Several presidential candidates have offered their thoughts and prayers to the victims and families affected by Thursday’s mass shooting at a community college in Oregon. A gunman, 26, opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, killing nine and injuring seven others before he himself was killed in a police shootout.
A visibly upset President Obama delivered a statement soon after the shooting, expressing frustration with the “routine” reactions that take place after such an incident and lamenting the inability to pass any gun reform legislation.
If voters were hoping to get specifics from his possible successors about what reforms they would like to see implemented, they were sorely disappointed.
"It is just beyond my comprehension that we are seeing these mass murders happen again and again and again,” Hillary Clinton told reporters after a campaign event in Boston.
“And as I have said, we have got to get the political will to do everything we can to keep people safe. You know, I know there is a way to have sensible gun control measures that help prevent violence, prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands and save lives. And I am committed to doing everything I can to achieve that,” she added.
Her chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), likewise called for “sensible gun-control legislation.”
“We need a comprehensive approach. We need sensible gun-control legislation which prevents guns from being used by people who should not have them,” he said in a statement. “We must greatly expand and improve our mental health capabilities so individuals and families can get the psychological help then need when they need it.”
"The shouting at each other must end. The hard work of developing good policy must begin,” he added.
On Friday, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump chalked up incidents like the one in Oregon to mentally ill people, but noted: “This is sort of unique to our country — the school shootings.”
“We’ll probably find out that like the others, ‘gee whiz, he was a loner and sick like all the others,’” he said during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“You’re always going to have problems,” Trump added. “That’s the way the world works. For the next million years, people will slip through the cracks.”
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson made a similar statement in an interview with conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt.
"The issue is the mentality of these people. And we need to be looking at the mentality of these individuals and seeing if there are any early warning clues that we can gather that will help us as a society be able to identify these people ahead of time,” he said.
“What I worry about is when we get to the point and we say we have to have every gun registered, we have to know where the people are, and where their guns are," according to Carson. "That is very dangerous that I wouldn’t agree with at all.”
Gun control could crop up as an issue in the first Democratic presidential debate on October 13 or the third GOP debate at the end of the month, but it is unlikely that candidates from either party will go beyond their previous, vague statements.