Obama embraces Orlando families, appeals for gun controls

Speaking at a makeshift memorial to the victims, Obama said the massacre was evidence that “different steps” are needed to limit violence and damage in the future. (Reuters)

Embracing grieving Orlando families and appealing anew for national action, President Barack Obama claimed a threat to all Americans’ security Thursday as a strong reason to tighten US gun laws. Counterterror campaigns overseas, he declared, can never prevent all “lone wolf” attacks like the one that killed 49 people in Orlando.

Speaking at a makeshift memorial to the victims, Obama said the massacre at a gay nightclub was evidence that “different steps” are needed to limit the damage a “deranged” person set on committing violence can do. He cheered on Democrats’ push for new gun control measures, including a new ban on assault weapons and stricter background checks.

Although he showed little hope the measures would find much support among most opponents, Obama seemed to be aiming for other lawmakers, perhaps Republican hawks eager to get behind counterterror campaigns but steadfastly opposed to gun restrictions.

Obama arrived as Orlando began the next stage of its grief — funerals all over town. A visitation for one victim, Javier Jorge-Reyes, on Wednesday night turned out a crowd of friends, family, drag queens and motorcyclists to pay their respects.

“We’re just here to spread love and joy and try to put an end to all the hate,” said Ezekiel Davis — or, as he’s known to some, Sister Anesthesia Beaverhausen. Obama could not miss other signs of a community coming together in tragedy. Hundreds of people gathered in 95-degree heat outside the Amway Center stadium where he met with families.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48
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