Jarrett on Gun-Control Push: 'Everyone Should Be Able to Live in Our Country'
White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett said the administration is renewing its call for gun control because while Wednesday's journalist murders in Virginia "may not have been a mass shooting... it felt like a mass shooting."
Killer Vester Flanagan, who murdered reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward and wounded Chamber of Commerce official Vicki Gardner, passed a background check to buy two Glock handguns weeks ago.
Jarrett told MSNBC last night that the shooting was "just heartbreaking," and "we're just faced with another tragedy."
"And we are once again asking ourselves, what more can we do? We know that the president took 23 different executive actions to try to make it safer for Americans. We know from our effort after Sandy Hook, that 90 percent of the Americans believe we need sensible gun legislation and we are continuing to call on Congress to act," she said.
That poll to which the administration keeps referring is a Quinnipiac survey in January 2014 that asked the question, "Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers?" Ninety-two percent responded "yes," including 86 percent of Republicans and 98 percent of Democrats.
The same poll asked another question, too: "Do you support or oppose stricter gun control laws in the United States?" Fifty percent supported, while 47 percent opposed.
"And as the president said earlier, we really need a grassroots effort around our country that says, look, we may not able to save every life. But if we save just one life, isn't it worth it? And that we can both respect the Second Amendment at the same time we can make sure the guns don't get into the wrong hands," Jarrett said.
She added that President Obama's inability to push more gun-control legislation is "something that weighs on him heavily."
"He shares it very openly when his staff and he's obviously talked about it quite publicly. And he's convinced that when you have 90 percent of the American people who want to do something, there is really no excuse for Congress not acting."
Jarrett added that "the voices of the American people have to be heard in this dialogue."
"And today may not have been a mass shooting. But I can tell you to the families of the victims, it felt like a mass shooting. And so, every time we lose a life and it happens too often in our country, it should be another wake-up call. When do we say enough is enough?" she continued.
"...Everyone should be able to live in our country. And, you know, the fact of the matter is, the United States is unique. Why is it in our country that we have so many of these incidents compared to the rest of the world, the developed world for sure? And so, if there are steps that we can take as a country, why aren't we taking them?"