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Obama 'distressed' by failure to pass gun safety laws

COMMENTS: US President Barack Obama

US PRESIDENT Obama says his biggest frustration since taking office was the failure to pass “common-sense gun safety laws”

His comments come after a lone gunman opened fire inside a cinema in Lafayette, Louisiana, last night (July 23), killing two people and injuring at least nine others before taking his own life, police said.

The incident happened during an evening screening of Trainwreck. It is believed up to 100 people had crammed into the movie theatre to watch the showing.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Obama said it was "distressing" not to have made progress on the issue "even in the face of repeated mass killings".

"If you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it's less than 100. If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it's in the tens of thousands," Obama said.

"For us not to be able to resolve that issue has been something that is distressing," he added.

According to witnesses a man, described by police as white and aged 58, stood up and started shooting.

He died of a self-inflicted wound after discharging his weapon, a semi-automatic handgun, numerous times. Police said he was dead before officers entered the theatre.

At least nine people were left with injuries ranging from non life-threatening to critical, according to Lafayette police chief Jim Craft.

Comedian and actor Amy Schumer, whose movie Trainwreck was showing in the theatre where the shooting took place, tweeted her shock at the evening’s events. “My heart is broken and all my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Louisiana,” she wrote.

The Louisiana shooting occurred three years after James Holmes entered a crowded movie theater in suburban Denver, Colorado and opened fire during the premier of a Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others.

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