President Obama calls Pulse shooting an act of terror
Today, President Obama stepped up to the lectern for the 15th time during his term to address a national mass shooting.
This time, the death count was 50. Fifty innocent people went out to dance at Orlando nightclub Pulse and didn’t come home, and an additional 53 were injured when 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire on police officers and innocent bystanders at 2:02 a.m. He was killed during a gunfight with a SWAT team at 5 a.m.
"Today, as Americans, we grieve the brutal murder — a horrific massacre — of dozens of innocent people," Obama said. "We pray for their 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."
Obama confirmed that the Pulse shooting was an act of terror.
"Although it’s still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate."
The president said that Homeland Security and the FBI are currently investigating any links Mateen might have with terrorist groups.
"We are still learning all the facts," he said. "This is an open investigation. We've reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer. The FBI is appropriately investigation this as an act of terrorism, and I have directed that we must spare no effort to determine what, if any, inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups."
Obama stood firm on his political views about gun control. The president has proposed both executive and legislative action to curb gun violence in the nation.
"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," he said.
He also showed that he was an ally to the LGBTQ community.
"This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends, our 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 and to sing and to live."
Jillian James is the Opinions Editor of the Central Florida Future. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org