Obama Gets Political at Memorial, Attacks Republicans for Opposition to Gun Control

June 16, 2016

President Obama quickly grew political Thursday while speaking at a memorial site for the victims of the Orlando terrorist attack, attacking Republicans for voting against gun control laws.

"The notion that the answer to this tragedy would be to make sure that more people in a nightclub are similarly armed to the killer defies common sense," Obama said. "Those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense."

Obama has asserted his support for an assault weapons ban in the wake of the massacre at a gay night club that left 49 dead. The perpetrator was a Muslim who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group, which executes homosexuals. Obama did not delve into those details in his remarks.

He expressed support for the news that the Senate would hold votes on preventing individuals on the terror watch list from buying weapons.

"I truly hope that senators rise to the moment and do the right thing," Obama said. "I hope that senators who voted no on background checks after Newtown have a change of heart, and then I hope the House does the right thing and helps end the plague of violence that these weapons of war inflict on so many young lives."

Obama was visibly angry in 2013 when a bill on background checks failed to get out of the U.S. Senate, despite being controlled by Democrats at the time. Four Democrats joined 42 Republicans in stopping it from getting the 60 votes needed for passage.