“Attacks on any American, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation, is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of integrity and dignity that help us as a country,” President Barack Obama said Sunday afternoon of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
“The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terrorism,” the president continued, “and I’ve directed that we must spare no effort to determine what, if any, inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups. What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred.”
The accused shooter, Omar Mateen, killed 50 people and injured at least 53 others. It is believed that Mateen had pledged allegiance to ISIS, and was twice investigated by the FBI.
According to CBS News’s Mark Knoller, this was at least the 20th time Obama has spoken following a shooting. When speaking about the Oregon community-college shooting in October 2015, an exasperated Obama said gun violence was worse that terrorism. “Our thoughts and prayers are not enough,” he said at the time. “It does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted somewhere else in America—next week or a couple of months from now.”