In the wake of yet another mass shooting during his presidency, President Obama delivered a statement responding to the horrific attack in Orlando that left 50 dead and 53 injured. He condemned the shooting as “an act of terror and an act of hate.”
The attack, which was the deadliest in U.S. history, was on a popular gay nightclub at peak hours, during Pride month. The President spoke specifically to both the city of Orlando and the LGBT community, expressing solidarity and support.
“This is an especially heartbreaking day for our friends and fellow Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,” he said. “The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance, sing and live. The place where they were attacked was more than a nightclub. It’s a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness and speak their minds and advocate for their civil rights.”
“This is a reminder that attacks on any American, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation, is an attack on all of us, and on the fundamental values of integrity and dignity that help us as a country.”
Watch Obama’s statement here:
President Obama has had to respond to mass shootings at least 12 times in his time as President. His remarks today, while a strong statement of support for Orlando and for the victims and their family, were short. Nonetheless, he called for lawmakers to “make a decision” about what kind of nation we wanted to be in the wake of shooting after shooting.
“The shooter was apparently armed with a hand gun 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. We have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be,” he said. “To actively do nothing is a decision as well.”