Today there was a horrible, tragic terrorist attack / hate crime committed in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida– the club was called Pulse. There was a lone gunman armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, a hand gun, and possibly other weapons. The gunman opened fire early in the morning and killed a confirmed 50 LGBT persons and wounded at least another 53 LGBT persons. According to news media, this is the largest mass shooting and terrorist attack in the U.S. since the events of September 11th, 2001 in New York City.
The LGBT community is shaken by this shooting and the country has responded with mixed emotions. Some conservatives and fundamentalists seem to respond with hatred and nasty comments to the effect that somehow these innocent club goers have somehow deserved their tragic fate by virtue of being LGBT. Many nasty comments that seemed to applaud the killer’s efforts to kill and inflict terror.
But these are not the only voices! The vast majority of the country is in mourning, hosting vigils and offering prayers of support and love to those who have lost family and friends. Many are stepping up to donate blood or other items that might help in the care of the wounded. Many are offering support for the families and friends who lost someone. The outpouring of love should send a strong message to the haters of the world that our community will continue to survive and will continue to stand firm against bigotry and hatred. We will mourn, but there will come a time when we gather in outcry against violence and demand stronger legislation for responsible gun control and gun ownership. We will gather in outcry for stronger legislation supporting equal rights and protections for all LGBT citizens of these United States.
My prayers tonight are for the healing of the wounded, the comfort of those in mourning, and strength for those that must still rise up and continue the fight for equality.