Flying to Aurora to comfort victims, President Barack Obama has suspended his own campaign for a few days. While sitting with family members of those killed in the Friday massacre at the Century 16 movie theater, Obama had a lot of words of comfort to offer to those grieving like Jordan Ghawi who lost his sister. Joining Obama at the hospital were Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, and other local officials.
After spending close to three hours at the University of Colorado Hospital with victims and family members, he said,
“Although the perpetrator of this evil act has received a lot of attention over the last couple of days, that attention will fade away, and in the end after he has felt the full force of our justice system, what will be remembered are the good people who were impacted by this tragedy.”
Obama continued, “I hope that over the next several days, next several weeks and next several months, we all reflect on how we can do something about some of the senseless violence that ends up marring this country.”
He did not, however, make any mention of the idea of stricter gun control laws or of changes that he will be making. When asked if Obama plans to change his stance on gun control laws White House press secretary Jay Carney said,
“The president is focused on doing the things that we can do that protect Second Amendment rights which he thinks is important but also make it harder for individuals who should not under existing law have weapons to obtain them.”
Victims’ families were impressed that Obama and White House press secretary Jay Carney refused to use the murderer’s name. Not wanting to draw attention to the man who committed these crimes, they refused to use his name and focused, instead, on the victims and heroes from the situation.
Obama’s campaign is momentarily on hold as he shows the American public a proper amount of grief and space. He will pick up his campaigning again today with an official speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, Nevada. He’ll then move on to Oakland, California where he will have a few roundtables and dinners where guests have paid $38, 500 to sit with him. He’ll be in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday and then on to Seattle. Wednesday, Obama will end this round of campaigning in New Orleans with a fundraiser at the House of Blues and a speech to the National Urban League.