Obama Leaves Open Policy Push in Wake of Sikh Temple Massacre
When pressed on whether he would push for stricter gun-control measures in the wake of the latest mass shooting to hit America, President Obama said today that he would wait for the results of the investigation before moving toward any policy initiatives.
"I think all of us recognize that these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity for us not to do some soul-searching and to examine additional ways that we can reduce violence," Obama said after signing a veterans bill in the Oval Office today. "And as I've already said, I think there are a lot of elements involved in it, and what I want to do is to bring together law enforcement, community leaders, faith leaders, elected officials of every level to see how we can make continued progress."
The shooter, killed at the scene of the Sikh temple massacre in Wisconsin yesterday, was identified today as Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-0ld Army veteran and former leader of a white supremacist heavy metal band.
Six victims ages 39 to 84 years old were killed by Page and three were critically wounded.
"We don't yet know fully what motivated this individual to carry out this terrible act," Obama said. "If it turns out, as some early reports indicate, that it may have been motivated in some way by the ethnicity of those who were attending the temple, I think the American people immediately recoil against those kinds of attitudes, and I think it will be very important for us to reaffirm once again that, in this country, regardless of what we look like, where we come from, who we worship, we are all one people, and we look after one another and we respect one another."
The president said he suspected that as the FBI unravels the motivation behind the mass murders, "not only the White House but others in Congress and at the local level will have more to say."