The Worst Mass Shooting in US History

It was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. At 2 a.m. on Sunday, June 12, a gunman attacked the Pulse, an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and leaving another 53 injured.

It was “Latin Night” at the club during Pride Month, and the brutal attack was committed by a man with an AR-15 assault rifle.

At approximately 5 a.m., police stormed the building, killed the gunman and rescued around 30 hostages. 

The gunman apparently called 911 before the attack and made a statement swearing allegiance to ISIS. However, even though ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, it seems more likely that he was inspired, not directed, by the terror group. There is no immediate evidence linking the militant group to the massacre.

The gunman was a U.S. citizen from Fort Pierce, Florida. He was known to the FBI and the subject of two investigations into terror links in 2013 and 2014, both of which were considered inconclusive and closed.

His former wife said he was “obviously disturbed” and that he beat her and held her hostage when they were married.

Although he was described as  “29 year old Islamic Radical” by a number of media outlets, it seems more accurate to label him a “29 year old radical American homophobe with a history of domestic abuse.”

President Obama, in a dignified address full of quiet grief and gravitas, but also anger and frustration, called the attack “an act of terror and an act of hate.” He went on to say, “As Americans we are united in grief, in outrage and in resolve to defend our people.”

How To Respond To Hatred

Cities around the nation have taken action by lighting up monuments in the colors of the rainbow flag to honor the victims of the shooting. In New York, City Hall and the spire of One World Trade Center were rainbow-colored on Sunday night.

Across the U.S., numerous other cities added their tributes, lighting up monuments in rainbow colors, including the Omni Hotel in Nashville, the Orlando Eye, the Bond Bridge  in Kansas City, and the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis.

Around the world, Israel, Australia, the U.K. and France also lit up monuments in solidarity with the Orlando victims and the LGBTQ community.

Other reactions include a wonderful sonnet written by Lin-Manual Miranda who in his emotional acceptance speech at Sunday’s Tony Awards, said through tears, “Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love can not be killed or swept aside.”

Steven S. Thrasher, writing in The Guardian, expressed a similar theme of love:

Terrorism works because it makes people afraid of our fellow human beings. Let us not let terrorism work this time. As our ancestors did not at Stonewall, let us not fall to fear.

Let us remember those mourning black families in Charleston – attacked in their sanctuary this very week last year – who looked at Dylann Roof within hours of taking their kin and said I forgive you with no malice in their hearts. Let us remember the lack of vengeance they displayed, and how they immediately pivoted from a place of intense grief towards action for building a better world.

Easy Access To Weapons Of Mass Killing

Thrasher went on to remind us that “individuals who commit horrendous crimes in this country with absurd regularity have one thing in common: they have easy access to weapons of mass killing.”

The shooter’s weapon of choice was an AR-15, the same weapon that was used both last December in San Bernardino, California, to kill 14 people, and in the 2012 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, to kill 26 people, 20 of them children. 

These weapons were purchased legally. This is an assault rifle with the sole purpose of killing people, so why is such a weapon so easily available in the U.S.?

Ironically, the assault weapons used to kill and injure people are perfectly legal, meanwhile the blood that could potentially save those who are injured — if it comes from a sexually active gay man — is banned. As this tweet points out, blood donors are needed, but gay men cannot apply.

No-gays-need-apply-tweetLast December, the Food and Drug Administration lifted their ban on gay men donating blood, but continue to prohibit men from donating if they have had sex with men in the past year. The twitter-verse was full of comments on this on June 12, including this one:

If you believe the ban on gay men donating blood is cruel and unnecessary, please sign this petition asking the FDA to lift all restrictions on blood donations. And if you feel strongly about gun control, please ask Congress to ban assault weapons immediately.

Care2 stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ community in Orlando, and against all forms of violence and discrimination. You can show your support by signing this Care2 solidarity pledge.

Photo Credit: Screenshot from Orlando Sentinel video

154 comments

Greta L
Alice L1 months ago

Thanks for posting

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Vincent T
Vincent T1 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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hELEN h
hELEN hEARFIELD1 months ago

tyfs

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Helen C
Helen C1 months ago

Hate is just wrong

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Shirley P
Shirley Plowman1 months ago

RACIAL HATE IN USA ANYWHERE IS SOOOO WRONG!!!

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Lorraine Andersen
Lorraine Andersen1 months ago

I have a number of gay friends, They are no different from my other friends, so much hatred, it has to stop. WE have to learn to live and let live.

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Lisa M
Lisa M1 months ago

Thanks.

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Lisa M
Lisa M1 months ago

Thanks.

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danii p
danii p1 months ago

Thank you

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danii p
danii p1 months ago

Thank you

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