President Barack Obama has said all Americans have a part to play in making it harder for individuals to carry out mass shootings. His statement comes after a shooting in California that left 14 people dead.
Addressing the nation in a televised statement on Thursday, Obama called once again for stricter gun control while emphasizing that authorities had not yet determined a motive for the mass shooting that took place in San Bernardino the previous day.
"We see the prevalence of these kinds of mass shootings in this country and I think so many Americans sometimes feel as if there's nothing we can do about it," Obama said. He went on to say that "we all have a part to play" in preventing potential murderers from getting their hands on guns, in order to ensure that "we're making it a little harder for them to [kill], because right now it's just too easy."
"We're going to have to search ourselves as a society" to take "basic steps" to make it harder for these individuals to get access to weapons, the president added.
No clear motive yet
Obama also said authorities were still investigating a possible motive for the attack, and had not ruled out terrorism.
"At this stage we do not yet know why this terrible event occurred," he said. "We do know that the two individuals who were killed were equipped with weapons and appeared to have access to additional weaponry at their homes. But we don't know why they did it. We don't know at this point the extent of their plans, we do not know their motivations."
The two individuals in question, Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, stormed a Christmas party at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, heavily armed and dressed in combat gear. The fact that Farook was allegedly a devout Muslim has fueled speculation that the attack could be motivated by Islamic extremism.
"It's possible that this was terrorist-related, but we don't know. It's also possible that this was workplace-related," the president said.
Obama assured his audience that FBI investigators were working closely with local authorities and would "get to the bottom of this."