White House press secretary Jay Carney reiterated President Obama's desire to pass gun control legislation, though he sounded cautious about appearing to use the Navy Yard shooting to political advantage.
"[I]t is far too early to say anything about who did this and the broader meaning of it," Carney told reporters, per a live transcription. "When it comes to common sense legislation to reduce gun violence, the president has been very clear," Carney added, recalling Obama's frustration with congressional leaders who voted down a gun proposal in March.
The comments came under repeated questioning from American Urban Radio's April Ryan.
"That was a shame and we will continue to work to take action to improve gun safety, to reduce gun violence in this country through executive action and, hopefully, Congress will work to reduce gun violence as well," he said.
Ryan pressed him about gun control in a follow-up. "Jay, you say it's far too early, and I understand that, but we do know for a fact that these were shooting deaths, and going down that seven: Fort Hood, Binghamton, Tuscon, Aurora, Oak Creek, Newtown, and the Navy Yard now."
"And countless other deaths, as you know April, countless other deaths, and this is why we should take action to reduce gun violence, we should take common sense action supported by Americans from every part of the country," Carney replied.