Terror Attacks Through The Years: Obama’s Words On U.S. Mass Shootings

On Sunday, June 12, an American-born man who pledged allegiance to ISIS gunned down 50 people at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

The shooting has been cited as the deadliest mass shooting in the United States to date, and the nation’s worst terror attack since 9/11 – making it the 14th time that President Obama has spoken to the nation in the aftermath of a mass shooting.

Obama acknowledged that his remarks have become predictable.

“Somehow this has become routine. The reporting has become routine. My response here, from this podium, has become routine,” Obama said last October following the shooting at an Oregon community college.

Tragedy has plagued the pages of U.S. newspapers for years. Here are a few words of hope and condolence from our leader, President Obama, on a number of mass shootings our nation has withstood.

Orlando Nightclub Shooting: June 12, 2016

“Today, as Americans, we grieve the brutal murder — a horrific massacre — of dozens of innocent people. We pray for their families, who are grasping for answers with broken hearts. We stand with the people of Orlando, who have endured a terrible attack on their city. Although it’s still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate. And as Americans, we are united in grief, in outrage, and in resolve to defend our people.…”

“Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history. The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle. This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well.”

View Obama’s full statement here:

San Bernardino Community Center Shooting: December 2, 2015

“The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world. And there are some steps we could take not to eliminate every one of these mass shootings, but to improve the odds that they don’t happen as frequently: common-sense gun safety laws, stronger background checks.”

“And so my hope is that we’re able to contain this particular shooting, and we don’t yet know what the motives of the shooters are, but what we do know is that there are steps we can take to make Americans safer, and that we should come together in a bipartisan basis at every level of government to make these are rare as opposed to normal. We should never think that this is something that just happens in the ordinary course of events, because it doesn’t happen with the same frequency in other countries.”

Chattanooga Recruiting Center Shooting: July 16, 2015

“My main message right now is obviously the deepest sympathies of the American people to the four marines that have been killed. It is a heartbreaking circumstance for these individuals who have served our country with great valor to be killed in this fashion. And although the families are still in the process of being contacted, I want them to know that I speak for the American people in expressing our deepest condolences and knowing that they have their full support — our full support as they try to overcome the grief that’s involved here.”

Charleston Church Shooting: June 18, 2015

“Michelle and I know several members of Emanuel AME Church. We knew their pastor, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight others, gathered in prayer and fellowship and was murdered last night. And to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families and their community doesn’t say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel. Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy. There is something particularly heartbreaking about the death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace, in a place of worship.”

“We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.”

Kansas Jewish Community Center Shooting: April 14, 2014

“That this occurred now — as Jews were preparing to celebrate Passover, as Christians were observing Palm Sunday — makes this tragedy all the more painful. And today, as Passover begins, we’re seeing a number of synagogues and Jewish community centers take added security precautions. Nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers. No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray.”

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Navy Yard Shooting: Sept. 16, 2013

“So we are confronting yet another mass shooting, and today it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital. It’s a shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel. These are men and women who were going to work, doing their job protecting all of us. They’re patriots, and they know the dangers of serving abroad, but today they faced the unimaginable violence that they wouldn’t have expected here at home.”

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting: December 14, 2012

“We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news, I react not as a President, but as anybody else would: as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.”

“The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them: birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.”

View Obama’s full statement here:

[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]