Barack Obama Didn't Name The Orlando Shooter In His Fiery Speech On Terrorism & Yes, That Matters
Following a meeting with his national security council on Tuesday, President Obama addressed Sunday's horrific attack in Orlando, which is considered the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Noticeably, according to a TIME magazine transcript of the speech, Obama did not specifically name the Orlando killer responsible for taking the lives of 49 people at the gay night club, Pulse. Instead, Obama referred to him as "the killer," "the shooter," and "this individual" and made other more general references. Obama described him also as someone who "appears to be an angry, disturbed, unstable young man who became radicalized."
On Monday, FBI Director James Comey made a point of saying he would not name the attacker behind the Pulse shooting. Comey told reporters that his decision was made out of respect for the families and to avoid feeding into any potential killer's desire for fame:
You will notice that I'm not using the killer's name, and I will try not to do that. Part of what motivates sick people to do this kind of thing is some twisted notion of fame or glory, and I don't want to be part of that for the sake of the victims and their families, and so that other twisted minds don't think that this is a path to fame and recognition.
While Obama has not made a point of saying he would not name the Orlando killer, the omission was noticeable to some.
Orlando is not the first time that officials have declined to name the attacker. After the Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon last October, Douglas County, Oregon, Sheriff John Hanlin said he would not name the shooter:
Let me be very clear, I will not name the shooter. I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act.
In addition to addressing the Orlando attack, Obama also denounced criticizing for not using the term "radical Islam."