President Barack Obama called Thursday’s sniper attacks on Dallas police officers “vicious, calculated and despicable,” and indicated that a lack of gun control was to blame for the deadliest attack on law enforcement since 9/11.
The attacks left five officers dead and seven more wounded.
“We still don’t know all the facts,” Obama said. “What we do know is that there has been a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement. Police in Dallas were on duty doing their jobs keeping people safe during peaceful protests.”
“As I told Mayor Rawlings, I believe I speak for every single American when I say we are horrified over these events and we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas,” the president went on to say, later adding: “Let’s be clear: There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement.”
President Obama went on to point a finger at the “powerful weapons” used in the attacks. “We also know when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately, it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic,” he said. “In the days ahead, we will have to consider those realities as well.”
Obama’s pivot to gun control resembles his reaction to the Orlando terrorist attack, which he used as an opportunity to call for more gun control. “Those who were killed and injured here were gunned down by a single killer with a powerful assault weapon,” he said at the time. “The motives of this killer may have been different than the mass shooters in Aurora or Newtown, but the instruments of death were so similar.”
“Those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense. They should meet with the Newtown families — some of whom Joe saw yesterday — whose children would now be finishing fifth grade — on why it is that we think our liberty requires these repeated tragedies,” he went on to say. “That’s not the meaning of liberty.”
Thursday night’s attack was the deadliest attack on law enforcement since the Sept. 11 attacks.