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president obama arizona speech

Link to full text of speech

TUCSON — President Obama called Wednesday for an end to the political finger-pointing that has erupted in the aftermath of the gunman’s rampage here five days ago, urging Americans not to use the tragedy that took six lives to turn on one another.

In a widely anticipated address, a somber Mr. Obama told more than 14,000 people in a gymnasium at the University of Arizona — and millions watching on their television sets — that it was time to “pause for a moment, and to make sure that we are talking to each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”

“Scripture tells us that there is evil in the world, and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding,” Mr. Obama said. “Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.”

The reality, the president said, is that “none of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped those shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man’s mind.”

He praised the people who rushed to the scene last Saturday in Tucson; the two men who wrestled Jared Loughner to the ground; the woman who seized his ammunition, the intern who rushed to the side of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to try to stem the bleeding.

Read more at NYTimes

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