Durbin Statement on President Obama's Address to the Nation

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement on President Obama’s address to the nation from the Oval Office:


The world has witnessed acts of evil in the past several weeks, from Beirut and Paris to Colorado Springs and San Bernardino. As the President said tonight, in our darkest moments, when innocent civilians are gunned down in horrific massacres, it is how we respond, how we band together to fight terror itself that defines who we are as Americans. The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it.  


The President outlined a plan to combat ISIL in the Middle East without getting American forces mired in a new, protracted ground war. He called on Congress to again vote on legislation to prohibit suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms in this country, and I will continue to push for that until we close this dangerous loophole. He challenged Congress to tighten vulnerabilities in the Visa Waiver Program. And finally, the President called on Congress to vote on a new authorization on the use of military force to combat ISIL. I support him in that.


There may be a tendency to panic after these attacks—but oftentimes our first reactions are overreactions. Make no mistake: that is precisely what terrorists want. They commit these atrocities to disrupt our lives, make us look over our shoulders, and to turn neighbor against neighbor in fear. We cannot allow the United States to fall into that trap. America has a proud history of responding to tragedy with compassion for those impacted, and steady resolve to prevent future attacks. We must continue it in defiance of this evil.