Saturday, November 28

Statement by the President on Planned Parenthood center shooting in Colorado

The last thing Americans should have to do, over the holidays or any day, is comfort the families of people killed by gun violence -- people who woke up in the morning and bid their loved ones goodbye with no idea it would be for the last time.

And yet, two days after Thanksgiving, that’s what we are forced to do again.

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We don’t yet know what this particular gunman’s so-called motive was for shooting twelve people, or for terrorizing an entire community, when he opened fire with an assault weapon and took hostages at a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado. What we do know is that he killed a cop in the line of duty, along with two of the citizens that police officer was trying to protect.  We know that law enforcement saved lives, as so many of them do every day, all across America.  And we know that more Americans and their families had fear forced upon them.

This is not normal.  We can’t let it become normal.  If we truly care about this -- if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience -- then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them.  Period.  Enough is enough.

May God bless Officer Garrett Swasey and the Americans he tried to save -- and may He grant the rest of us the courage to do the same thing.

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Tuesday, November 24

President Obama and President Hollande of France in Joint Press Conference

Washington DC
White House - East Room

President Obama:  President Hollande, it has been an honor to welcome you to the White House before, in happier times than this.  But as Americans, we stand by our friends - in good times and in bad - no matter what.  So on behalf of the American people, I want to once again express our deepest condolences to you and all of the people of France for the heinous attacks that took place in Paris.

We’re here today to declare that the United States and France stand united - in total solidarity - to deliver justice to these terrorists and those who sent them, and to defend our nations.  In that spirit, with heavy but strong hearts, I welcome you today.

François, with your understanding, my statement today will be a little longer than usual.

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I’ve been traveling, and this is an important moment for our nations and for the world.  This barbaric terrorist group - ISIL, or Daesh - and its murderous ideology pose a serious threat to all of us.  It cannot be tolerated.  It must be destroyed.  And we must do it together.  This is the unity of purpose that brings us here today.

French President Hollande and U. S. President Obama
White House - East Room: November 24th 2015
On your visit here last year, you said that the French love America.  We love the French.  Sometimes we Americans are too shy to say so, but we’re not feeling shy today.  We Americans love France because we dedicate ourselves to the same ideals - that all people deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  France is our oldest ally.  You helped us win our independence.  We helped liberate France from fascism.  We owe our freedom to each other.

We love France for your spirit and your culture, your joie de vivre.  Since the attacks, Americans have recalled their own visits to Paris - visiting the Eiffel Tower, or walking along the Seine.  We know these places.  They’re part of our memories, woven into the fabric of our lives and our culture.  I am very grateful to the French people for the hospitality they’ve always shown me, and when they welcomed Michelle and our daughters on their first visit to the City of Lights.  By my bed, in the residence, is a picture of me and Michelle in Luxembourg Gardens, kissing.  Those are the memories we have of Paris.  As early on, I had no gray hair.