But the problem underlying this tragedy and the dozens of mass shootings that have preceded it goes deeper than an ocean of tears. And a clear eye will tell you that Obama is of as little use in the fight for gun control as he is in most fights. Everything you need to know about the futility of asking him for more can be found in his coded words about guns in his response to the Newtown, Connecticut shootings: "We're going to have to come together to meaningful action on this, regardless of the politics."
I don't want to dwell on this, because Obama will never be part of a real solution to the American gun murder epidemic -- which, by the way, claims a far greater number of little-noticed people of color than it does mediagenic suburban whites. But let's quickly dissect Obama's veiled reference to gun control and see what's really there.
Obama's words: "We're going to have to come together to meaningful action on this, regardless of the politics." Truth: America's gun-crazy policies are all about politics (as well as economics), and "coming together" is a guarantee of inaction. Gun proliferation and its resulting climate of fear are essential to the monied interests of big gun manufacturers, and are central to the political interests of corporate-owned demagogic congresspersons and senators who sell fear of the other to scared white people. (Let's tell it like it is: citizens of color are, by and large, not clamoring for easy access to guns.) Any challenge to this gun hegemony must by its nature be political. And "coming together" will never, ever win such a victory. All sides "coming together" to defeat the rule of guns is as absurd as all sides "coming together" to defeat slavery in the 19th century. Or Jim Crow in the 20th century. Or the denial of women's reproductive rights right up through today. In each case, what has won the day has not been all sides "coming together," but, instead, those committed to justice proving themselves unstoppable in the face of brutal opposition. The same is true of the gun war.
Which is why Obama will never be part of the solution.
What is and always will be the solution is when enough Americans generate enough of an understanding of the root of the problem and accrue enough rage about its bloody consequences to demand – through strategically-organized protest, civil disobedience, and economic and legislative outcry – that guns not be sold like candy.
To get an idea of just how cowardly Obama is on gun control, read yesterday's remarks by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – the guy who did his best to crush the Occupy movement and who presides over NYC's infamous stop-and-frisk policy – in which Bloomberg tried to prod Obama beyond tears and into action on reining in guns.
And to hear someone who has actually experienced a mass shooting talk back to Obama about the Newtown massacre, watch this video of Steve Barton, who survived being shot in the face and neck in the recent Aurora, Colorado theater shooting that killed 12 people and injured 58 others.