On Sunday afternoon, President Obama made a statement about the mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub that killed 50 people and injured dozens more. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
In a prepared speech, he expressed sympathy for the victims and their families, acknowledged the impact on the LGBT community, and pledged the support of the federal government to aid in the investigation into the shooter, 29-year-old Omar Mateen. He also took a moment, as he often does in speeches like this, to shed a light on gun control and "how easy it is" for shooters to get their hands on assault rifles.
"Today as Americans, we grieve the brutal murder and horrific massacre of dozens of innocent people. We pray for the 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," he said. "Although it's still early in the investigation, we know enough to say this was an act of terror and an act of hate. As Americans we are united in grief and outrage and in resolve to defend our people."
President Obama said that the FBI was on the ground in Orlando, and he is using the full resources of the federal government to aid in the investigation. Though they still don't know all the facts, they are investigating the crime as an act of terrorism. "We must spare no effort to determine what if any inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups," he said. "What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred."
"This is an especially heartbreaking day for all of our friends, our fellow Americans, who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender," 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 and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country."
The president also took a moment to showcase "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."
As he came to a close, President Obama emphasized America's need for unity at a time like this. "In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another," he said. "We will not give into fear or turn against each other; instead, we will stand united as Americans to protect our people, defend our nation, and take action against those who threaten us."