President Obama speaks to the nation following massacre in Orlando
2:00 PM, Jun 12, 2016
2:54 PM, Jun 12, 2016
President Barack Obama spoke to the nation on Sunday following the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States in Orlando, Florida.
"We know enough to say this is an act of terror and an act of hate," he said. "As Americans, we are united in grief, in outrage, and resolve to defend our people."
"The FBI is investigating this as an act of terror," he added. "What is clear is that he is a person is full of hatred."
The President also recognized the first responders to the shooting.
"We also express our profound gratitude to all of our police and first responders who rushed into harms way. Their courage and professionalism saved lives. It's the kind of sacrifice that law enforcement professional make for us every single day for all of us, and we can't thank them enough."
Obama also addressed the LGBT community, as the attacks occurred at a gay nightclub during Pride Month.
"The place where they were attacked was more than a nightclub, it was a place of solidarity," he said. "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."
Finally, Obama also addressed gun control laws and access to firearms.
"The shooter was armed a handgun and a poweful assault rifle. This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that allows them to shoot people at a school, or a house of worship, or at a movie theater or at a nightclub."
Obama’s comments come hours after Omar Mateen entered a nightclub in Orlando, Florida and opened fire, killing at least 50 people and injuring more than 50 more.
This isn’t the first time Obama has spoken to the nation following a mass shooting. He most recently spoke following a mass shooting by a radicalized couple in San Bernardino, California. He also spoke to the nation following shootings in Sandy Hook, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado and in Fort Hood, Texas. He also famously shed tears while addressing the nation following a school shooting in Roseburg, Oregon.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.