President Barack Obama delivered a major Oval Office address on the threat of terrorism and the increasing frequency of mass shootings.
In Sunday’s speech, Obama’s third from the Oval Office and second official Sunday-night primetime address, the president laid out his strategy for confronting the evolving nature of foreign and homegrown terrorist threats, including plots inspired by the terrorist group the Islamic State, or ISIL.
“The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it,” Obama said. “We will destroy ISIL and any other organisation who seeks to harm us.”
The president’s speech comes days after the attack in San Bernardino, California, which left 14 dead and more than 20 others wounded. One of the shooters allegedly pledged her allegiance to the terrorist group ISIS on Facebook as the attack was unfolding.
Obama spent the majority of his speech detailing the tactics that the administration is already employing to fight ISIL, including deploying special operations to Iraq and Syria, bombing ISIL targets, and hunting terrorists online.
The president also called for congressional action to place greater restrictions on assault rifles and a ban on gun purchases by individuals on the TSA’s “no fly list” following a slew of recent high-profile mass shootings, including the San Bernardino attack and the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado late last month.
“What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terror suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? This is a matter of national security,” Obama said.
Attempting to address many Americans’ mounting fear of future terrorist attacks, the president ended his speech by urging calm.
“Let’s not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear,” Obama said.
Watch the speech below:
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