President Obama suspects Sikh temple shooting ethnically motivated
President Barack Obama while attending a White House signing of a bill unrelated to the Sikh temple shooting told the media present that "the temple shooting, but if it turned out it was ethnically motivated, the American people would "immediately recoil."
"It would be very important for us to reaffirm once again that in this country, regardless of what we look like, where we come from, who we worship, we are all one people," he said.
He said on Monday that mass killings like the shooting rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin were occurring with "too much regularity" and should prompt soul searching by all Americans, but he stopped short of calling for new gun-control laws.
All of us recognize that these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity for us not to do some soul searching to examine additional ways that we can reduce violence," Obama said at an Oval Office ceremony to sign an unrelated bill.
When asked whether he would push for further gun-control measures in the wake of the shootings, Obama said only that he wanted to bring together leaders at all levels of American society to examine ways to curb gun violence.
In a show of respect for the victims of the shooting in a Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, Obama ordered flags at all U.S. government facilities at home and abroad to be flown at half staff until sunset on Friday.
Police identified the Wisconsin gunman as Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old U.S. Army veteran. A group that monitors extremists said he was a member of a racist skinhead band.
Federal investigators had “looked at” Sikh temple gunman Wade Michael Page more than once because of his associations with right-wing extremists and the possibility that he was providing funding to a domestic terrorist group, but law enforcement officials at the time determined there was not enough evidence of a crime to open an investigation, a senior U.S. law enforcement official told Los Angeles Times.
Before his rampage Sunday at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., that left him and six others dead and three critically wounded, Page was known to civil rights groups as a member of two racist skinhead bands – End Apathy and Definite Hate. He was also believed to have been a low-level member of a national white supremacist group called the Hammerskins.
- Asian Tribune –