U.S. President Barack Obama gave a press conference on Thursday morning, Dec. 3, about the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California which took place the day before.
The President, after having been briefed by numerous security officials, ventured to say that the assault might have been an act of terrorism, or it might just be workplace related. He also said that no one yet knows the motivations of the two perpetrators who murdered 14 people and critically wounded more than a dozen others.
“At this stage we do not yet know why this terrible event occurred,” he said during a nationally televised press briefing. “We don’t know at this point the extent of their plans … or their motivations.”
“It is possible that this is terrorist related but we don’t know,” Obama added. “It is also possible that it was workplace related.”
The President also took the opportunity to once again call on the country to take “basic steps” to make it harder for people to gain access to weapons.
“We see the prevalence of these kinds of mass shooting in this country, and I think so many Americans sometimes feel as if there is nothing we can do,” Obama said.
“We can’t just leave it to our professionals to deal with the problem of these kinds of horrible killings — we all have a part to play. And I do think that as the investigation moves forward, it’s going to be important for all of us — including the legislatures — to see what we can do to make sure that when individuals decide that they want to do somebody harm, we’re making it a little harder for them to do it because right now it’s just too easy.”
The Associated Press, citing the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said two of the weapons — two assault rifles and two handguns — were purchased by someone who is now under investigation.
The shooters, identified as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, a U.S. citizen whose family is from Pakistan, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27, were both killed in the shootout with police following the mass shooting on Wednesday.
In a statement the President made shortly after he learned about the shootings, he repeated a message he previously uttered in Paris on Monday, just two weeks after the horrific Nov.13 massacres in Paris. Yesterday, Obama said, “The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world.
Responding to a question about a shooting at Planned Parenthood after his talk at the international Climate Change Conference on Monday, the President responded that mass shootings “just doesn’t happen in other countries.”
The people who were sprayed with bullets in Parisian cafes and at the Bataclan theater on Nov. 13 – at least the ones who survived – were probably surprised to hear that, let alone the folks in many South American and Middle Eastern countries such as oh, Syria.
Farook worked in the building where the San Bernadino shootings took place, and he was even at the Christmas party shortly before he began blowing away his colleagues – some of whom had thrown him and his wife/accomplice a baby shower earlier this year.
The number of guns and ammunition and the body armor and explosive devices used in the mass shooting could not possibly have been set up in the short amount of time it took for Farook to leave the party and return with guns blazing. A workplace incident? Hard to see that. Terrorism? Not so hard.