President Obama furthered his gun control message today when addressing the massacre in Orlando that killed 50 people, making it the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
“I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds begin to blow in an ugly direction.” – Barack Hussein Obama
WASHINGTON, DC: ‘Although it’s still early in the investigation we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate,’ Obama said, making no reference to ISIS or Islamic terror in his brief remarks.
Obama called the shooting spree, at the gay nightclub Pulse during Pride month in the United States, a reminder of how easy it is for someone to get a hold of a weapon that could kill people in a ‘school, or a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub’.
‘And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be,’ Obama said. ‘And to actively do nothing is a decision as well,’ the president added. The president started his remarks by addressing where things stood in the investigation.
‘We are still learning the facts. This is an open investigation. We have reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer,’ Obama said.
The gunman has been identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen. He had called 911 before he staged his attack and pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, NBC News reported. ‘What is clear is that he was a person filled with hate,’ Obama said.
Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
‘So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, is an attack on all of us and of the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define of us a country,’ the president added.
Obama noted the historical nature of the shooting – setting a record for the nation’s worst – before making his gun control pitch.
‘The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle,’ Obama said.
President Obama has took to the podium in the aftermath of many shootings during his almost eight years in office. Mark Knoller, the longtime CBS newsman who keeps track of these kinds of things, think today’s message from the president is at least Obama’s 20th time remarking on a shooting incident.
Directly beforehand, he was challenged by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump to connect ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ to the case.
Obama didn’t once bring up the Islamic religion, instead using the more blanket term of terrorism to describe the incident. ‘Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!’ Trump wrote. source
PRESIDENT OBAMA ADDRESSES THE ORLANDO MASSACRE :
Today, as Americans, we grieve the brutal murder – a horrific massacre – of dozens of innocent people. We pray for their families, who are grasping for answers with broken hearts. We stand with the people of Orlando, who have endured a terrible attack on their city. Although it’s still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate. And as Americans, we are united in grief, in outrage, and in resolve to defend our people.
I just finished a meeting with FBI Director Comey and my homeland security and national security advisers. The FBI is on the scene and leading the investigation, in partnership with local law enforcement. I’ve directed that the full resources of the federal government be made available for this investigation.
We are still learning all the facts. This is an open investigation. We’ve reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer. The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terrorism. And I’ve directed that we must spare no effort to determine what – if any – inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups. What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred. Over the coming days, we’ll uncover why and how this happened, and we will go wherever the facts lead us.
This morning I spoke with my good friend, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and I conveyed the condolences of the entire American people. This could have been any one of our communities. So I told Mayor Dyer that whatever help he and the people of Orlando need – they are going to get it. As a country, we will be there for the people of Orlando today, tomorrow and for all the days to come.
We also express our profound gratitude to all the police and first responders who rushed into harm’s way. Their courage and professionalism saved lives, and kept the carnage from being even worse. It’s the kind of sacrifice that our law enforcement professionals make every single day for all of us, and we can never thank them enough.
This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends – our fellow Americans – who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live. The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub – it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights.
So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American – regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation – is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country. And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.
Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history. The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle. This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well.
In the coming hours and days, we’ll learn about the victims of this tragedy. Their names. Their faces. Who they were. The joy that they brought to families and to friends, and the difference that they made in this world. Say a prayer for them and say a prayer for their families – that God give them the strength to bear the unbearable. And that He give us all the strength to be there for them, and the strength and courage to change. We need to demonstrate that we are defined more – as a country – by the way they lived their lives than by the hate of the man who took them from us.
As we go together, we will draw inspiration from heroic and selfless acts – friends who helped friends, took care of each other and saved lives. In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another. We will not give in to fear or turn against each other. Instead, we will stand united, as Americans, to protect our people, and defend our nation, and to take action against those who threaten us.
May God bless the Americans we lost this morning. May He comfort their families. May God continue to watch over this country that we love. Thank you.