President Obama has ordered that all flags be flown at half-staff out of respect for the victims of the Chattanooga shooting.
Here is the presidential proclamation that President Obama signed:
Our thoughts and prayers as a Nation are with the service members killed last week in Chattanooga. We honor their service. We offer our gratitude to the police officers and first responders who stopped the rampage and saved lives. We draw strength from yet another American community that has come together with an unmistakable message to those who would try and do us harm: We do not give in to fear. You cannot divide us. And you will not change our way of life.
We ask God to watch over the fallen, the families, and their communities. As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on July 16, 2015, in
Chattanooga, Tennessee, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, July 25, 2015. I also direct that the flag shall
be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.
Gestures to honor victims of mass shootings have become too common in our society. It is time for the country to come together and discuss the ease with which virtually anyone can acquire a firearm. The conversation needs to go beyond the two extreme options of no guns for anyone, or guns for all anytime, any place, anywhere. There is a simple common sense solution that involves protecting gun rights while making it more difficult for criminals and the mentally ill to acquire firearms.
Some conservatives were trying to use the fact that the flags had not been lowered to attack President Obama’s patriotism, but the President would never be disrespectful to victims. Many of his critics on the right refuse to admit it, but this president is a patriot who deeply loves his country.
The pain he feels over the loss of innocent lives in these mass shootings is shared by every citizen of this great nation.