Obama says that a pandemic 'cannot be the only thing that slows mass shootings' in response to the Colorado massacre

Obama says that a pandemic 'cannot be the only thing that slows mass shootings' in response to the Colorado massacre
With a tear running from his eye, President Barack Obama recalls the 20 first-graders killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, while speaking in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016,AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
  • Obama said that COVID-19 should not be the only factor slowing down the pace of mass shootings.
  • A gunman killed 10 people, including a police officer, at a Boulder, CO, grocery store on Monday.
  • Obama said the US must "make it harder for those with hate in their hearts to buy weapons of war."

Former President Barack Obama said that the COVID-19 pandemic can't be the only factor that slows the pace of mass shootings and gun violence following the massacre at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.

Officers announced on Tuesday that 10 people were killed during a Monday shooting at a King Soopers grocery store. The victims, all of whom have been identified, ranged between 20 and 65 years old.

A suspect, 21-year-old Ahmad Alissa, is in custody and has been charged in all 10 murders, Insider reported. The motive is so far undetermined.

Read more: Biden has a 2nd chance to take on the NRA with a background check bill for gun sales

"In many ways, our lives may soon start to return to normal after a long, difficult year filled with so much loss. But in a normal life, we should be able to buy groceries without fear. We should be able to go to school, or go out with our friends, or worship together without mentally planning our escape if someone shows up with a gun," Obama said.


Obama called on lawmakers to "make it harder for those with hate in their hearts to buy weapons of war."

Former First Lady Michelle Obama also weighed in on the shootings, tweeting: "I'm heartbroken by these recent tragedies of gun violence, and I just keep thinking about all the leaders who won't take a stand to save lives and yet line up to pass bills that make it harder for us to vote."

The Boulder shooting was the second major mass shooting in the US in the past week. On March 16, a gunman opened fire in three spas and massage parlors in the Atlanta, Georgia area, killing eight people. Six of the victims of that shooting were Asian women, continuing a year of heightened violence and attacks on Asian-Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a recent interview with The Skimm, Obama said that the biggest political setback in his eight years in office was "the failure to get any meaningful common-sense gun legislation passed after the Newtown shootings" because of opposition from Republicans. "It broke my heart," he added.

During his presidency, mass shootings took place at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, and the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida in 2016.


"I don't need to wait another minute - or another hour - to take common-sense steps that will save lives in the future," President Joe Biden said in brief remarks in the Oval Office on Tuesday, urging the US Senate to take up gun control legislation and adding that the US should ban assault rifles.

The US House recently passed two bills, H.R. 1446 and H.R. 8, to strengthen federal background checks and close the so-called Charleston loophole, which allows firearm purchases to go through without a background check if the check isn't complete within three days.

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday he fully intends to bring both bills to the Senate for full hearings and votes.