*(Via Huffington Post) – In a rare Sunday evening Oval Office address, President Barack Obama spoke directly to the American public about Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, reaffirming his commitment to fighting the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, though he did not announce any new policies to do so.
“I am confident that we will succeed in this mission, because we are on the right side of history,” he said. “Freedom is more powerful than fear.”
Obama reiterated that the U.S. would continue its current strategy, consisting of hunting down terrorists, training Iraqi and Syrian forces on the ground, disrupting potential ISIS plots, in cooperation with authorities in Europe and the Middle East, and pursuing a political resolution to the ongoing Syrian civil war.
He asked Congress to vote to authorize military force, which it has not done, despite more than a year of U.S. military action against ISIS. He also requested measures such as reforming the visa waiver program and closing a loophole that allows someone on a no-fly list to buy a gun.
As he has done many times after mass shootings, Obama also implored Congress to renew consideration of gun control measures in response to Wednesday’s attack, which killed 14 people and wounded 21. It was the deadliest shooting since the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, the last time Congress attempted to take legislative action on guns.
Billed by White House officials as a way to assuage Americans’ fears, the speech — only the third Obama has delivered directly from the Oval Office during his presidency — addressed growing concerns about fighting terrorism and threats from the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS.
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Watch President Obama’s complete address from the Oval office: