President Obama delivered a rare public address from the Oval Office on Sunday evening, to address the growing concern about terrorism at home and abroad. The recent attacks in Paris and San Bernadino, both linked to radical terror group ISIS, shook the nation with their ruthless targeting of civilians.
The President said, without hesitation, "we will destroy" ISIS. "We will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless," he added.
Regarding the San Bernadino attack, which killed 14 people and is being investigated by the FBI as a terrorist act, the President said, "so far we have no evidence that the terrorists were guided by a broader organization overseas." He did acknowledge, however, that "this was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people."
"We see growing efforts by terrorists to poison the minds" of the disgruntled, he said, adding that Americans must "counter the vicious ideology that ISIL promotes online."
His speech then turned to the domestic issue of gun control. "Here at home, we have to work together to address this challenge," said the President, adding that lawmakers must "make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons, like the ones used in San Bernadino." While it's not possible identify every extremist within our borders, he said, "what we can do, and must do, is make it harder for them to kill."
Obama wrapped up his speech with an appeal for Americans to not abandon our values in the search for justice, and to not take the actions of a few out on the hundreds of millions of peace-loving Muslims. "We can not turn against one another," he said. "We must enlist Muslim American communities as some of our strongest allies. It is the responsibility of all americans, of every faith, to reject discrimination."
"Let's not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear," he concluded.
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(Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)