A supercut of Obama's response to mass shootings shows just how routine this has become.
Mass shootings have become routine, and, sadly, so have our responses to them.
"Thoughts and prayers" are offered up, but few solutions follow. In the wake of the attacks that claimed 2,977 lives on 9/11, our political leaders sprung into action, passing the PATRIOT Act, creating the Department of Homeland Security, and entering what now seems to be unending war.
In 2014, there were 12,569 gun deaths in the U.S. alone. Yet we can't seem to come to a consensus on even the smallest of changes to our lax gun laws. And after the San Bernardino, California, shooting, it seems again unlikely that anything will change.
Nowhere is this frustration more apparent than in President Obama's changing responses to mass shootings.
Refinery29 put together a supercut of Obama's responses to mass shootings.
The 10 statements included in the video range from April 2009's mass shooting in Binghamton, New York (where 13 people were killed), to last week's attack on a Colorado Planned Parenthood (where three people were killed).
With each address to the nation, the president's emotions have visibly shifted, trending toward helplessness.
His early responses were filled with shock and sadness. Then came a call to action, asking the country to unite as it did during past tragedies.
And finally, frustration — a sentiment many Americans agree with.
His frustration is not for a lack of trying. The president keeps proposing solutions, but Congress isn't acting.
Following the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, the president put forward a plan to reduce gun violence while keeping Americans' Second Amendment rights intact. The plan was centered on closing background check loopholes, banning "military-style assault weapons," and boosting mental health resources around the country.
In April 2013, the Senate voted down what seemed to be the most common-sense reform: shoring up the "gun show loophole." It failed, despite the fact that 81% of Americans favored universal background checks — and since then, that number has risen to 88%.
Most recently, the president asked Congress to bar people on the terrorist watch list/no-fly list from purchasing guns.
Surely, that's something they can agree on, right? Preventing those suspected of terrorism from owning guns and committing terrorist acts seems like a slam dunk. But Congress isn't budging, and without their action, there's little President Obama can actually accomplish.
It would be nice if instead of just flatly blocking even the most common-sense gun control measures, members of Congress could put forward a plan more detailed than "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families." Because again...
Action needs to happen. Tell your Congress member that thoughts, prayers, and words are not enough.
But wait, what did the president have to say about the San Bernardino shooting? Not much.
This is partly due to the fact that new information about the shooting, the shooters, and possible motives hasn't come to light just yet. But it also seems like it comes down to a question of how many times one man can give variations on the same speech, making the same pleas. There's not really anything new the president could add, so he kept comments extremely short.
"The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere in the world," President Obama told CBS News' Savannah Guthrie.
"There are steps we can take to make Americans safer. We should come together in a bipartisan basis at every level of government to make [mass shootings] rare as opposed to normal," he added.