Watch Obama's Fiercest Speech Yet on Gun Violence

"We, collectively, are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction," said the president

Calling America's epidemic of gun violence "a political choice we make" and declaring of the nation's political class, "we, collectively, are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction," President Obama delivered one of the rawest speeches of his presidency Thursday in response to the Umpqua Community College shooting rampage.

What follows is a partial transcript of the president's remarks, in which he rebuked the intransigence of the NRA and called for new laws to end America's exceptional bloodshed.

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There's been another mass shooting in America, this time in a community college in Oregon. That means there are more American families — moms, dads, children whose lives have been changed forever. That means there's another community stunned with grief. And communities across the country forced to relive their own anguish, and parents across the country who are scared because they know it might have been their families or their children...

We are not the only country with people with mental illnesses who want to do harm to other people. We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months...

Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine... we've become numb to this. We talked about this after Columbine and Blacksburg, after Tucson, after Newtown, after Aurora after Charleston. It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict this kind of harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun...

This is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together. To our body politic...

And yet we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be? This is a political choice that we make: To allow this to happen every few months in America. We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction...

Tonight, as those of us who are lucky enough to hug our kids a little closer as we are thinking about the families who aren't so fortunate, I'd ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws, and to save lives. To let young people grow up...

I would particularly ask America's gun owners who are using those guns properly, safely — to hunt, for sport, for protecting their families — to think about whether your views are properly represented by the organization that suggests it is speaking for you...

I hope and pray that I don't have to come out again during my tenure as president to offer my condolences to families in these circumstances. But based on my experience as president, I can't guarantee that. And that's terrible to say. 

And it can change.