Opinion: Obama on Binghamton shootings; and a strange one from Gov. Paterson

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Traveling in Europe this week, President Obama’s White House released a statement after the fatal shootings in Binghamton, N.Y., today that apparently killed 13 people plus the shooter, and injured others.

And New York Gov. David Paterson appeared on the scene with numerous other officials to express his concern and make a rather strange statement. (UPDATE: Quote correction below.)

First, President Obama:

Michelle and I were shocked and deeply saddened to learn about the act of senseless violence in Binghamton, N.Y., today. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and the people of Binghamton. We don’t yet know all the facts, but my administration is actively monitoring the situation and the vice president is in touch with Gov. Paterson and local officials to track developments.


In his appearance before the local cameras Paterson ran through a detailed chronological track record of recent violent shootings across the country, including the deaths last month of four police officers in Oakland, and then the governor said:

(UPDATE: A re-examination of the news conference tape shows that Gov. Paterson did, in fact, say ‘in the history of this city’ not ‘state’ as originally published here.) And now here in Binghamton we probably have the worst tragedy and senseless crime in the history of this city. When are we going to be able to curb the kind of violence that is so fraught and so rapid that we can’t even keep track of the incidents?

And wasn’t there something called 9/11 in that same state a few years ago?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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