Orlando LGBT Terror Attack Stuns Nation

UPDATE #3: From One Colorado, the state’s biggest LGBT advocacy group:

Dave Montez, Executive Director of One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans and their families, issued the following statement in response to the shooting last night at an Orlando gay nightclub that killed 50 and injured more than 50 others.

“We are shocked and devastated by the horrible shooting that occurred in Orlando last night and our hearts are with the victims and families who have been impacted by this horrific act of violence targeting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community in Orlando.”

“June commemorates Pride month and gay clubs hold a significant place in LGBTQ history. They were often the only safe gathering place for LGBTQ people and this horrific act strikes directly at our sense of safety. We will all continue to work to address the hatred that causes these senseless acts of violence in hopes that something like this never happens again.”

And from Colorado Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst:

“My heart goes out to the victims of this attack, to their families, and to the greater LGBT community. This morning’s attack is a reminder to us all that gun violence in America is a plague that afflicts every state, every city and every community. That this was a targeted and hateful terror attack against the LGBT community only compounds our hurt today. We must all come together, as a nation, to do more to stop the mass gun violence that plagues this country, and stand together against hate and extremism however it manifests itself.”

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UPDATE #2: Statement from Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman:

guzmanstatement

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UPDATE: The father of the alleged shooter in Orlando says that he believes the attack was motivated by his son’s anger at recently witnessing open affection from two gay men. According to NBC News, “This had nothing to do with religion,” said Mir Seddique.

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What a horrible thing to wake up to. CNN:

Fifty people were killed inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, Orlando Police Chief John Mina and other officials said Sunday morning, just hours after a shooter opened fire in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

At least 53 more people were injured, Mina said. Police have shot and killed the gunman, he told reporters…

Orlando authorities said they consider the violence an act of domestic terror. The FBI is involved. While investigators are exploring all angles, they “have suggestions the individual has leanings towards (Islamic terrorism), but right now we can’t say definitely,” said Ron Hopper, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Orlando bureau.

Authorities are also looking into the possibility the attack was a hate crime, a law enforcement source told CNN.

We’re not yet in a position to evaluate the full implications of this terrible news. But we’ll update as we learn more about what happened last night, and our thoughts are with these victims–and all victims of both terrorism and hatred across the world.

40 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. The realist says:

    Hate and weapons: Always a bad combination. As authorities piece through this horrific crime, we must end the fear of discussing the destruction that easy access to assault weapons brings. We must end the fear of discussing easy access to loaded weapons children in this country have. We must be willing to lay down the firm line between 2nd amendment interpretations, and the inexcusable destruction that easy access to weaponry has brought us.

  2. mamajama55 says:

    The shooter was a security guard; he bought his weapons legally.

    Probably Orlando has no more community mental health resources than any other American city. Jail incarceration in solitary confinement is the poor person's mental health treatment and rehab program. There is no such thing as an emergency mental health hold if one lacks health insurance.

    So the shooter clearly hated gay people; and, if the shooter is proved to have any ties to Islamic extremist groups,  the Christian right wing is going to have to get their minds around the idea that fundamentalist Muslims hate gays as much as they do. All we know now is that he was on an FBI watch list because of his associates.

  3. JohnInDenver says:

    What a tragedy.

    Denver PrideFest, June 18 and 19, is going to have additional importance this year.

  4. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    The Texas Lt. Governor posted that people reap what they sow (he's anti-LGBT). I think that radical religious groups and individuals like the Family Resource Council, American Family Association, Franklin Graham, are seeing the results of the bad seed they've sown.

    • notaskinnycook says:

      Patton, the Texas Lt. Gov., is an ass. I'm surprised Gov. Abbott, who, as A.G. fought marriage equality fiercely, hasn't said anything stupid about it yet.

       

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      If there's any activity in this world, or any group of people, that you don't approve of:

      make fun of it, denigrate it, exclude it, ostracize it, demonize it, make those lives more difficult, sermonize against it, segregate it, use the power of the legal stystem against it, condemn it, wish ill upon it, call down your god's divine wrath upon it, incite against it, rail against it, excuse the inexcusable done to it, conspire against it, revel in the violence done to it, bomb it, murder it, slaughter it, genocide it . . . 

      Nihilism is just a matter of degree. 

  5. Voyageur says:

    There simply are times when words fail.  I just keep thinking of those poor people and the last thing they saw in this world is the twisted face of hate followed by a gun flash.

  6. mamajama55 says:

    President Obama's statement on the Orlando massacre

    and for contrast, Trump’s appalling tweet:

    Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/742034549232766976

  7. debbielynnepaint says:

    Maybe I have my head in the sand but in the end I don't believe the American people will elect that maniac.  He is beyond disgust.

    • Voyageur says:

      Even the use of the jocular "congrats" in this context shows the working of a diseased mind.  

    • Duke Cox says:

      Don't underestimate the power of media to create a separate reality where all the shit he says makes sense to those who cannot seem to keep their realities straight. How many people hate someone? Donald Trump is a hate magnet. Whoever you hate, Der Drumphenfuhrer, will help you express it and put it into action. A vote for Donald is a vote for victory! It is a vote to Make Amerika Great Again..Toughness and Vigilance…get your brown shirt here.!

      "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer."

      • Voyageur says:

        In college, CU professor Walter Uphoff showed me his collection of thousands of pieces of hate literature.   Even without knowing German, the pornographic anti-semitism of Julius Stretcher is shocking.  At Nuremberg, even his fellow war criminals shocked him.

        I remember reading Sartre's "Anti-Semite and Jew."  The most chilling line in it is this loser yelling: "I may not be much, but at least I'm not a Jew!"

        Something there is in the lowest and basest of us that needs to look down on someone else.   And it is just such losers that Donald Trump sees as his lawful prey.

         

  8. Pseudonymous says:

    To all queer folks around this country.  I love you.  I'm so sorry that so many people want to hurt you for just being…well, just being.

    From other news today:

    Man with weapons and potential explosives identified, 'wanted to harm' L.A. gay pride parade, chief says

    Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said on Twitter that the suspect told one of her officers after he was arrested that he wanted “to harm Gay Pride event.” But she did not provide any details, and officials said they are still trying to sort out his motives.

    Seabrooks identified him as James Howell of Indiana. A Facebook page for someone with the same name in Indiana shows a young man posing next to a white Acura similar to the one found in Santa Monica with the weapons and explosives.

    I should note that it's not clear what was intended, but whatever it was required explosives, three assault rifles, high capacity mags, and a buttload of ammunition.

    • Voyageur says:

      That's not the normal complement for a day of surfing.

    • notaskinnycook says:

      Thanks, Pseudo. I wish that was the end f it, but considering that this is Pride month, I fear it may not be. Keep a sharp eye out in crowds at events, folks, and stay safe.  

      • mamajama55 says:

        -from Kos:

        "We can't let them use dead LGBT people as a way to stir up Islamophobic bigotry". – by OllieGarkey

        bleeding_heart.png

        Image by kossack 8ackgr0und N015e – attribution: Today Orlando, tomorrow maybe your town

        There are many causes for what happened last night. The family of the perpetrator, and his ex wife, are saying that he wasn’t particularly religious, and that he absolutely hated LGBT people. So homophobia is a cause of this. The easy access to firearms is another cause of this. There’s breaking news about ISIS potentially, so that conflict might have something to do with this. There are other causes as well.

        But the people who hate us, who pass bathroom bills against us, who provided the legal protections to the terrorist allowing him to acquire the weapon of war he used against us in Orlando last night, who themselves are complicit in this act through their reckless and irresponsible policies, are now trying to use our dead as a way to attack Muslims. 

        It is a desecration of our dead, and an attempt to hide their own complicity in this, and every other mass shooting they have enabled by guaranteeing that the tools of mass murder are widely available. 

        This is the worst terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11.

        It happened at an LGBT club, on Latinx night, during pride month. 

        It was an act of hate. And the GOP and their idiot leader are trying to use this act of hate to create even more hate. They don’t care about us, but they’re happy to use our dead bodies as a cudgel to beat the US Muslim community.

    • FWIW, they've backed off of the motive for now, saying only that "he planned on attending the gay pride parade".

      He was, however, under a court order that forbade him from owning guns after threatening someone by pointing a gun at them. (The guns probably pre-date the court order, and there probably wasn't any search of his premises to ensure he didn't have them…)

      • Pseudonymous says:

        Yes.  Apparently the order was the result of him threatening a former boyfriend.  He also appears to have been all full up on crazy, generally.  Here's the latest report.

        The story has morphed into the gentleman going to the parade to “look for a friend.” Apparently the intent to harm someone at the parade was a premature statement by the local police chief.

  9. DaftPunk says:

    From a deranged loon motivated by a twisted version of religion based hatred of gays shooting up a gay nightclub to a deranged loon motivated by a twisted version of religion based hatred of abortion providers shooting up a Planned Parenthood is a distinction without a difference.

    • BlueCat says:

      I can think of one difference. The white Christian was deemed unfit to stand trial, mentally ill, not a terrorist, and there was no conservative outcry. Can you imagine  what the conservative reaction would have been had this Muslim shooter lived and been deemed too mentally ill to stand trial?

  10. itlduso says:

    Could we please eliminate access to (i.e., legal purchase of) assault rifles??  I guess the murderer's AR-15 didn't jam this time (unlike what happened at our own Aurora movie theatre massacre).  A landslide by Hillary and the Dems might be our opportunity to enact (re-enact?) restrictions to these weapons of mass destruction.

    • exlurker19 says:

      I have always thought that if you need an AR-15 to shoot a deer, you need to give up hunting.  It is my only joke that goes over well with my gun hugging friends.  Of course, the people who think the Feds are going to invade the Denver 'burbs and they need the AR-15s to defend themselves don't remain my friends for very long.

      • notaskinnycook says:

        You've got it, ex-. I often think that ridicule may be the best defense we have against the ammosexuals   And since they always claim they hunt and target-shoot with them, we can reasonably ask, "You mean you're such a piss-poor shot that you need an army rifle to bring down a deer? Really? I know guys who can do that with a cross-bow." 

        • Gray in Mountains says:

          An AR in the right hands can be an extremely accurate weapon. Yet, I am not aware of any shooters, except DC sniper, with any real proficiency. And, the guy in the TX tower in the 60s

      • BlueCat says:

        It's not about deer. These people have fantasies of defending themselves when Obama declares himself President for Life and comes to take away their guns and put them in reeducation camps.

        • notaskinnycook says:

          I know it's not about hunting game, B.C. But that is always their excuse to the real world. Only in their secret little enclaves do they really let their fevered imaginations run wild. My point is, to call them on their excuses and rile them up until they shout from the roofs what their real fears are. Of course, that will invite more ridicule.

          • BlueCat says:

            Actually they're pretty clear that they need their guns for potential "second amendment solutions" and, just as they did with the birther nonsense, GOP pols offer them wink, wink tolerance rather than offending them. 

  11. Pam Bennett says:

    Here in D.C. there was a serious discussion to cancel the Sunday Pride Festival on Pennsylvania St.  The decision was not to.  I called a friend to check on him and his husband along with another friend.  They were considering not going to the festival until I told them the D.C. mayor increased police presence.  In D.C. we are always faced with being the place the kooks want to shoot up or blow up, so adding security is a well practiced exercise.

    LGBT community has experienced tragedy before and I expect more in the future.  Today we mourn our family members massacred and hope and pray for those injured.

    A blog I write for. Trailmix.cc

    • mamajama55 says:

      A fine piece – but now I want to know what was on the windshield note.

      • Pam Bennett says:

        It as a description of what he would do to me if he saw me.  He was not a nice person.  Attacks on transwomen are brutal and bloody.  Where if a man was hitting a straight woman, he would beat up a transwoman, cut her open and smash her head in with heavy objects.  Third Tuesday in November is Transgender Remembrance Day where we name the trans people killed during the last year, and how they were murdered.  Everyone should plan on attending this year.

  12. Duke Cox says:

    Two days into the aftermath of this horrible act of murder in Orlando, a thought keeps recurring to me… There is a special place in Hell for Wayne LaPierre.

  13. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Pastor Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in AZ has posted a YouTube video stating, in part, that the massacre in Orlando is good news. After all, it was only homosexuals in a gay bar and there will now be 50 fewer pedophiles to molest children. I won't get into the tweets coming from the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas.

    And people in the past, on this web site, have wondered why I, as a traditional conservative Republican, cannot be a Christian. I rest my case. The bad eggs in the Christian faith far outweigh those who are good (and I personally do know some good Christians).

  14. mamajama55 says:

    Pictures of the victims of the Orlando Pulse massacre. Don't want to see any more photos of the shooter, speculations about his motivation, etc. He was a hater. And it was too easy for him to obtain an AR15 to spread his hate. 

    They were so young and beautiful, so full of life. And  now they're not.

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