Obama calls Orlando nightclub shooting 'an act of terror and an act of hate'

President Obama speaks about the mass shooting in a Florida nightclub
(Image credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Obama addressed the nation on Sunday following a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed at least 50 people and left another 53 injured. "Although it's still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate," Obama said. "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." He also said the FBI and local law enforcement will have the "full resources of the federal government" made available to them for the investigation.

The suspected shooter, Omar Saddiqui Mateen, was shot and killed by police around 5 a.m. on Sunday morning, roughly three hours after he began his attack. This is considered the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Obama said it was a sobering reminder of how easy it is to access guns in America, and asked if that's the kind of country we want to be. "To actively do nothing is a decision as well," he said.

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Jessica Hullinger

Jessica Hullinger is a writer and former deputy editor of The Week Digital. Originally from the American Midwest, she completed a degree in journalism at Indiana University Bloomington before relocating to New York City, where she pursued a career in media. After joining The Week as an intern in 2010, she served as the title’s audience development manager, senior editor and deputy editor, as well as a regular guest on “The Week Unwrapped” podcast. Her writing has featured in other publications including Popular Science, Fast Company, Fortune, and Self magazine, and she loves covering science and climate-related issues.