Time: 10:32 p.m. CEST
President Barack Obama and Vice President Josef Biden arrived on Thursday in Orlando, Florida to spend time with the survivors of the attack in the Pulse nightclub on early Sunday, victim’s relatives and with the police officers who responded to the scene, when 49 people were killed, the Associated Press reports.
“This was an act of terrorism, but also an act of hate. This was an attack on LGBT community. Americans were targeted because we are country that have learned to welcome everyone, no matter who you are, or who you love,” Obama said in Orlando after placing the flowers at the memorial.
President Obama addressed the issue of gun laws reform and explained, those who defend the accessibility of the assault weapons should meet the families of the gun victims and explained why that makes sense. “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, as published on the White House Facebook page.
President Obama is together with Florida Republican Senator Marko Rubio offered condolences, and words of comfort to the families in Orlando, after the carnage that happened at a gay nightclub.
The visit is almost private and with the challenging moments for the president to outspoke the feelings, when the nation confronts mix feelings from a fears of terrorism, guns and violence against LGBT community.
The AP says, “Obama’s call for solidarity and empathy stood in contrast to the roiling political debate in Washington and the campaign trail that has sprung up since the attack. “
Earlier in the day, Arizona Senator John McCain, a Republican and frequent Obama critic, pointed out that Obama is “directly responsible” for the shooting Omar Mateen entered the club, where people danced to the Latino music, and opened fire toward the club patrons and other visitors. Later, McCain revoke the saying, using a statement to clarify, it was not the President himself who was “personally responsible,” but his “security decisions,” CNN reports.
Law enforcement said Mateen reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, but on Thursday, Central Intelligence Director John Brennan said, “the agency has found no connection between the gunman and any foreign terrorist organization.”