In a speech on the Orlando nightclub shooting, what’s been dubbed as the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, President Obama called for solidarity in face of terrorism and briefly commented on the availability of firearms in America.
“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 our united in grief, in outrage and in resolve to defend our people,” Obama said hours after the incident.
The president said he was briefed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security and national security advisors. The FBI is heading the investigation, which is ongoing, and is treating the incident as a terrorist act.
A gunman — allegedly motivated by extreme religious beliefs and an anti-gay attitude — opened fire early Sunday morning inside Pulse nightclub in Orlando. At least 50 were people killed and more than 50 injured.
The suspect, Omar Mateen, 29, of Ft. Pierce, allegedly pledged allegiance to Islamic terror groups before carrying out the shooting. He died during an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement.
“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,” Obama said. “And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.”