2 School Shootings On the Eve Of Obamas Major Gun Control Speech
Update: In the second fatal school shooting of the day, two people were killed as a gunman open fired in an Eastern Kentucky community college. Follow here.
A day before President Barack Obama is set to unveil his gun control measures, there has been another school shooting in America.
According to reports, the suspect — a currently enrolled student — allegedly shot one administrator before fleeing to a stairwell and turning the gun on himself, according to a police briefing broadcasted by KMOX.
This new event will likely play into Obama’s gun control speech, set for Wednesday, in which he will likely seek an assault weapons ban and will look to strengthen background checks for gun buyers.
STLToday is reporting on the shooting:
A long-time employee of Stevens Institute of Business & Arts was shot by an on-again, off-again student, who then shot himself Tuesday afternoon, police said.
Both men were in surgery at 3 p.m. and St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said he was “hopeful” both men would survive after the shooting, about 2 p.m.
Authorities said the victim, in his late 40s, was shot in the chest with a handgun by a student, 21, in a fourth-floor office, police said. The suspected shooter then went to a stairwell between the third and fourth floors and shot himself. Dotson said a gun was found with the man.
The suspected shooter was a spart-time student for the last four years, Dotson said.
Obama will act unilaterally on the gun control issue via executive order. Such action would bypass Congress and the presumed legislative gridlock.
During the speech, Obama will be joined by several leading mayors (we’re guessing New York City Mike Bloomberg will be front-and-center, as he is staunchly anti-gun) in his announcement and is expected to implement most, if not all, of the 19 executive orders which range from expanding background check requirements to dedicating resources to the enforcement of mental health checks and inter-state communication.
The will undoubetedly spark a major partisan debate: conservatives and pro-gun advocates are calling out the president for failing to use the legislative process and would be inflamed over the issue.
The conservative Drudge Report compared executive action to dictators Hitler and Stalin.
The backlash could be immense and could cost Obama leverage in future political battles, most notably the coming debt ceiling fight next month.
Obama has often pulled the “popular mandate” card, saying that his re-election in November proves Americans are behind him … almost hinting at persumed unconditional support among voters.
But what do the American people really think about the gun debate? Well, for starters, just 4% of Americans identify guns as the nation’s top problem, as Gallup reports.
The polling data on more specific policy issues is completely divided, with no clear consensus on what to do.
Still, the issue has come to a head. Since 2005, when the assault weapons ban expired, there have been 32 mass public shootings, including seven in 2012 (adding up to 20% of all mass public shootings over the last two decades). Whether voters identify guns as a problem or not, politicians are looking to address the issue immediately.