Mass shootings in Washington Monday and Chicago Thursday prompted President Obama to revive the drumbeat for gun law reform again this week, urging supporters “to get back up and go back at it” in calling for expanded background checks for gun purchases. But even as Obama spoke Saturday morning, the death roll in Obama’s hometown was rising, as shootings over night Friday into Saturday morning took five more lives and injured six others. At least nine shootings affected individuals from age 14 to 41, between 1:30 p.m. Friday and 5:30 a.m. Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Among the victims were a 41-year-old man shot in what was reported as an argument over a parking space around 4 a.m. Saturday, and a 37-year-old man who was shot in the back several times walking down the street around 11 p.m.
Saturday morning, President Obama addressed the Congressional Black Caucus, referencing the shooting that injured 13 — including a three-year-old — just two days earlier.
“[W]e can’t rest until all of our children can go to school or walk down the street free from the fear that they will be struck down by a stray bullet,” he said.
The latest spate of shootings reflects the continuation of everyday gun violence around the country that adds up daily to the death toll of Newtown and other mass shootings that garner national media attention. While conservatives like to point out that Chicago already has stricter gun laws than most of the country, seized guns in the city typically come from outside the city — reinforcing the need for federal legislation to close gun law loopholes.
But Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who sponsored the background checks bill that died in the Senate, said Sunday morning on Face the Nation that he would not revive the legislation “unless there’s a movement” among lawmakers.
“I’m not gonna go out there and just beat the drum for the sake of beating the drum,” he said. “There has to be people willing to move off the position they’ve taken. They’ve gotta come to that conclusion themself, and I’m still talking to everybody.”