“In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another”
This afternoon, President Obama addressed the nation on the deadliest mass shooting to occur in American history, which took place overnight at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and left at least 50 people dead and more than 50 injured.
From the White House, Obama described the incident as “an act of terror and an act of hate,” adding that, “We stand with the people of Orlando who have endured a terrible attack on their city... This could have been any one of our communities.” He went on to say:
“This is an especially heartbreaking day for all of 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 sing. To live. The place where they were attacked was more than a nightclub. It is a place of solidarity and empowerment.”
The President also expressed disappointment about the ease with which the shooter was able to access an assault rifle.
In a statement, U.S. press secretary Josh Earnest said that at the President’s request, he would “receive regular updates as the FBI, and other federal officials, work with the Orlando Police to gather more information… [The President has also] directed that the federal government provide any assistance necessary to pursue the investigation and support the community.”