NEW: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have laid flowers at an Orlando memorial
Obama has traveled to the sites of at least nine shootings during his two terms
President Barack Obama said Thursday that grief-filled parents in Orlando pleaded with him to take steps preventing the kind of gun violence that took their children. But he acknowledged, exasperatedly, that he could offer them few promises.
“Our politics have conspired to make it as easy as possible for a terrorist or even just a disturbed individual to buy extraordinarily powerful weapons, and they can do so legally,” Obama said after meeting with families who lost loved ones in the Orlando nightclub shooting that took place Sunday.
“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,” Obama said. “They don’t care about the politics. Neither do I.”
The role of consoler in chief was a repeat assignment for Obama, was has now traveled to 10 American cities – including four in the last year – scarred by mass shooting events. In Orlando, he met at a downtown arena with both families of victims and survivors of the terrorist attack, many of whom suffered serious injuries but emerged from the massacre alive.
Prior to their meeting with families and survivors, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden spoke to local law enforcement officials to thank them for their actions in responding to the attack at Pulse nightclub, according to the White House.
Afterward, the President and Vice President met with the owners and staff of Pulse who were working when the attack occurred. Two members of the staff were killed.
The President met with the groups in private. But he did emerge