WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 (UPI) — President Obama expressed concerns about gun violence Wednesday, saying the number of gun-related deaths in the United States far outpaces deaths from terrorism.
In response to the on-air shooting in Virginia that left two journalists dead and a woman they were interviewing hospitalized, Obama said the incidents are heartbreaking. The shooter, a former co-worker of the two journalists, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“What we know is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents in this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism,” Obama told WPVI-TV. “It breaks my heart every time you read about or hear about these kinds of incidents.”
The Obama administration has become increasingly vocal about gun control with the frequent tragic shootings. Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday there are “common sense” steps Congress can take to reduce gun violence in the country without stepping on Second Amendment rights.
“This is another example of gun violence that is becoming all too common in communities large and small all across the United States,” Earnest said.
Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and videographer Adam Ward, 27, were shot dead during a live broadcast about 6:45 a.m. at the Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Va., near Roanoke. They were interviewing Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce. She remains in stable condition after being shot in the back.
Shooter Vester Lee Flanagan II, known on-air as Bryce Williams, died shortly after the shooting.