be responsible. So no, they just say it’s all isolated incidents and that guns are bad and we should all be tolerant yada yada yada.

  • bronco

    gun control will never never happen there could be 500 people shot dead and they all like to talk about it but it will never happen how sad

    • Libsareliars

      That’s because trying to ban the object is not going to stop the human being from being evil. Get the picture?

  • Libsareliars

    Once again Obama is clueless. He said it is not part of a larger plot. Does this idiot know that we have Isis members or sympathizers in every state in this country? Once again he is totally clueless.

    • Michael Neils

      Didn’t they used to be referred to as Sleeper Cells? Little pockets of terrorists all over the place doing attacks or perhaps planning to attack a bunch of places simultaneously-like France had happen? I guess Sleeper Cell is also now not PC so if it’s not PC is does not exist.

  • p wells

    Would not expect anything different from a President that clearly does not like America and is probably a muslim himself.

  • Robert Nielsen

    Hey here is an idea let’s make tougher drug laws…oh wait how about tougher drunk driving laws…no better yet lets outlaw cars…those things kill more people than guns every year!

  • Libsareliars

    Here are quotes from Obama today and in the past. ” This is not part of a larger plot”. ” ISIS is nothing but a JV team”. “We have ISIS on the run”. These quotes should scare the crap out of people since the guy making the comments has no clue what he is talking about.

  • Clinton

    Again this goof blames it on the gun. We had two murders this past weekend in Kilwaukee that were carried out with a knife and some type of other weapon so do we tighten controls on knife sales and heavy objects in response to that?? This was a radical Muslim who committed these killings in Florida and Obama won’t admit to that fact..

  • Andy G

    It must have been a gun free zone. Did anyone ever notice that you don’t have mass shootings at gun shows, police stations, gun stores, rifle ranges, or in places where people are armed. Maybe it’s just me but it seems people are safer where people have guns.

  • Patty Green

    It’s retarded to imply that gun control would have prevented this. The guy would have gotten his hands on a gun somehow anyway. And let’s say all guns magically disappeared – this guy would have found a another way of killing dozens of people if not more.

    Try banning islam.

  • James Stamulis

    No Obama we the people call for your impeachment and prosecution for crimes against the USA!

Comments are closed.