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Obama to visit Orlando to pay respects to victims

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2016,12:06 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Washington | US President Barack Obama will travel to Orlando on Thursday to pay his respects to the victims of America’s deadliest mass shooting, in which at least 49 people were killed, and stand in solidarity with the community, the White House has said.

On Thursday, the President will travel to Orlando, Florida to pay his respects to victims’ families, and to stand in solidarity with the community as they embark on their recovery, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

In the aftermath of the mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando in which 49 people were killed and more than 50 others injured, Obama cancelled his pre-scheduled trip to Wisconsin where he was to join presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in a joint election campaign.

Over the coming weekend, Obama is scheduled to travel to New Mexico and California, but there is no word from the White House. This has been a difficult 36 hours for the country which has been mourning the killing of 50 people by a self- radicalised Afghan-origin youth at a gay club in Orlando in Florida, Earnest said at his press conference yesterday.

Obama has convened his national security team over at the Treasury Department to get an update on counter-ISIS efforts. This is, of course, a previously planned meeting, but it is a timely one for tomorrow, the spokesman said.

Obama is quite intensely frustrated and in some cases even angry over the congressional inaction on gun control laws, in the absence of which it becomes very easy for people to buy firearms, Earnest said.

There is no one law that we can pass that would prevent every aspect of violence, but there are some common-sense things that Congress could do that would make it harder for individuals who should not have guns from being able to get them.

There are certain common-sense things that Congress could do that would make it harder for any individual to get their hands on a weapon of war, he said.

When it comes to countering violent extremism and fighting ISIL and other extremist, terrorist organisations that seek to do harm to the US, President’s number one priority is protecting the country and protecting the American people, Earnest said, adding that Obama is focused on something as big as helping the country respond to the worst mass shooting in nation’s history.

When you are focused on something as big as safeguarding the country and combating violent extremism, it is important not to get distracted by things that are so small, he said as he refrained from responding to the allegations of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

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