President Obama Calls for Gun Control Legislation in Orlando

“I held and hugged grieving family members, and they asked, ‘Why does this keep happening?'”

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

In Orlando this afternoon, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with victims’ families and survivors of the massacre at the Pulse LGBT nightclub that claimed the lives of 49 people just days ago.

Obama spoke about an increasingly urgent need for gun control legislation, saying “we need to work across political lines to do more to stop killers who want to terrorize us.”

“The last two terrorist attacks on our soil—Orlando and San Bernardino—were homegrown,” he said. “Our politics have conspired to make it as easy as possible for a terrorist or just a disturbed individual…to buy extraordinarily powerful weapons…legally.”

He insisted that the debate surrounding gun control needs to change, and called on the House and Senate to “rise to the moment and do the right thing” and pass legislation to curb access to weapons like the AR-15. 

“For so many [LGBT] people, the Pulse has been a safe haven…and on Sunday morning, that sanctuary was violated in the worst way possible,” Obama said. “Americans were targeted because we’re a country that’s learned to welcome everyone, no matter who you are or who you love.”

Watch his remarks in full below: