On Sunday, President Barack Obama addressed the horrific mass shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida, saying, “This was an attack on all of us.”
“We stand with the people of Orlando, who have endured a terrible attack on their city,” the president said.
POTUS also made a point to stress that this incident was not just an act of terror, but an act of homophobia and transphobia, calling Sunday “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,” Obama said. “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.”
He also called for the country to pray for the victims and their families, and stressed that we should not turn on each other.
“God give them the strength to bear the unbearable,” he added. “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.”
President Obama didn’t mention gun control per se, but he did ask Americans what kind of country we want to be, given the influx of these types of violent and deadly shootings.
“The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle,” Obama said. “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 addition, Obama issued a proclamation Sunday honoring the victims of the attack and ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff at the White House and all public buildings and military bases until sundown Thursday, USA Today noted.
The mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, is the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, leaving at least 50 dead and 53 wounded early Sunday morning.
SOURCE: USA Today | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: YouTube