White House press secretary Jay Carney said at this afternoon’s briefing that it would be inappropriate at this point to speculate on how today’s Navy Yard shooting could affect President Obama’s gun-control push.
“This is an ongoing situation, and we don’t have all the facts. So it’s hard to comment specifically on — on this situation in that regard,” Carney said. “What is true is certainly that the president supports, as do an overwhelming majority of Americans, common-sense measures to reduce gun violence. And we have gone about implementing the executive actions that were part of the president’s plan to take action to reduce gun violence. And, obviously, he continues to support measures taken by Congress — that could be taken by Congress to reduce gun violence in a common-sense way, like improving our background-check system.”
The spokesman added “it would be inappropriate to try to put into context something about which we have so few facts.”
“I think he said that we have another mass shooting. I think by definition, when you have multiple fatalities, which is what was described by the chief of police here in Washington, D.C., that is a mass shooting. That’s a fact. What the other facts are, we don’t know yet, and we will await information about those facts,” Carney said of Obama’s remarks before an economic event.
Carney was asked why there hasn’t been movement on gun control.
“Well, again, as you just noted these are unfolding facts on an unfolding and ongoing situation and investigation, with regards to this particular shooting, which is tragic. And as the president said, since this is taking place on a military installation, the fact that men and women who understand the risks that they are taking when they work for the military, and potentially get assigned overseas in dangerous places, certainly do not imagine they were taking those kind of risks when they showed up for work this morning on a domestic military installation. But it is far too early to say anything about, you know, who did this and the broader meaning of it,” he responded.
“When it comes to common sense legislation to reduce gun violence, the president has been very clear. And he was very clear with his significant disappointment with the Senate in its failure to pass common sense legislation that was supported by an overwhelming majority of the American people, by majorities in blue states, purple states and red states. And that was a shame,” Carney added.
“And we will continue to work to take action to improve gun safety in this — to reduce gun violence this country through executive action, and hopefully Congress will take action to reduce gun violence as well.”