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POLITICS: PennAve

White House: 'Too early' to address gun debate after Navy Yard shootings

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The White House on Monday declined to speculate about a new legislative push for gun control, as law enforcement officials responded to a mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

“It is far too early to say anything about who did this and the broader meaning of it,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily briefing.

Since taking office, Obama has pressed for tougher gun control after shootings in Tucson, Ariz., Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., among other places.

After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut last December, Obama called for expanded background checks for gun purchases, an assault weapons ban and a prohibition on high-capacity magazines.

However, the president was unable to rally congressional support behind any of those measures — an embarrassing legislative defeat at the start of his second term.

Carney on Monday said the president remains committed to passing new laws that will reduce gun violence.

“What is true is that the president supports, as do an overwhelming majority of Americans, common sense measures to reduce gun violence,” the White House spokesman said.

While Carney briefed reporters, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray told reporters the shooting at the nearby Navy Yard had killed at least 12 people.

Obama addressed the shooting in brief remarks before a scheduled address on the economy and financial crisis earlier Monday.

The president said the nation was “confronting yet another mass shooting,” calling the victims “patriots” and vowing to bring those responsible to justice.

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Brian Hughes

White House Correspondent
The Washington Examiner