President Barack Obama and Vice
President Joe Biden on Thursday met with families of the victims of
Sunday's attack in Orlando.
Forty-nine people died and 53 were
injured when a lone gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub.
Obama and Biden met privately with the
families for about two hours. They later laid bouquets of flowers at
a makeshift memorial for the victims in downtown Orlando.
“This was an act of terrorism but it
was also an act of hate,” Obama told reporters. “This was an
attack on the LGBT community. Americans were targeted because we’re
a country that has learned to welcome everyone, no matter who you are
or who you love. And hatred towards people because of sexual
orientation, regardless of where it comes from, is a betrayal of
what’s best in us.”
The president also reiterated his call
for greater gun control measures.
“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?” said Obama.
“They pleaded that we do more to stop the carnage.”