One Question Lies Behind All 17 Of Obama's Mass Shooting Speeches


The worst mass shooting in US history occurred on Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. In total, 49 people were killed and 53 injured.

In the wake of this horrific tragedy, President Obama delivered yet another speech on another mass shooting in the US. Throughout his presidency, he's addressed mass shootings in various ways at least 17 times.

During the president's statement on the Orlando shooting, it was clear the consistency with which he speaks on these tragedies has taken a toll on him. He stated,

It's not exactly a secret the US has a problem with gun violence.

But, in spite of the thousands of gun deaths in the US each year, the issue of gun control remains controversial and divisive. Meanwhile, Congress has consistently failed to address gun violence in a meaningful way.

President Obama's statements on mass shootings definitely evolved over time. In the vast majority of his responses to these awful tragedies, he seems to be asking the same question over and over: Why aren't we doing anything about this?

Binghamton shooting: April 3, 2009

"Michelle and I were shocked and deeply saddened to learn about the act of senseless violence in Binghamton, NY, today."

In the wake of a shooting at the American Civic Association immigration center in Binghamton, New York, the president released this statement,

During an emotional speech on gun control years later, in January 2016, the president once again referenced the shooting. He stated,

The Obama White House on YouTube

First Fort Hood shooting: November 5, 2009

"A number of American soldiers have been killed ... It's difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas."

The Obama White House on YouTube

Tucson congressional event shooting: January 8, 2011

"We are still assembling all the facts, but we know that Representative Giffords was one of the victims."

The Obama White House on YouTube

Aurora movie theater shooting: July 20, 2012

"We may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this."

The Obama White House on YouTube

Wisconsin Sikh Temple shooting: August 5, 2012

"We mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship."

Following the shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, the president released this statement,

He also addressed the shooting at a signing ceremony in the Oval Office on August 6, 2012. He stated,

The Obama White House on YouTube

Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting: December 14, 2012

"The majority of those who died today were children — beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old."

The Obama White House on YouTube

Navy Yard shooting: September 16, 2013

"We are confronting yet another mass shooting."

The Obama White House on YouTube

Second Fort Hood shooting: April 2, 2014

"We're heartbroken that something like this might have happened again."

The Obama White House on YouTube

Kansas Jewish Community Center shooting: April 13, 2014

"No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray."

The Obama White House on YouTube

Isla Vista shooting: May 23, 2014

"The country has to do some soul searching about this."

Several weeks after the shooting near UC Santa Barbara, the president offered some very strong words on the incident during a Q&A with David Karp, CEO of Tumblr.

The president stated,

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Chapel Hill shooting: February 10, 2015

"No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like or how they worship."

President Obama denounced the killing of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, as "brutal and outrageous." Several months later, he spoke of the shooting during a dinner at the White House.

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Chattanooga recruiting center shooting: July 16, 2015

"It is a heartbreaking circumstance for these individuals who have served our country with great valor to be killed in this fashion."

The Obama White House on YouTube

Charleston church shooting: June 17, 2015

"The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history."

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Roseburg community college shooting: October 1, 2015

"Our thoughts and prayers are not enough ... It does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America."

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San Bernardino community center shooting: December 2, 2015

"We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country."

The president first addressed the shooting during an interview with CBS, and offered a more formal response several days later. He stated,

The Obama White House on YouTube

Kalamazoo Uber driver shooting: February 20, 2016

"You've got families that are shattered today ... We need to do more."

The Obama White House on YouTube

Orlando nightclub shooting: June 12, 2016

"Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history."

The Obama White House on YouTube