- Former President Barack Obama offered condolences to people affected by the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting on Sunday.
- Obama also asked US citizens to look inward to “reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst.”
- President Donald Trump called the shooting an “act of evil” and applauded the actions of first responders.
Former President Barack Obama offered condolences after the mass shooting at a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church left at least 26 people dead on Sunday.
“We grieve with all the families in Sutherland Springs harmed by this act of hatred, and we’ll stand with the survivors as they recover,” Obama tweeted Sunday evening. “May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst,” he added.
Obama’s remarks were a departure from those of President Donald Trump, who called the shooting an “act of evil,” without delving into any discussion about gun violence in particular, which has increasingly become the focus of some lawmakers in the wake of increasingly deadly mass shootings in the US.
While in office, Obama frequently used his remarks on mass shootings to ask lawmakers and citizens to reevaluate their positions on gun control.
Calls to take a more meaningful look at current gun laws grew loudest after the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history last month, where nearly 60 people were killed at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas — and before that, at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people died in July last year.
Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut railed against his congressional colleagues in a fiery statement on Sunday: “No one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do precisely nothing,” Murphy said.
He continued: “The paralysis you feel right now – the impotent helplessness that washes over you as news of another mass slaughter scrolls across the television screen – isn’t real,” Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, said in the statement. “It’s a fiction created and methodically cultivated by the gun lobby, designed to assure that no laws are passed to make America safer, because those laws would cut into their profits.”
Read Trump’s full statement on the shooting below:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of today’s murderous attack in Sutherland Springs, Texas. This horrible act of evil occurred as the victims and their families were in their place of sacred worship. We cannot put into words the pain and grief we all feel, and we cannot begin to imagine the suffering of those who lost the ones they loved. Our hearts are broken.
But in dark times such as these, Americans do what we do best: we pull together. We join hands. We lock arms. And through the tears and the sadness, we stand strong.
My Administration is providing its full support to the state and local authorities investigating this horrible crime. I have spoken with Governor Abbott, and we offer our thanks to the first responders who ultimately stopped the suspect and rendered immediate and lifesaving aid to the victims of this shooting. I will continue to follow developments closely.
All of America is praying to God to help the wounded and the families – we will never leave their side.”