Obama pushes for gun control after Planned Parenthood shooting

After a gunman opened fire at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood on Friday, killing three people and injuring several others, President Obama urged the nation to increase controls over "the easy accessibility of weapons of war."

"This is not normal," the president said in a statement Saturday. "We can't let it become normal."

"If we truly care about this -- if we're going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience -- then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them," Mr. Obama added. "Enough is enough."

The accused shooter, 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear of North Carolina, is in custody after a five-hour standoff with police at the Planned Parenthood facility. Three people, including a police officer, died from the attack, and five other officers and four civilians were wounded.

The president denounced the gunman for "terrorizing an entire community" and said that after the shooting "more Americans and their families had fear forced upon them."

He also praised the officer killed in the line of duty, Garrett Swasey, who left behind a wife, a son and daughter.

"The last thing Americans should have to do, over the holidays or any day, is comfort the families of people killed by gun violence -- people who woke up in the morning and bid their loved ones goodbye with no idea it would be for the last time," Mr. Obama said. "And yet, two days after Thanksgiving, that's what we are forced to do again."

President Obama delivers a statement about the deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College in which he said, "Our thoughts and prayers are not enough," at the White House in Washington, D.C., Oct. 1, 2015.
President Obama delivers a statement about the deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College in which he said, "Our thoughts and prayers are not enough," at the White House in Washington, D.C., Oct. 1, 2015.
Susan Walsh/AP

This isn't the first time the president has stepped up calls for gun regulation following a deadly shooting. Just last month, he expressed visible frustration when commenting on the need for gun control after a lone gunman killed 10 people at an Oregon community college.

"Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine, my response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it, we've become numb to this," Mr. Obama said in early October. "It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun."