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Obama on latest mass shooting: This has no parallel

<p>President Barack Obama decried a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, that left at least 14 people dead and 17 wounded on Wednesday, saying there is “no parallel” to the gun violence that has plagued the United States. <br /><b> </b><br />“We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world,” said Obama, who expressed his sympathies to the victims, in a CBS News interview with Norah O’Donnell that was taped as information about the situation was developing. “And there’s some steps we could take, not to eliminate every one of these mass shootings, but to improve the odds that they don’t happen as frequently.”<br /><b> </b><br />Obama expressed frustration at the still-stalled effort to enact new gun controls. The U.S. has no-fly lists, he noted, but those same people can go anywhere in the country and purchase a firearm. “And there’s nothing that we can do stop them,” said Obama, echoing his repeated calls for Congress to pass common-sense gun safety laws and stronger background checks.<br /><b> </b><br />San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said up to three people had entered a building and opened fire with long guns — the victims were “centrally located in one area of the facility,” he said. The suspects fled in what police believe may have been a dark-colored SUV, but authorities are still trying to gather more information.</p><p>Police later surrounded an SUV in an &quot;active scene&quot; in a suburban neighborhood. Media reports showed the car’s windows shot out and a body on the ground beside the car, alongside a long gun. The situation is ongoing as of 7:10 p.m. ET. One or more suspects may still be on the loose, police said. <br /><b> </b><br />“We do not have any identification on who those suspects are,” Burguan said previously. “We do not know what the motive is for the shooting at this point.”<br /><b> </b><br />Officials said it’s also unclear if it was an act of terrorism, adding that it appeared to be “a domestic terrorism-type incident.” Earlier, police had said the suspects may have been wearing “military-style” gear.<b> </b><br /><b> </b><br />“Preliminary information indicates that these are people that came prepared,” Burguan said. “They were dressed and equipped in a way to indicate that they were prepared, and they were armed with long guns, not handguns.” <br /><b> </b><br />Burguan described the building as a “massive facility” that employs hundreds of people. Several hundred people who were inside have no injuries and were taken to a safe location, he said. The courts and city and county buildings in the general area have been shut down, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said, and there was a heightened police presence at all “high-profile” areas, such as hospitals.</p><p>A Justice Department official said Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been briefed by the FBI and is monitoring the situation.<br /><b> </b><br />The shooting comes less than a week after a man killed three and wounded nine more in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The suspect, Robert Lewis Dear, 59, <a href=”http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/robert-dear-planned-parenthood-charge-murder-216278″ target=”_blank”>appeared in court</a> Monday and faces multiple charges of first-degree murder. </p><p>Gun safety issues have marked much of Obama’s presidency, and prompted a major reform push after the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and six adults. The legislative effort ultimately fell apart, with reform advocates continually pleading for action as the number of mass shootings pile up. The Washington Post <a href=”https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/30/there-have-been-334-days-and-351-mass-shootings-so-far-this-year/” target=”_blank”>reported Friday</a> that more mass shootings had occurred than days in the year — 351 mass shootings in 334 days.</p><p>In the interview with CBS, Obama said Wednesday’s shooting is yet another call to action. </p><p>“We don’t yet know what the motives of the shooters are, but what we do know is, is that there are steps we can take to make Americans safer and that we should come together in a bipartisan basis at every level of government to make these rare as opposed to normal,” he said. “We should never think that this is something that just happens in the ordinary course of events, because it doesn’t happen with the same frequency in other countries.”</p><p>It’s not clear, however, that gun reform has any better chance now than it has in the recent past. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday called for a moment of silence for the victims of the San Bernardino shooting during the Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony, but offered no word on any legislative action. </p><p>Senate Democrats, meanwhile, plan to force a vote on keeping guns out of the hands of people convicted of violating laws that protect the entrances of health care clinics, in response to last week’s shooting in Colorado.</p><p> Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has introduced the amendment, which would prevent gun ownership by people who have been convicted of misdemeanors under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which prevents violent obstruction or harassment at clinics.</p><p>The politics are also complicated by the 2016 presidential race, with Republicans reluctant to alienate gun rights advocates. Candidates on both sides of the aisle sent their condolences via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to those impacted by the shooting:</p><blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><b>Horrifying news out of <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SanBernardino?src=hash”>#SanBernardino</a></b><b>. Enough is enough: it’s time to stand up to the <a href=”https://twitter.com/NRA”>@NRA</a></b><b> and enact meaningful gun safety laws</b></p><p><b>— Martin O’Malley (@MartinOMalley) <a href=”https://twitter.com/MartinOMalley/status/672137288055398401″>December 2, 2015</a></b></p></blockquote><script async=”” src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script><blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><b>I refuse to accept this as normal. We must take action to stop gun violence now. -H <a href=”https://t.co/SkKglwQycb”>https://t.co/SkKglwQycb</a></b></p><p><b>— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) <a href=”https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/672149874046083072″>December 2, 2015</a></b></p></blockquote><script async=”” src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script><blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><b>Praying for those impacted by the shooting in California today.</b></p><p><b>— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) <a href=”https://twitter.com/GovMikeHuckabee/status/672151859491016704″>December 2, 2015</a></b></p></blockquote><script async=”” src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script><blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><b>California shooting looks very bad. Good luck to law enforcement and God bless. This is when our police are so appreciated!</b></p><p><b>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href=”https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/672152791717158917″>December 2, 2015</a></b></p></blockquote><script async=”” src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script><blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><b>Praying for the victims, their families &amp; the San Bernardino first responders in the wake of this tragic shooting.</b></p><p><b>— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) <a href=”https://twitter.com/JebBush/status/672153025243426816″>December 2, 2015</a></b></p></blockquote><script async=”” src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script><blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><b>My thoughts and prayers are with the shooting victims and their families in San Bernardino.</b></p><p><b>— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) <a href=”https://twitter.com/RealBenCarson/status/672154558152491008″>December 2, 2015</a></b></p></blockquote><script async=”” src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script><blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><b>My thoughts &amp; prayers go out to those impacted by the shooting in San Bernardino, especially the first responders. -John</b></p><p><b>— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) <a href=”https://twitter.com/JohnKasich/status/672157973804941312″>December 2, 2015</a></b></p></blockquote><script async=”” src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script><blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><b>Thoughts &amp; prayers are with <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SanBernardino?src=hash”>#SanBernardino</a></b></p><p><b>— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) <a href=”https://twitter.com/LindseyGrahamSC/status/672158412554289152″>December 2, 2015</a></b></p></blockquote><script async=”” src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script><blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><b>Mass shootings are becoming an almost-everyday occurrence in this country. This sickening and senseless gun violence must stop.</b></p><p><b>— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) <a href=”https://twitter.com/BernieSanders/status/672160504572452864″>December 2, 2015</a></b></p></blockquote><script async=”” src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script><p>Ben Carson, speaking at a press conference in South Carolina, called the mass shooting a “hate crime.”</p><p>“Look at what happened,” he said at a press conference in South Carolina. “Again, another hate crime in San Bernardino today, at least 14 people were killed. Less than a week ago, we had the shooting in Colorado. And look at all the things going on around the world, ISIS and groups like this, just hatred and evil. We need to be able to combat these things, because otherwise we will melt into despair, and that’s not who we are.”</p><p>Asked to explain why he said the shooting should be classified as a hate crime, Carson replied, “It’s hard to imagine you would shoot a bunch of people if you didn’t hate them, right? You don’t do that to people you love.”</p><br><br><br><br><p><i>Eliza Collins, Sarah Wheaton and Jennifer Haberkorn contributed to this report. </i></p><br>

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