Pres. Obama Just Gave a Forceful Address to the Nation

December 7th 2015

In a rare, primetime address Sunday evening, President Barack Obama responded to the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California that left 14 people dead last week and outlined the U.S. military strategy against the Islamic State, an extremist group that praised the attack and encourages acts of lone wolf terrorism.

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"The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it," Obama said. "We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us. Our success won't depend on tough talk or abandoning our values or giving into fear... instead we will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless, and by drawing upon every aspect of American power."

On December 2, two shooters opened fire at a social services facility in San Bernardino in the worst mass shooting to take place in the U.S. since a gunmen killed 26 people, mostly children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly three years ago. The FBI recently announced that it is investigating the attack as an act of terrorism.

In his Oval Office address, Obama reiterated his belief that the U.S. should not put troops on the ground to destroy ISIS and emphasized that Islamic extremists do not represent the Muslim population as a whole.

In the aftermath of the massacre, Obama has called on lawmakers to advance common sense gun legislation that would require background checks for people seeking firearms. Currently, only 60 percent of gun sales require background checks due to regulatory loopholes.

But closing loopholes in the gun industry is just part of the solution, Obama argued on Sunday. If we aim to end domestic terrorism, we must stand united in the fight against ISIS and continue to "degrade and ultimately destroy" the terrorist group in the Middle East and North Africa through military action.

Obama added:

"Even in this political season, even as we properly debate what steps I and future presidents must take to keep our country safe, let's make sure we never forget what makes us exceptional.Let's not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear, that we have always met challenges—whether war, or depression, natural disasters, or terrorist attacks—by coming together around our common ideals as one nation and one people."

It is relatively rare for the president to deliver an Oval Office address, lending particular weight to Obama's message. The last time that he addressed the nation during the Sunday time slot was in 2010, when the president announced the end of U.S. military operations in Iraq.

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"What Obama hopes to do on Sunday night is assure America that his approach to the Islamic State and the threat of terror attacks in the United States remains viable, despite much of the country disagreeing," the Washington Post reports. "It's a tough argument to make on an increasingly worrisome topic."

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