WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Saturday that it is "insane" that people who are not allowed to fly on planes are allowed to buy guns.
"Right now, people on the No-Fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. That is insane. If you're too dangerous to board a plane, you're too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun," he said in his weekly address. "And so I'm calling on Congress to close this loophole, now. We may not be able to prevent every tragedy, but — at a bare minimum — we shouldn't be making it so easy for potential terrorists or criminals to get their hands on a gun that they could use against Americans."
Republicans have leveled withering criticism of Obama for tying the massacre to gun control. And also for not, in their view, playing up the terror aspect most immediately.
Still, the possibility that the San Bernardino, California, shooting suspects were radicalized confirms the need for people "to work together" to prevent this from happening, Obama said.
"We know that ISIL and other terrorist groups are actively encouraging people — around the world and in our country — to commit terrible acts of violence, often times as lone wolf actors," the president said. "And even as we work to prevent attacks, all of us — government, law enforcement, communities, faith leaders — need to work together to prevent people from falling victim to these hateful ideologies."
Authorities say Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik — one, a U.S. citizen and the other, a permanent resident — shot and killed 14 people at a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center. Both were killed in a police shootout, and officials said thousands of rounds of ammunition and 12 pipe bombs were found in the couple's apartment.
"It is entirely possible that these two attackers were radicalized to commit this act of terror. And if so, it would underscore a threat we've been focused on for years — the danger of people succumbing to violent extremist ideologies," Obama said.