By David Martosko
President Barack Obama told reporters Tuesday in Paris, where bullet-spraying terrorists killed 130 people 18 days ago, that the large-scale gun violence seen in the United States 'doesn't happen in other countries.'
He was recycling a well-worn speaking theme about mass-shootings in response to a question about the Nov. 27 multiple homicide at a Colorado Springs, Colorado abortion clinic committed by an unstable opponent of the practice.
'My heart goes out to the families of those impacted,' Obama said during a 47-minute press conference focused largely on global warming.
'I mean – I say this every time we've got one of these mass shootings: This just doesn't happen in other countries.'
The president didn't discuss the Paris attack, for which the ISIS terror army has claimed credit, in detail. He did refer to the American shooting, which killed police officer Garrett Swasey and two others and left 9 injured, as a terrorist attack.
'We are rightly determined to prevent terrorist attacks wherever they occur, whether in the United States or with friends and allies like France,' he said.
That was a departure from a public statement on Saturday in which Obama said the shooter's intentions were unclear.
'We don’t yet know what this particular gunman’s so-called motive was,' the president said then.
But on Tuesday he drew clear lines of comparison between shooting suspect Robert Dear and ISIS – a growing Islamist terror faction that has slaughtered thousands and left a trail of blood in its wake.
Americans 'devote enormous resources ... to rooting out networks and debilitating organizations' like ISIS, 'and maintaining the intelligence and improving the information-sharing that can identify those who would try to kill innocent people,' Obama said.
'And yet in the United States we have the power to do more to prevent what is just a regular process of gun homicides that is unequaled by multiples of five, six, ten – and I think the American people understand that.'
The president has made a call for tighter gun control measures a recurring feature of his interactions with the public, stretching back to the aftermath of a 2012 elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
But Republicans, waving the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment as a battle flag, have turned back his attempts to curtail Americans' gun-ownership rights.
Obama said Tuesday that he would 'continue to present those things that I can do administratively, but at the end of the day Congress, states, local governments are going to have to act to make sure we're preventing people who are deranged or have violent tendencies from getting weapons that can magnify the damage that they do.'
He also lavished praise on Planned Parenthood, America's largest provider of abortions, which has seen its image savaged in recent months following the release of undercover videos showing its officials selling fetal body parts to biomedical tissue brokers.
'They provide health services to women all across the country – have for generations,' Obama said.
'In many cases it's the only organization that provides health services to impoverished women.'
Planned Parenthood and its affiliates operate nearly 700 abortion clinics in the U.S., which also provide referrals to health care providers for mammograms and other preventive services.
Most of what the organization says are its 'interactions' with patients involve contraception and testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
Overall, federal government data show there are more than 13,000 other health care clinics that qualify to receive taxpayer dollars to care for low-income women or those in poverty.
It's unclear what percentage of those facilities accept Medicaid patients, but more than 9,000 of them are Community Health Centers whose primary mission is to serve the poor and uninsured.
Obama said Tuesday that 'it's fair to have a legitimate, honest debate about abortion,' adding that it's important to discuss the issue 'factually' and without 'demonizing organizations like Planned Parenthood.'