President Obama Keeps Focus on Guns in Orlando: 'Why Is It They Think Our Liberty Requires These Repeated Tragedies'

At a makeshift memorial in honor of the 49 victims of the worst shooting in modern U.S. history, President Obama relayed a simple message from the surviving families after meeting with them and first responders on Thursday.

“They pleaded that we do more to stop the carnage,” Obama told reporters in Orlando, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden at his side. 

“We can’t wipe away hatred and evil from every heart in this world. But we can stop some tragedies,” he argued “We can save some lives.”

“This debate needs to change,” Obama said of the federal inaction on gun control during his terms in office. “It’s outgrown the old political stalemates. 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 commonsense.” Pulse nightclub had an armed guard when 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire early Sunday morning.

“Those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense,” the president demanded.

“I truly hope that senators rise to the moment and do the right thing,” Obama said.

“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.

Conservatives, furious with the president’s persistent focus on gun violence as he visits with the families of victims of a mass shooting for the 14th time, lashed out on Twitter:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.