White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that President Barack Obama is “always” looking for opportunities to act “unilaterally” again on guns, though he would prefer to work with Congress.
“The president’s goal is to look for opportunities to act administratively, unilaterally using his executive authority to try to make our communities safer,” Earnest said, responding to a question the day that a gunman opened fire at an Oregon high school, killing one student and injuring a teacher. “We’re always looking for those opportunities. But none of those opportunities when they present themselves is going to be an acceptable substitute for robust legislative action.”
Police said the shooter at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon, was later found dead.
After the December 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, Obama took 23 executive actions to restrict guns. However, an Obama-backed bill for stronger background checks for gun purchases could not even get enough support to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Obama participated in a Tumblr question and answer session from the White House Tuesday. The question came from a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where a campus shooting occurred.
The president said that more executive actions would not be enough.
“If public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change,” Obama said. “We don’t have enough tools right now to make as big a dent as we need to.”
Click here to read more.