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Barack Obama calls for stricter gun laws after fatal shootings in Atlanta and Colorado

Obama said that it’s long past time for leaders “to fight this epidemic of gun violence.”

Barack Obama Ashlee Renee Grazin/AP

Barack Obama is calling for stricter gun control laws following the mass shootings in Colorado and Georgia. On Tuesday afternoon (March 23), the former president addressed the “random, senseless acts” in Atlanta and Boulder, and expressed his condolences to the families of the victims. He also praised the courage of Officer Eric Talley, who passed away while responding to the violence, which he says has produced both feelings of grief and outrage in many Americans.

“In so many ways, our lives may soon start to return to normal after a long, difficult year filled with so much loss,” Obama wrote in his formal statement.

“But in a normal life, we should be able to buy groceries without fear. We should be able to go to school, or go out with our friends or worship together without mentally planning our escape if someone shows up with a gun … We should. But in America, we can’t.”

Obama said that the fight against the gun violence epidemic is long overdue and noted that, “It will take time to root out the disaffection, racism and misogyny that fuels so many of these senseless acts.”

“But we can make it harder for those with hate in their hearts to buy weapons of war,” he continued. “We can overcome opposition by cowardly politicians and the pressure of a gun lobby that opposes any limit on the ability of anyone to assemble an arsenal. We can, and we must.”

Obama’s statement comes in the wake of the Boulder shooting that saw 10 grocery shoppers killed at the hands of 21-year-old suspect Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa. It’s the second time within days that the former president brought attention to the country’s need for stricter gun laws.

Last week, after 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long fatally shot six Asian women and two others in Atlanta, Obama said that the shootings were “another tragic reminder that we have far more work to do to put in place commonsense gun safety laws, and root out the pervasive patterns of hatred and violence in our society.”

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