ORLANDO, Fla. — President Barack Obama says the families of the 49 people who were killed in the Orlando nightclub shooting “could be our families” and “are part of the American family.”
Obama adds that his visit Thursday to the grieving Florida city reminds everyone of “what is good.”
The President spoke after meeting privately with loved ones of those who were killed Sunday, including many young people in their 20s and 30s. He says the families’ grief is “beyond description.”
Obama was joined by Vice President Joe Biden and they laid wreaths at a makeshift memorial in downtown Orlando.
Pres. Obama says it’s going to take more than the military to prevent terrorist attacks like the ones that have occurred most recently in San Bernardino, California, and Orlando.
He said the attacks were not conducted by sophisticated cells, but by deranged individuals. And while the motivation may have been different than what led to attacks in communities like Aurora, Colorado, and the Sandy Hook tragedy, the instruments of death were similar.
He says those killed and injured were gunned down by a single individual with a powerful assault weapon. Earlier in the day, White House spokesman Eric Schultz reiterated the administration’s support for legislation that would ban assault weapons.
The President and Vice President also had the chance to meet with local law enforcement officials to thank them for their work in responding to the attack. They also met with first responders who handled the shooting and the medical personnel who saved as many of the victims as possible.