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WATCH: Obama calls for stricter gun control: ‘Our thoughts and prayers are not enough’

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President Barack Obama on Thursday angrily called for stricter U.S. gun laws after the latest mass murder in Oregon and took aim at the powerful National Rifle Association gun lobby for blocking reform.

Appearing in the White House briefing room with a grim expression and an angry tone, Obama said it was not enough to offer prayers after major shootings continued to occur regularly throughout the country.

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“As I said just a few months ago, and I said just a few months before that, and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough,” Obama told reporters after the latest shooting at a community college in which 13 people were killed and some 20 people were wounded.

“It’s not enough,” he said.

Nodding to the arguments that such shootings are often committed by the mentally ill, Obama said it was clear that anyone who commits such crimes had a “sickness in their minds.”

“But we are not the only country on Earth who has people with mental illnesses who want to do harm to other people,” he said. “We are the only advanced country on Earth who sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months.”

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Obama spoke mainly without notes, angrily anticipating the arguments that gun advocates would brandish in the wake of the shooting. He said he knew his opponents would criticize him for politicizing a tragedy.

“This is something we should politicize,” he said, calling on Americans of all political stripes to hold their elected leaders accountable for acting on the issue.

Obama called on gun owners who use weapons for hunting, sport and protection to question whether the gun lobby represented their views. He did not mention the National Rifle Association by name, but his comments were clearly directed at that organization, which has broad political influence in Washington.

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Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made a concerted push for broad gun control reforms after the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut school shooting of young children that shocked the country. They were unsuccessful.

Obama said he would continue to bring up the need for reform every time such a shooting took place, but the White House has made clear that it was unlikely to attempt another broad push on gun control through the Republican-led U.S. Congress.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Sandra Maler and Jonathan Oatis)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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2020 Election

Scientist who correctly predicted 2018 midterms says Democrats can win 18 more seats in 2020

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The political scientist who correctly predicted the 2018 elections says Democrats left seats on the table in the midterms -- and can win them in 2020.

Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, was interviewed by MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on "The Last Word."

"Could you explain to the viewers how it is you determine what it was that actually did win a given congressional district?" O'Donnell asked. "When there is this common belief that, oh, well, the Democrats ran because the Republicans threatened their health care and so some swing voters switched over from Republican voting to democratic voting."

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2020 Election

Maddow reveals how Chinese group Falun Gong went from disrupting events to running a shadow campaign for Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday detailed the remarkable journey of the group Falun Gong shifting from disrupting White House events to dominating the conversation on Facebook.

Maddow hilariously recounted the "major embarrassment" for the George W. Bush White House when a protester interrupted remarks by President of China Hu Jintao.

The protester was credentialed to cover the event for the Epoch Times, which is controlled by Falun Gong.

"Well, NBC News has a scoop out today about that group, about how that paper, the Epoch Times has transformed itself a lot in the Trump era. It’s a real revelation, this reporting from NBC News," Maddow said. "I mean, Epoch Times and its media group, they’ve made themselves into a whole new thing entirely and in a very big way."

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CNN

Trump’s failed Federal Reserve nominee doesn’t even know what the interest rate was 10 years ago

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On Tuesday, CNN's Chris Cuomo invited on Stephen Moore, supply-side economist and President Donald Trump's failed pick for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, to discuss the state of the administration — and Moore made a hilariously wrong remark about interest rates that suggests the country was better off without him.

"There's no greatest economy ever," said Cuomo. "You know these things ... he's doing well. He's not doing better than we've ever seen before, and you guys got the benefits of juicing the economy with this tax cut. Fair point?"

"Let me say this, I think it's a pretty darn good economy," said Moore. "I'll cite a few statistics. It's a pretty darn good one. We have the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years ... and for blacks and Hispanics and women."

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