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Published On: Fri, Jun 17th, 2016

President Obama blames ‘hateful propaganda’ of Internet for Omar Mateen terrorist attack

So today once again, as has been true too many times before, I held and hugged grieving family members and parents, and they asked why does this keep happening. And they pleaded that we do more to stop the carnage. They don’t care about the politics. Neither do I. Neither does Joe. And neither should any parent out here, just thinking about their kids being not in the wrong place, but in places where kids are supposed to be.

This debate needs to change.

It’s outgrown the old political stalemates. 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. Those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense.

They should meet with the Newtown families, some of whom Joe saw yesterday, whose children would now be finishing fifth grade, on why it is that we think our liberty requires these repeated tragedies. That’s not — that’s not the meaning of liberty.

Omar Mateen was tracked by the FBI, told by Disney he was "casing" the property and aligns with Islamic State

Omar Mateen was tracked by the FBI, told by Disney he was “casing” the property and aligns with Islamic State

I’m pleased to hear that the Senate will hold votes on preventing individuals with possible terrorist ties from buying guns, including assault weapons. I truly hope that senators rise to the moment and do the right thing. 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.

I’ve said this before. We will not be able to stop every tragedy. We can’t wipe away hatred and evil from every heart in this world. But we can — we can stop some tragedies. We can save some lives. We can reduce the impact of a terrorist attack if we’re smart.

And if we don’t act, we will keep seeing more massacres like this, because we’ll be choosing to allow them to happen. We will have said we don’t care enough to do something about it.

Here in Orlando, we are reminded not only of our obligations as a country to be resolute against terrorism. We are reminded not only of the need for us to implement smarter policies to prevent mass shootings. We’re also reminded of what unites us as Americans. And that what unites us is far stronger than the hate and the terror of those who target us.

For so many people here, who are Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, the Pulse nightclub has always been a safe haven, a place to sing and dance and most importantly, to be who you truly are, including for so many people whose families are originally from Puerto Rico. And Sunday morning, that sanctuary was violated in the worst way imaginable.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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