President Obama repeated a claim Tuesday he has previously made that some teenagers can more easily purchase handguns than computers or books during his speech at a memorial service for five Dallas police officers murdered last week.
Obama blamed much of the tension between minorities and police on a number of different political issues, including access to guns.
"So much of the tensions between police departments and minority communities that they serve is because we ask the police to do too much and we ask too little of ourselves," the president said. "As a society, we choose to underinvest in decent schools. We allow poverty to fester so that entire neighborhoods offer no prospect for gainful employment. We refuse to fund drug treatment and mental health programs."
"We flood communities with so many guns that is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book," he added.
Tuesday’s speech marks the third time the President has insisted that it is easier for some teenagers to buy a handgun than a book. President Obama first made the claim during a January town hall on CNN while discussing his executive action on guns.
"Part of the reason, I think, that this ends up being such a difficult issue, is because people occupy different realities," he said. "There are a whole bunch of law-abiding citizens who have grown up hunting with their dad or going to the shooting range, and are responsible gun owners, and then there is the reality that there are neighborhoods around the country where it is easier for a 12- or 13-year-old to purchase a gun, and cheaper, than it is for them to get a book."
Before that, during a fundraiser in October 2015, President Obama made the same claim about certain neighborhoods in America.
"It’s not just mass shootings," Obama said to 200 Democratic donors. "It is the daily shootings that take place in cities across America. It is easier to buy a gun than buy a book."
The President did not offer any evidence for his claim in any of these instances. In most states, it is illegal for teenagers to purchase handguns.