Standing With Orlando

President Obama in his weekly address said, “Foremost in all of our minds has been the loss and the grief felt by the people of Orlando, especially our friends who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.  I visited with the families of many of the victims on Thursday.  And one thing I told them is that they’re not alone.  The American people, and people all over the world, are standing with them – and we always will.”

Photo Credit: The White House.
Photo Credit: The White House.

The President said investigation was ongoing and posited that the killer was angry and deeply disturbed and furthermore was influenced by extremist information and propaganda over the Internet.

“We are and we will keep doing everything in our power to stop these kinds of attacks, and to ultimately destroy ISIL.  The extraordinary people in our intelligence, military, homeland security, and law enforcement communities have already prevented many attacks, saved many lives, and we won’t let up,” the president stated.

He noted that a serious conversation ought to be pursued on gun violence and this should go beyond mere talks.

“Making it harder for people who want to kill Americans to get their hands on assault weapons that are capable of killing dozens of innocents as quickly as possible.  That’s something I’ll continue to talk about in the weeks ahead,” he said.

The President noted that the country has mourned the death of several innocent lives time and again on account of guns being in the hands of wrong persons and action must be taken to stop it.

He encouraged people to speak up rather than remain silent on the danger that guns posed to communities.

“And we can’t forget our responsibility to remind our kids of the role models whose light shines through in times of darkness.  The police and first responders, the lifesaving bystanders and blood donors.  Those who comfort mourners and visit the wounded.  The victims whose last acts on this earth helped others to safety.  They’re not just role models for our kids – their actions are examples for all of us,” he said.

He added that parents should remember there’s one responsibility that’s always in their power and that is to fulfill their obligation to give children unconditional love and support; show them the difference between right and wrong; to teach them to love, not to hate; and to appreciate our differences not as something to fear, but as a great gift to cherish.

Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

Edited by Jesus Chan

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