President Obama rips Gun Control Opponents after meeting with Orlando Victims’ Families
President Barack Obama tore into opponents of gun control on a visit to Orlando on Thursday, saying they should meet with the victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre and “explain” their positions.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden spent the day meeting with survivors, the families of victims and first responders there, after the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history and the deadliest attack in the United States since 9/11.
The shooter killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub. It’s Obama’s 10th visit to a community affected by a mass shooting during his presidency. After meeting privately with victims and families in downtown Orlando, Obama and Biden visited a memorial site, where they placed bouquets consisting of 49 white roses, one in honour of each of the deceased.
“If in fact we want to show the best of our humanity, then we’re all going to have to work together at every level of government across political lines to do more to stop killers who want to terrorize us,” Obama said, adding the U.S. would continue to be “relentless” in fighting extremist groups like ISIS and al-Qaida.
The president again spoke of his frustration over the ability of the shooter to easily and legally obtain an assault weapon, saying family members pleaded with him to “do more” to stop such killings.
“The notion that the answer to this tragedy would be to make sure that more people in a nightclub are similarly armed to the killer defies common sense,” Obama said. “Those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense.”
At Wednesday’s White House briefing, press secretary Josh Earnest spoke about the emotional toll of these events on Obama, who has frequently travelled to affected areas after catastrophes and attacks. “It would be impossible for him to not be personally affected by these kinds of conversations and these kinds of interactions,” he said. “I think the president in the past has indicated that he draws on his faith as he considers fulfilling these kinds of responsibilities.”
Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama spent the day in Orlando on Thursday meeting with survivors and the families of victims of the mass shooting which occurred on Sunday June 12. Forty-nine people were killed and the gunman - an American - is said to have pledged allegiance to ISIS.