By Jim Kouri
President Barack Obama promised his administration will examine actions that would lead to a reduction in gun violence in aftermath of a lone gunman’s attack in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that left 7 dead — including the gunman — and several wounded, he told reporters in the Oval Office on Monday morning.
“All of us are heartbroken by what’s happened,” Obama told reporters the day after a suspect armed with a semiautomatic handgun launched his deadly attack. The gunman was identified as an army veteran Wade Michael Page who wore white-supremacist tattoos, according to the FBI.
Obama insisted that American flags in the capital and at all government buildings throughout the nation be flown at half-mast in honor of the victims of the mass shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Obama told reporters that “these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity” and vowed to “do some soul- searching” and to “examine additional ways” to curtail such violence.
Obama’s critics claim he’s latching on to this incident in order to avoid discussing the abysmal economic picture in the United States and the continued high-unemployment.
“I think there are a lot of elements involved in it, and what I want to do is to bring together law enforcement, community leaders, faith leaders, elected officials of every level to see how we can make continued progress,” Obama told reporters.
“There are many who believe that Obama is waiting until after his re-election to spring his new gun-control agenda on Americans. He’s not one to allow the U.S. Constitution to interfere with his plans,” said political strategist Michael Baker.
“The real question is: once such a panel is assembled, will Obama meet with them periodically? I doubt it. [Obama] formed a special White House committee to work on the unemployment problem but in six months he’s only attended once meeting. Meanwhile, on Monday he attended two fundraisers in Connecticut including one ‘star-studded’ fundraiser with celebrities like actress Anne Hathaway,” said Baker.
Meanwhile, ammunition manufacturers have reported their factories are producing ammunition at record rates and keeping their facilities operating 24/7. Yet, they still cannot keep up with the demand for bullets for everything from handguns to hunting rifles.
Gun store owners and manufacturers claim this is the first time they have ever seen such a drastic shortage in ammunition. “I have never seen such a situation in all my years as a gun owner, hunter and cop,” said Edna Aquino, a New York police officer and shooting instructor.
“I’m hearing from fellow shooters that they are stockpiling ammunition these days because they are afraid of what they’re seeing in this country,” she said
At a law enforcement press conference, also on Monday morning, federal and local law enforcement spokespersons said they were still investigating possible motives for Page’s attack.
During the Wisconsin the press conference, U.S. Attorney James Santelle told reporters this attack wasn’t the first perpetrated against Sikhs.
Following the 9-11 terrorist attack, a man in Arizona was attacked by people thinking Sikhs are Muslims.
An organization for U.S. Sikh community urged leaders to take steps to do more to prevent these crimes and promote tolerance.