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The FBI is leading the investigation into a mass shooting at an Orlando gay club, but President Obama said today he's already sure of a few things.
"Although it is still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate," he said in a news conference. "And as Americans we are united in grief and outrage and in resolve to defend our people."
The government hasn't made an official determination on whether this is a hate crime, or an act of terrorism, or some form of both.
"What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred, and in the coming days we will uncover why and how this happened and we will go wherever the facts lead us," said Obama.
Once again commenting after a mass shooting, the worst in the country's history with 50 dead and many more injured, President Obama noted the killer used an AR-15 assault rifle. "This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon." He added, "We have to decide if that's the kind of country we want to be."
Obama has repeatedly called for reform, especially after the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary that left 20 children dead. "To do nothing is a decision as well," Obama said today.
With those facts established, the president looked forward to how the country will respond, calling us "united in grief and outrage and in resolve to defend our people."
"This is an especially heartbreaking day for all of our friends, our fellow Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender," he said. "The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live. The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub, it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds and to advocate for their civil rights. So 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 o equality and dignity that define us as a country. No act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans."