President Obama said today that he is “heartbroken” by the deadly shooting at the Sikh religious center in Wisconsin and renewed his call to reduce violence across the country.
“I think all of us recognize that these kinds of terrible tragic events are happening with too much regularity for us not to do some soul searching and to examine additional ways that we can reduce violence,” the president told reporters in the Oval Office when asked about the gunman who killed six people in Oak Creek Sunday.
The president made similar remarks after the deadly shooting in Aurora, Colo., last month, but is not proposing any additional gun controls. “What I want to do is bring together law enforcement, community leaders, faith leaders, elected officials at every level to see how we can make continued progress,” he said today.
While the investigation is ongoing, police have identified the lone gunman as Wade Michael Page, an Army veteran with possible ties to white supremacist groups.
“We don’t yet know fully what motivated this individual to carry out this terrible act. If it turns out, as some early reports indicated, that it may have been motivated in some way by the ethnicity of those who were attending the temple, I think the American people immediately recoil against those kinds of attitudes,” the president said. “It will be very important for us to reaffirm once again that in this country, regardless of what we look like, where we come from, who we worship, we are all one people and we look after one other and we respect one another.”
The president’s comments came as he signed the “Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act” at the White House.