President Barack Obama did not have any answers during a press conference on Thursday as to why two heavily armed assailants decided to open fire during a holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif. on Wednesday, but he did restate his personal position on gun control that many others in the United States believe to be true.
“Right now, it’s just too easy,” he said from the White House. “We’re going to have to I think search ourselves as a society to make sure that we can [take] basic steps that would make it harder — not impossible, but harder — for individuals to get access to weapons.”
Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, killed at least 14 people and injured at least 17 others during their rampage through the Inland Regional Center, where the holiday party for county staff was being held.
Obama encouraged the nation to send thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families, but stated he does not know “why this terrible event occurred.”
“It is possible that this was terrorist-related, but we don’t know. It’s also possible that this was workplace-related,” he said, but promised the FBI investigation would yield results. “We are going to be as vigilant as we always are in getting the facts before we issue any decisive judgments in terms of how this occurred.”
He pivoted to gun control, a divisive topic that routinely comes up in the wake of mass shootings in America by stressing “we all have a part to play” in preventing more violence. There have been 41 mass shootings this year, according to the FBI’s definition.
“I do think that as the investigation moves forward, it’s going to be important for all of us including our legislators to see what we can do to make sure that when individuals decide that they want to do somebody harm, we’re making a little harder for them to do it,” he said.
The President concluded his address to the nation by ordering all flags be flown at half-staff at the White House, as well as at all federal government buildings, U.S. embassies, and military installations in memory of the victims.