During his speech in Warsaw, Poland on Saturday, President Obama declared, “[I]f you care about the safety of our police officers, then you can’t set aside the gun issue” and that guns are a “contributing factor to the broader tensions that arise between police and the communities they serve.” He added that Philando Castile’s gun “caused, in some fashion,” his death.
Obama argued, “[I]f you care about the safety of our police officers, then you can’t set aside the gun issue and pretend that that’s irrelevant. At the protests in Dallas, one of the challenges for the Dallas Police Department, as they’re being shot at, is because this is an open carry state, there are a bunch of people participating in the protests, who have weapons on them. Imagine if you’re a police officer and you’re trying sort out who is shooting at you, and there are a bunch of people who have got guns on them. In Minneapolis, we don’t know yet what happened, but we do know that, there was a gun in the car that apparently, was licensed. But it caused, in some fashion, those tragic events. So, no, we can’t just ignore that and pretend that’s somehow political or the president is pushing his policy agenda. It is a contributing factor, not the sole factor, but a contributing factor, to the broader tensions that arise between police and the communities where they serve.”
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