Washington: Amid a flurry of reports about the motives behind the tragic mass shooting in California that killed 14 people and the origin and religion of the people behind it, the White House today cautioned against jumping to conclusions till the incident is probed.
“People should not jump to conclusions,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, adding the FBI – which is investigating the incident – is investigating all the facts of the shooting that killed 14 people and injured 17.
“He (president) is not going to jump to conclusions. Investigators are not going to jump to conclusions. They’re going to allow the facts to guide the investigation as they should,” he said in response to a question.
“The president is acknowledging is that this is an incident, a terrible tragedy that occurred less than 24 hours ago. And the desire on the part of the American public, to understand what exactly transpired in the lead up to this event and in the immediate aftermath is understandable.
“That’s why the president convened a meeting of members of his national security team, including the director of the FBI, the attorney general and deputy secretary of Homeland Security. Because he himself is determined to get to the bottom of what exactly happened,” he noted.
“So what he had in mind when he made that comment is to urge people not to jump to conclusions. And to allow the investigators to do their important work. There are hundreds of federal law enforcement officials that are working on this case even as we speak,” Earnest said.
“And that the intensity of this investigation and the intensity of the president’s interest and his determination to get to the bottom of what exactly happened should give people confidence that that will occur. It is a reason for people to resist the urge to jump to conclusions about what exactly happened and about what the potential motives of these two killers may have been,” the spokesman said.
Obama is determined to do everything he possibly can to try to make the country safer, he said.
“He certainly believes that members of Congress should have the same impulse. Unfortunately, too many members of Congress have allowed politics to block that impulse. We know that there are some things that Congress can do, and that only Congress can do, that would make it harder for people who shouldn’t have guns, from getting them,” he said lashing out at the Republican-controlled Congress.
“Those laws can be implemented in a way that doesn’t undermine the basic constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. Unfortunately, Congress hasn’t acted, and the president has talked at great length about how frustrating – and in some cases, infuriating, that is to him,” he said.
Earnest said the president doesn’t envision a law that would prevent every single act of violence from occurring — not such law exists.
“But there are surely some common- sense measures that can be taken that would make it just a little bit harder for people who shouldn’t have guns from getting their hands on them, or for people who shouldn’t have access to guns getting their hands on weapons of war,” he said.