President Obama shifted back to gun control today at an event to mark the seventh anniversary of his stimulus package.
Three people were killed — Renee Benjamin, 30, Joshua Higbee, 31, and Brian Sadowsky, 44 — and 16 wounded Thursday as Cedric Ford, 38, opened fire first in Newton, Kansas, and then at his workplace in Hesston, Kansas.
Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said today that Ford was served a protection order an hour and a half before the shooting began. “I believe that probably is the trigger, and it went from there,” Walton said, adding Ford was “a little upset” but “didn’t display anything … outrageous” when he received the order from a sheriff’s deputy while on the job at Excel Industries, a lawn care equipment manufacturer.
Ford was shot dead by the first police officer to respond at the scene.
At a batteries plant in Jacksonville, Fla., to trumpet his Recovery Act, Obama began his remarks about “yet another mass shooting that we’ve had to endure.”
“This comes after last weekend’s rampage in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where six more innocent Americans were gunned down. And these acts may not dominate the news today, but these are two more communities in America that are torn apart by grief,” Obama said. “And I felt it was important for me to say something today because somehow, as I’ve said before, this becomes routine — these sort of mass shootings that are taking place.”
“We cannot become numb to this. Anybody who says they want to keep the American people safe has to care about this, because it’s happening in far too many towns and affecting far too many innocent Americans.”
As he has after previous shooting incidents, the president asserted there are “some things we can do about it.”
“And right now, this Congress may not have any appetite to do something about it, but we need one that does. As long as I hold this office, I’m going to keep on bringing this up, even if it’s not getting the same attention that it should,” Obama continued. “And I wish I didn’t have to keep on talking about it. Lord knows I wish I didn’t have to make these phone calls and comfort families. The real tragedy is the degree to which this has become routine.”
“So I hope all of you pay attention to this. I hope the media pays attention to this. Once a week, we have these shootings. And it doesn’t dominate the news, and that’s got to change.”