By the time President Obama took to the podium Thursday, very little was known about the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. The media didn’t even have the killer’s name yet, much less any information about the gun or guns he used to carry out the massacre. But that didn’t stop the president from using the press conference as a political opportunity to push gun control.

Visibly distraught, Obama said, “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. It’s not enough.”

“It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun,” he said. He insisted that there were people with mental illness in other countries, yet America was the only one to regularly see these kinds of mass shootings. “I’d ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws and to save lives and to let young people grow up, and that will require a change of politics on this issue.”

Feeling particularly riled up, Obama took a preemptive shot at critics who would accuse him of politicizing the tragedy. He dismissed the idea that giving Americans better access to guns would solve the problem. “Does anyone really believe that?” he asked.

Well, since the vast majority of the evidence points in that direction…yes, Mr. Obama…some people believe that very strongly. What is your suggestion? Common-sense gun laws. What is it that we have now? The Umpqua campus was a weapons-free zone, yet for some reason that policy didn’t stop the killer. It may have stopped his victims from having a gun on them when the shooting started, though. And that’s the only possible way this massacre could have been averted or diminished. Instead, the students were sitting ducks.

Pro-gun patriots are not a shy bunch, but it may be time to turn up the volume. Because this is about more than protecting the Second Amendment. We spend too much time on defense, leaving the media free to characterize our position as: Well, this is a shame, but there’s nothing we can do about it, so why bother? That’s not our position, quite frankly, and we need to be better about conveying that message.

Gun control doesn’t just erode freedom – it erodes our safety. It accomplishes the very opposite of what the left believes. It takes guns away from responsible Americans without doing anything to disarm the criminals. Our position is not just in line with the Constitution; it’s in line with protecting innocent lives.