Visibly angry Obama says ‘thoughts, prayers’ not enough as nation becomes ‘numb’ to mass shootings

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WASHINGTON -- A visibly angry President Barack Obama said Thursday that "thoughts and prayers" are no longer enough to prevent another mass shooting, such as what occurred at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

"As I said just a few months ago, and I said a few months before that, and I said each time I see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It's not enough!" Obama said from the White House briefing room.

"It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel, and it does not to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America next week or a couple months from now."

Obama said the U.S. is becoming "numb" to mass shootings and that the perpetrators have "sickness" in their minds.

"We are the only advanced country in the world that sees these mass shootings every few months.

"It cannot be this easy for someone who wants to inflict harm to get his or her hands on a gun. There is a gun for roughly every man, woman and child in America."

But, he said, "We have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from ... collecting data on how we can potentially reduce gun deaths.

"When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer.  When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we work to make our communities safer.

"If you think this is a problem, then you should expect your elected officials to reflect your views," he said.

The president concluded, "May God bless the memories of those who were killed today. May He bring comfort to their families."

Obama spoke Thursday after 10 people were killed by a 20-year-old gunman at Umpqua  Community College in southwestern Oregon.

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