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Remembering those lost in Orlando and vowing to fight hate with love

William remembers those lost in Orlando

William, who used to perform at Pulse Orlando, remembers friends and co-workers killed there.

Several hundred people gathered in front of Trinity Church in Copley Square tonight to vent their anger at the deaths in Orlando, but also to show their love for those hurting.

William, a drag performer who moved to Boston from Orlando last fall, recalled the four friends he had there who died, the four in critical condition and others who were shot. But as he tried to maintain his composure, he said, "if I preach one word today, it would be love."

Greg Cook attended and filed a report and photos:

Tears

The Boston Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who led the vigil, called for a moment of non-silence, in which people could let out their feelings:

Moment of non-silence

Xandra Minter of Queer Muslims of Boston said the Koran says that anybody who murders one person murders all of mankind and that

Queer Muslim speaks

The Rev. Bill Rich, vicar of Trinity Church, said the church decided to cancel its normal 8 p.m. service, "so we could be with you."

"We all could have been there," Rich, who is gay, said, adding he mourns not just for the victims of the gunfire, but for "all the hearts, and minds and souls that have been injured by this violence."

He continued, however, the answer is not meeting violence with violence, or fear. "Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!" he said.

People with candles raised them in memory of the dead and injured:

Candles raised
Candles raised

The crowd sang "Amazing Grace:"

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Comments

A moving and fitting tribute.

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We have pushed into something we know nothing about, let's figure out how to get our country together before we try spreading whatever this is into other parts of the world.
We can't agree on how to find a place for a ship captain from 500 years ago.

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God Bless the victims, their families and Orlando Police responders who will never forget this. Anticipating the full fledged UHub attacks on me, will gays, libs and other thoughtful people reevaluate the far-left welcome mat for Muslims who cannot be vetted? Granted, this young Muslim terrorist was born here to Afghan parents but I'm not sure if that's better or worse. Time for gays and alternative crowd to realize Islam is exterminating them across the Middle East and now here in the US.

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Let's talk about easy access to AR-15s in the United States of America first. He didn't get weapons or training overseas. He walked into a gun shop, and despite being on the FBI's radar, he bought a weapon the only purpose of which is to kill people.

I'm not going to blame an entire religion anymore than I would blame your religion for Charleston, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Oklahoma City, Columbine, the University of Texas, the Holocaust, etc., etc., etc.

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after twice being on the FBI radar screen.

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And Ron Johnson in particular for refusing ANY gun control legislation to pass through Congress.

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Bernie and Hillary aren't exactly champions of the cause- along w a lot of other Dems who pay lip service to a politically popular right even among the left.

And this is not a partisan retort. I'm a HUGE gun control advocate as I've stated before out here.

You want guns? Buy all you want. But keep them in a publicly or privately maintained facility. You want to take them out? Limits on who, what, where you can take them with a reason why.

Sadly, not likely in my lifetime.

In the meantime about one person an hour is murdered by a gun. 2 people kill themselves w a gun in that same time. And 10 get shot just not killed. I personally know two people that almost got shot by "unloaded" guns last year. The guns went off but fortunately were pointed in the air, not at someone. There but for the grace of God.

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You think this guy was going to follow ANY laws???

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Let's try higher hurdles to gun ownership and test the hypothesis. Clearly not having any higher hurdles hasn't solved anything.

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Your way OBVIOUSLY hasn't worked. Let's try something else and see what happens. The gun folk are scared of that because once you prevent thousands of killings and suicides the answer will be obvious.

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Drive through either and see all the gun shops.

Now look up how much WMDgun mayhem they had since banning the guns that have a single purpose (mass murder capability).

Face facts: this is about high killing capacity weapons, and taking those away doesn't stop hunting, farming, or other non mass murder uses of weapons. It only stops the mass murders.

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Except not really. All weapons available for legal purchase i.e. from a Federal Licensed Firearms deals are Semi-automatic weapons. Handguns and the scary looking "assault rifles" shoot at the same rate: one shot per trigger pull. They are all equally as powerful and dangerous as the next but the fact is liberal media loves to peddle that scary military looking "assault weapon" can kills hordes of people... So can a powerful handgun. You wanna know what the 1994 assault weapons bad did? "The 1994 assault weapons law banned semi-automatic rifles only if they had any two of the following five features in addition to a detachable magazine: a collapsible stock, a pistol grip, a bayonet mount, a flash suppressor, or a grenade launcher.

That’s it. Not one of those cosmetic features has anything whatsoever to do with how or what a gun fires. Note that under the 1994 law, the mere existence of a bayonet lug, not even the bayonet itself, somehow turned a garden-variety rifle into a bloodthirsty killing machine. Guns with fixed stocks? Very safe. But guns where a stock has more than one position? Obviously they’re murder factories. A rifle with both a bayonet lug and a collapsible stock? Perish the thought."

The failure here was not "assault weapons" or lack of "sensible gun laws" but the fact that this guy was clearly a threat to society and the government failed to prevent him from purchasing guns. There has been many reports of a "systematic purge" from counter-terrorism training of any references to Islam. This may well be why the FBI investigations were closed, and Mateen was free to purchase his arsenal.

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At a shotgun class conducted by those well known gun murderers in Freeport, Maine: LL Bean. Ten students, three instructors, a couple thousand shells. At a facility with a 100 per cent safety rating since day one.

Somehow, despite the wild and free access that we all have to as many guns as we want in 2016 America, nobody got killed. No confederate flags, no Alahu Akbah, no alcohol. Twenty shotguns and bunch of guys following the laws currently in place, and no injuries or killings.

Amazing how that works, huh?

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Roughly The number of murders, suicides and shootings annually in the US in thousands.

Amazing how that works, huh?

You'll never stop all the carnage but my money is on cutting those numbers in half if you take guns out of homes.

Google "toddler shoots self" next time you want to talk about all those "responsible" gun owners.

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Yep take them out of the homes than only ruthless criminals will have them. Funny how Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation yet the murder rate is off the charts. Also funny how little media coverage the homicide and shooting rate in Chicago gets. Probably cause it doesnt fit their agenda... FYI in 3 days over memorial weekend, 63 people were shot and 6 killed in Chicago. Funny how that works.

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When you don't even have to drive an hour to legally buy a full arsenal to bring into Chicago, then claiming that Chicago's tough gun laws have "failed" thus there's no reason to implement anything similar anywhere else in America is a fallacious argument.

You can't create "gun-free zones" like Chicago, or Boston, or NYC and just let people go a few miles down the road to buy them instead. However, when you have zero other options, at least this is better than nothing.

In other words, you think this has failed? Sell guns in storefronts right in Chicago and see how that goes...it won't bode well.

If the country removed every self-loading centre-fire rifle and every large barrel handgun from the entire country, then you'd see a huge drop in gun crime. If this country made it so that if you wanted a large capacity cartridge and a rifle with tremendous spray-and-pray stopping power you had to go to Croatia to get it, then you'd see a huge drop in gun crime. Claiming that our current hyper-localized attempts to control guns is a demonstration of how gun control is failing is so dishonest that the only people making it are either too simple to think deeply about the issue (and should have their opinions on the matter discounted) or being paid to say that level of stupidity to keep gun sales flowing (and should have their opinions on the matter discounted).

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"Hyper-localized" gun control laws? What does that even mean? Where did I suggest "hyper-localized" gun laws are failing? Chicago city limits are pretty big, so I wouldn't call that localized. Further, there are Federal gun control laws on the books such as "background checks" that exist on a "hyper-localized" and national level. I think its safe to say 99% of the murders, shootings etc occurring in Chicago are done by criminals with guns obtained illegally with no serial numbers. Keep in mind its a felony in most states including Illinois. So besides a gun ban which will not and should not happen in this country (sorry my freedom to bear arms is more important than your desire to have all guns confiscated and be "protected" by the government) what laws do you suggest?

And stop with the typical smug "your opinions should be discounted" fascist nonsense. Sorry you dont like dissenting opinions, you might want to talk to someone about that...

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Chicago: 234 sq mi.
The rest of the USA: 3,806,000 sq mi.

The majority of recent Chicago murders have happened in the Austin neighborhood.

Oak Park isn't in Chicago. Windy City Firearms is located just inside Oak Park. From the epicenter of the shootings to Windy City Firearms isn't even an hour WALK away.

You only have to go a bit further by car to pick up a handgun.

If I buy a handgun, file off the serial number, and sell it out of my trunk in Chicago, it wouldn't even be a day's work. If it's harder for me to get a gun...If I can't keep buying and "losing" guns because of, say, a federal reporting law for lost and stolen weapons (that doesn't exist because Republicans keep blocking attempts at it)...If I have to go further, then the cost to do so goes up. The risk goes up. Fewer people are doing straw purchases and illegal sales. Fewer guns are on the street for criminals to use.

This isn't rocket science and your petulant attempts to pout about how a reduction in the sales and availability of firearms is unclear to you as to the ripple effect it would have on gun crimes is meaningless. Great, you've agreed you're an idiot and can't see how a reduction in the purchase of guns from gun stores would effect the availability of illegal guns (where do you think they come from??).

Finally, your "freedom to bear arms" isn't a suicide pact. You had freedom to use cocaine as medicine back in the 1800's. By the 1920's this was legislated to non-existence. How we as a society interpret the Second Amendment is our choice. If we determine that your "right to bear arms" has limits that exclude all but the most necessary circumstances or only within specific locations like gun ranges, then take it to court. By the point these restrictions are in place, you'll lose just like a cocaine user who might want to take up the illegality of cocaine with the courts. But you're welcome to argue your case.

Also, I approve of dissent. I dissent on a lot of things. But I back them up with reality. You don't. You ignore reality. You ignore dissent. You can't handle a world in which you lose access to guns because guns are too readily available to too many people in this country. You need to accept that the world you want to live in doesn't exist any more. We've pulled bigots, misogynists, and all sorts of other malcontents who clinged to "the way things were" through worse things than gun control before and we still survived. We'll drag you into a less gun-happy country because the rest of us are tired of dying so that you can have your playthings. Get used to having your ignorant and dangerous "opinions" ignored.

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which is a part of the root problem here. The United States has the highest rate of murder by handguns per capita in the Western World. Murders and suicides occur more by guns, because it's so much easier, in a fit of anger, or in the throes of depression, to pick up a gun, aim it at oneself, or another person, and pull the trigger. What results is either a death, or an adversely and permanently altered way of life for the victim(s).

Also guns can and do kill and maim many more people much more quickly to boot.

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The Democrats, at large, are no better in that respect. The sad fact remains that, with very rare exceptions, neither the GOP or the majority of Democrats have had the gumption to stand up to the bullying tactics of the NRA (National Rifle Association) and the Gun Lobby and pass more stringent, more affective gun laws that would save many more lives.

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Who hosted an Anti-American talk show, following an ex-con imam who openly preached hatred towards LGBT people, co-workers who complained about him openly sharing racist and homophobic views.

But hey lets all do the liberal circle-jerk and blame anything but what evidence is being laid out. Because, well it could have been his religious views because that's the "religion of peace."

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hosted an Anti-American talk show

Rush Limbaugh was his father?

Or was it that gun-loving right-wing pseudoprof at Florida State who defames the constitution on a regular basis?

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The clearest and simplest evidence is that bullets entered the bodies of 49 people killing them. Bullets entered the bodies of more people without killing them.

Let's start with the clearest and simplest evidence: bullets kill people.

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This guy, even without a gun would have done this atrocity some way, some how.

Don't be fooled into thinking that even with tougher gun laws that this would not have happened in some sort of fashion! i.e. truck bomb, pipe bombs, setting the place on fire, knives etc. This POS was determined!

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He'd have a far more difficult time building a bomb of sufficient power than getting a gun, because the components are controlled.

Note that the marathon bombs, built from fireworks, only killed three people. Guns and cars involved later were just as lethal.

Delusional thinking is the cause of this - by the NRA and people like you.

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...in certain ways. If the bombs were on mailboxes or traffic light control boxes, you would have had 200 amputations, not of legs but higher up.
Of the maimed, they all survived because we have a hell of a good medical response system here.
Oh, and the blast pattern was low.

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If the bombs were on mailboxes or traffic control boxes, they would have been more obvious to staff trained to look for bombs than as they were. Then it would have been a total failure as the bombs would have been detectable and the area cleared.

If you're going to play "what if", then you have to give benefit of the doubt to all parties involved or you're just throwing out red herrings.

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The bombs were placed, they walked away, then detonated them. They weren't there very long.
You're right. If someone spotted them in time, fine. If not, it would have been chest level carnage.

OK, another one for you...the Times Square bombing (failed) was a total success. The bomb vehicle was placed, triggered and the guy got away.

The bomb itself, however, was made by an amateur and was a failure. If it was made correctly, the gas cans and propane tanks would have turned Times square into, in the words of our elders, a "charnel house". Great plan, shit workmanship.

Bombs are simply not that easy to make without either it not working, or going all Bill Ayer's followers on you.

Oh, for what it's worth, I personally know about a half dozen people that were there that day.

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There were a number of people who were killed outright in the Marathon bombing, as well.

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It's a good thing Florida has conceal carry laws and all those innocent people were able to protect themselves with their guns!

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Its also a good thing Florida has laws making it illegal to carry a firearm in an establishment that serves alcohol. That sure stopped this jihadist!

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The first person to engage this creep was ... AN ARMED SECURITY GUARD.

So much for that "I'mma gonnna be a biiiiig herooooo in my mind!" stupidity. Doesn't happen, dear.

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If only we had guns!

Right. So one person pulls out a gun and starts shooting. Then 100 more do the same. Yeah, that'll work. Just shoot at the guys in black hats, right?

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Huh??? It wasn't an "armed security guard" but a uniformed off-duty police officer who was working there heard gun shots then exchanged gunfire with Mateer. They were allowed to have a firearm on the premises. Nice try though, dont let facts or an agenda for that matter get in the way.

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Nope.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-weisser/fbi-report-active-shooters_b_...

Here’s how these incidents ended. More than half (56 percent) were terminated by the shooter who either took his or her own life, simply stopped shooting or fled the scene. Another 26 percent ended in the traditional Hollywood-like fashion with the shooter and law enforcement personnel exchanging gunfire and in nearly all of those situations the shooter ended up either wounded or dead. In 13 percent of the shooting situations, the shooter was successfully disarmed and restrained by unarmed civilians, and in 3 percent of the incidents the shooter was confronted by armed civilians, of whom four were on-duty security guards and one person was just your average “good guy” who happened to be carrying a gun.

Furthermore:

More than two-thirds of all the active shooting incidents between 2000 and 2013 took place in locations which were not readily understood to be gun-free zones.

Here's the link to the full FBI report: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/september/fbi-releases-study-on-ac...

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Huffington Post- the bastion for centrist and unbiased opinions... "Not readily understood to be gun free zones" means nothing. Pretty sure that shooters know schools, for instance, are gun free zones. And AGAIN, if Mateen had know Pulse was a "gun-free zone" do you think that would have stopped or deterred him? Highly doubt it. Use some common sense here.

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Here's the link to the full FBI report: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/september/fbi-releases-study-on-ac...

What part of "link to the full FBI report" do you not get?

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Tougher gun laws are needed here in the United States. When Norway had a similar shooting afew years ago, the Norwegians called on their government to implement stronger, more affective gun laws, and that's what they got. The Norwegians didn't go out and arm themselves to the teeth like so many people here in the United States do after mass shootings like this.

The fact that this guy went in, opened fire and killed and injured so many people so quickly is rather horrific. Guns are far easier to carry and to use, and pipe bombs and/or truck bombs can turn out to be duds and fail. Guns, on the other hand, do even more damage, because bullets travel at a much greater velocity, because they're fired from a distance, plus they're generally made out of metal, which does even more extensive damage. Guns are already put together for use, and don't have to be manufactured on the spot.

Just because people can and do sometimes get killed or permanently maimed with bomb explosions doesn't negate the fact that firearms are entirely too accessible here in the United States, and are all too easy to use, either on oneself, or against other people. The United States has long been a society and culture that depends and revolves around firearms, and it has come home to roost, in more ways than one; we're now seeing the net results; in mass-shootings like the shooting in Orlando, the VA Tech shooting, the Columbine shooting, to mention afew, as well as in the streets of our poorest urban areas, and the fact that all too often, arguments between ordinary people turn deadly when firearms are present.

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"Only purpose of which is to kill people" is incredibly disingenuous. 99% of the other AR-15 gun owners use them for their lawful purposes: target shooting, hunting etc. He passed background checks. The FBI did investigate him, twice but closed the case due to lack of evidence. Do I think this terrorist should have been able to purchase guns? Hell no! But how do you prevent people like this from buying guns, besides an outright gun ban? He committed no crimes other than making threats.

Further, its also disingenuous to make a compare Christianity to Islam. There is no global Christian move to "slay the infidels." Not all Muslims are terrorist, but all the recent terrorist attacks have been committed by radical Islamic terrorist. Paris, Belgium, Orlando, Boston, Chattanooga, Fort Hood and the numerous attacks in Middle East.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamist_terrorist_attacks

Further, have not seen what happens on a regular basis in Iran and Iraq/Syria to Gay people? Is it widely practiced in the Middle East that those guilty of Sodomy are punishable by death.

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But the AR15 is in fact a military assault weapon, designed for the Army, used for killing people, and not particulary useful for hunting. There are thousands of articles on the internet on this subject but I think this one is particularly useful.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/01/02/gun_control_ar_15_rifle_the_...

As for your anti Muslim, pro Christianity propaganda, simply not true. Some Christians advocate the death penalty for gays. Does that mean all Christians do? Of course not.

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As for your anti Muslim, pro Christianity propaganda, simply not true. Some Christians advocate the death penalty for gays. Does that mean all Christians do? Of course not.
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The fact that there is a great deal of anti-Muslim sentiment in this country and in the west, generally (which is not justified.), and that some Christians do advocate the death penalty for gays does not negate the fact that homophobia occurs throughout the world, and most of the Islamic countries are not exception to this.

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99% of AR-15 gun owners use them for lawful purpose? Take that as a given it does not answer the question of whether they or any civilian needs to own a weapon proven to be a weapon of mass destruction. Are these particular weapons necessary to satisfy the needs (not merely wants) of these gun owners?

It is disingenuous to compare Christianity to Islam at least where Gay people are concerned? There is a global Christian denomination that officially declares Gays as "intrinsically disorderd." This policy supports the mental torture of Gay people by declaring all Gay people are mentally ill. The global denomination: Roman Catholic Church. Add the other Christian denominations that preach love the sinner but hate the sin and you have a world wide religion that advocates mental torture. Guess it's not terrorism. But close enough for my money.

By the way: Until the 20th century Christians physically tortured, beheaded and burned people accused of Sodomy. And in this nation in the 50s simply to be accused of homosexuality led to loosing jobs, homes and families. Not quite the severity of beheading. But let's not pretend that the hands of the United States are clean.

The logic of an outright ban is the black and white fallacy. It's either this or that. Sorry but that is presenting a false choice. The Supreme Court itself in its majority decision agreed that regulation is appropriate.

I have indeed seen pictures of what happens to Gays in Iran and other Middle East nations. Including a major ally of the U.S., Saudi Arabia. These are the same nations that exist in a culture that treats women as second class. Does that mean to condemn all Muslims? Well the same argument would apply to nations where Christianity is dominant religion of the culture and where Gays are treated with the same contempt. So when do you decide which should be condemned?

By the way the list of above events left out Sandy Hook. Does Sandy Hook not count as mass murder? The murderer was not Muslim; but he was a killer.

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all the recent terrorist attacks have been committed by radical Islamic terrorist.

If you're speaking strictly of "terrorism" as politically motivated violence, the radical right has a nasty track record in the US. They have a long history of bombings, shootings, and targeted assassination of doctors and police officers.

If you mean "terrorism" as an act of mass killing, you're average disgruntled white guy is still the one to be most afraid of.

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Further, its also disingenuous to make a compare Christianity to Islam. There is no global Christian move to "slay the infidels."

Christian Republicans like Cruz, Huckabee, and Jindal all feel like Kevin Swanson is mainstream enough to appear speaking in support of him at an event where Swanson calls for the death penalty for homosexuality and the mass execution of gay people by the US government.

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are posers. You know POG's, wanna bees, dress up men. You know, Ted Nugent types.

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What kind of incompetent dipshit needs an AR-15 to hunt? Seriously? What are they hunting exactly? It's a military weapon designed to inflict maximum damage on people. If you need that gun in your life to shoot targets or deer then I have news for you: you need more skill and less firepower and probably a bigger wiener.

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You know AR doesn't stand for "assault rifle" right? It is 100% not a military weapon, nor is it that much more powerful than the average handgun. It's also not an automatic weapon. What exactly should one use for shooting deer? Maybe this gun?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.30-06_Springfield#/media/File:Super2012.jpg

Well, that weapon is more powerful than an AR-15.

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Actually, the AR-15 isn't a great deer rifle. They're chambered in .223 (5.56mm), which puts a lot of powder behind a fairly small projectile. You end up with a high velocity, low mass bullet that's not great at taking down game. Back when I hunted, my deer gun of choice was my grandpa's lever action Winchester .30-30. Bigger, slower slug.

I grew up with guns, and I still support gun rights. But I think it's probably time to impose some limits... At least on assault rifles, and maybe on high capacity box magazines in general.

It seems like everyone having this debate is screaming from the far ends of the political spectrum. I wish more people could have a reasonable discussion around the middle.

Sorry, Sally, this isn't really even about your post, I guess.

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Or that we enforce the existing laws:
Several years ago, the U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois — the federal prosecutor responsible for Chicago — announced that, as a matter of policy, his office would not be pursuing prosecutions in most cases involving “straw buyers,” the clean faces who use their unblemished records to purchase firearms on behalf of convicted criminals and others prohibited from legally purchasing firearms. These cases are lots of work and generally don’t ensnare big-time criminals, but rather the idiot nephews, girlfriends, and grandmothers of big-time criminals. Putting those people in federal penitentiaries for ten years isn’t going to win anybody any friends. But they are the people who render our current background-check laws ineffective against the criminals who have turned parts of Chicago into a free-fire zone. Putting a few dozen of them away for a few dozen years might provide a strong disincentive for other would-be straw buyers, particularly those who (as is not uncommon) engage in straw buying as a commercial endeavor.

It isn’t just the federal authorities. In most of our states, including those with the cities suffering the most from violent crime, the ratio of illegal guns seized to gun cases prosecuted demonstrates just how unseriously these crimes are treated almost everywhere, New York being the notable exception.

The massacre in Orlando is horrifying, but the great majority of our murders are nothing like that. They are the ordinary work of ordinary criminals, who in most cases (more than 90 percent in New York City) already are known to police, as indeed was Omar Mateen. These killers and future killers are on the street committing their crimes because our criminal-justice system, with its vast resources, does not do its job. The police, the prosecutors, the jailers, and the parole-and-probation authorities all must answer for the fact that such a large share of our murders are committed by people already well known to law enforcement.

But there’s a fair number of crimes that could be prevented, if the people we pay to prevent them were willing to do the old-fashioned police work necessary: running down criminals, prosecuting unglamorous cases, properly managing parolees. But those jobs are entrusted to government employees, whose unions are irreplaceable benefactors of Democratic political campaigns. Hence when an ISIS groupie from New York shoots up a gay bar in Orlando under the nose of the FBI, it’s somehow the fault of quail-hunters in Texas and .223 enthusiasts in Idaho.

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Your arguments are basically valid when it comes to illegal handguns and gang-ish shootings. Almost every gun used in a spree killing is obtained legally, so cracking down on straw buyers or even requiring background checks on private sales (a measure that, if implemented, would basically function as a massive payday for gun shops, since all second hand guns would get funnelled through their cash registers), wouldn't have made an iota of difference. Figuring out a way to reduce the overall murder rate is another discussion for another day. Getting rid of assault rifles (or arguably all removable box magazines) would go a long way to reducing the lethality of the next asshole who wants to walk into a bar or movie theater or office party or college or elementary school and shoot a bunch of humans.

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99% of the other AR-15 gun owners use them for their lawful purposes: target shooting, hunting etc

Get a clue city boy. Nobody uses these for hunting anything other than humans.

My inner redneck is quite entertained by your assertion

I guess 99% of ammosexuals don't even know from hunting ... after all, that requires being out in the woods and having some skill!

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"City boy?" "Ammosexual?" I am also quite entertain by your assertions... I've actually been hunting numerous times, big game, upland bird hunting. Have an LTC. And also work a 9-5 desk job that pays quite well. Gasp! How is that possible?

There are hundreds of thousands of "assault weapons" in circulation in the US. "In 2014, the most recent year for which detailed FBI data are available, rifles were used in 248 murders. And not only are rifles used in far fewer murders over a decade following the expiration of the 1994 gun ban, they’re also used in a smaller percentage of homicides. In 2003, when the gun ban was in full effect, rifles were used in nearly 3 percent of murders. In 2014, they were used in barely 2 percent."

Keep in mind this only lists "rifles" which include the AR-15. There are many types of rifles out there. So ya, I think its safe to say that most AR-15s are used for the lawful purposes HOWEVER you may define them...

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Assault rifles tend to be the weapon of choice for spree killers (mass murderers? active shooters? whatever the term is). We just have so goddamn many murders in this country that the horrific single acts like Orlando get lost in the statistics. The fact is that mass murder would be much harder if you had to stop and feed rounds into a tube magazine every half dozen shots.

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In about 1973, 40 million Americans purchased hunting licenses annually and about 49% of households had at least 1 firearm in the home. Today only about 12% of Americans buy hunting licenses yet almost 65% of households have firearms. It ain't about hunting, folks.

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As a gay.. the first thing I did Sunday morning was locate all my friends and family in Orlando. One of which is my 1st cousin who is gay and does go to Pulse on occasion. Luckily he had to work late and didn't go out. Otherwise, he would have gone out, been at Pulse, and I would be working with his mom to plan out his funeral this week.

The second thing I did, was reach out to my Muslim friends to make sure THEY are OK also. Because every time one of these attacks occurs, I fear for my Muslim friends. Because we have idiots like you who want to mass blanket all Muslims as bad. I know this not to be true at all. Not all Muslims are evil terrorists. Many are your friends and neighbors.

Furthermore, I agree with Adam. We should have a discussion about how someone was able to get easy access to AR-15s, especially someone who was on a FBI watch list. And in the same breath, we should also talk about how politicians continually glaze over any sort of real gun control and restrictions on these AR weapons, while taking "paid expenses" or "donations" from the NRA because we're tired of these mass shootings due to lack of real gun control reform in Washington.

We should also have a discussion about mental health and its funding. it's clear this guy was unstable, at least from reports from his ex wife, who said he beat her daily.

And finally, we should have a discussion about how someone could be interviewed by the FBI on a number of occasions, and who clearly was not stable, and he was still allowed to be a gov't security contractor and have access to such high powered guns.

But go ahead.. make this about Muslims first and not the REAL issues at hand.. *smh*

PS - In case you didn't hear, there was another guy.. in Los Angeles who had bomb making materials and guns in his car and was on his way to a gay pride parade. And let me just tell you.. he was white!

Edits: clarity, spelling, grammar errors

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Kris, I'm giving you an amen. I don't want to cry anymore, though I will, and we all need to make sure we don't let another non-response to a mass shooting keep killing Americans: young or old, latinx, black, or white; LGBTQ or straight.

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after I read--preach it. Cybah-hug to you. Heavy hearts today.

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Thank you.

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Yes friends. We may be texts on a screen but we are a community of sorts.

And thanks again. Not too bad for someone who was waiting for coffee to brew this morning.

I'm just tired of the blood shed and the glazing over by politicians who are too busy getting expenses paid for by the NRA to block any sort of gun legislation. It's time for the blood shed to end. How many more mass killings do we have to have before something is done. As much as I want to believe something will be done, I have very little doubt anything will be done. Much like nothing was done after Sandy Hook. And if school children are not enough to make needed changes, I doubt a mass shooting at a LGBTQ club will be enough either.

I've been on sabbatical and staying in Provincetown a lot , which is why my posts here have become less and less. I spent a portion of today at the beach. Wasn't restful at all. Kept thinking about Orlando, and my cousin, and so many people effected. Especially how I went clubbing on the Saturday night and that shooter could have happened there, and one of the victims could have been me.

But I will not stop going out. If you live in fear, they win. We will not surrender. We will never surrender.

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A) Omar Mateen was born to parents who were Afghan immigrants to the United States. Inotherwords, Omar Mateen was an Afghan-American.

B) His co-workers often complained about him, because he was extremely unstable, and was known for his openly racist and homophobic attitudes.

C) Omar Mateen was so emotionally unstable and physically/emotional abusive to his wife, that she ended up divorcing him.

p. s. This is a bit off-topic, but I'll add this: The fact that guns are so accessible here in the United States and that so many people twist the U. S. Constitution's 2nd Amendment due to their belief that it guarantees individual rights to arms, when that's so totally not the case. Under that Amendment, only law-enforcement people and security personnel, as well as people serving in the military are allowed to have weapons.

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There is a pervasive root to all this nonsense - including your "lets kill all them other people" hatred. Toxic masculinity is a root syndrome connecting rape culture, domestic abuse, homophobia, right-wing Christian and Islamic extremist terrorism, etc.

You aren't solving anything with your nonsense "proposal" - you are merely representing and perpetuating the evil behind such terrorist acts.

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Glad to see swirl is carrying the talking point of the day for Planned Parenthood. http://www.mrctv.org/blog/planned-parenthood-blames-toxic-masculinity-or...

ANYTHING to avoid calling it Islam.

It's not 'toxic masculinity'. It's psychotic pseudo religious belief.

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My neighbor used to work for them.

Toxic masculinity claimed her life when a Right Wing Fundamentalist Christian Catholic Terrorist woman hater murdered her in cold blood.

Take your toxic masculinity-inspired hatred elsewhere and fuck off.

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I won't cower to your nonsense. I know all about your friend the receptionist, and I'm sorry for your loss. She was not killed by a "Right Wing Fundamentalist Christian Catholic Terrorist woman hater".
She was killed by a lunatic. If you read the wiki on Salvi (ya, I know, but if you can cite the Puffington Host I can cite the wiki) you will see none of those words used.

Your blind hatred of all things Christian twist your outlook on many things, and that's too bad. I have very little 'toxic masculinity-inspired hatred' in my soul.
I will not fuck off.

I exist and I simply will not stand by silently while you spout your lefty bullshit.

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1966 Chevrolet Chevelle 396. Done right, actually twists the frame when you nail it right.

At least the bushmaster doesn't have bayonet lugs.

Bottom line, swirl, I'm not evil, none of us here are. It is evil sociopaths doing this. They are few and far between, but when they surface, they are dangerous.

But, I will say that "Fuck off" is a good way to start a conversation.

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Lets talk about it. The killer in Orlando was born an American on US soil so "vetting" his arrival to the US is moot. Most of the mass shootings in the US happened by people who were either American citizens by birth (having been born here) or committed by people who came to the US decades ago.

OK, so assuming you still want to ban/limit/"vet" muslins entering the US, how do you do that? Put a check box on a form and hope anyone coming to the US to kill wouldn't dare lie about their religion? And you can't just "vet" flights from a few middle east countries since it wouldn't be hard for a would-be terrorist to just go to a allied nation first.

OK, so lets say you do decide to "vet" muslins coming to the US, or at least the ones honest enough to check that box. How do you vet them? Do you call their moms and ask if they are good people? It's not like ISIS publishes a who's who of enemy combatants.

OK, so now you just want to ban being a Muslin in the US entirely. How do you block a religion? You can close the religious buildings but it would have no affect. Most of the killers stopped going to services well before attacking anyway. And good luck trying to block the millions of web sites where their spread their hate.

This is why Trump's (and your) idea of blocking Muslins is stupid. It would cost a lot of time and money and result in absolutely no reduction in mass shootings. You might as well attempt to block rainy days on the weekend.

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Lol the republicans have been screaming their lungs out about gays/trans people in bathrooms for three months but it's Islam that's the problem, sure. Sure, buddy.

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If Real Murican Patriot, Senator Ron Johnson wasnt bought and paid for by the NRA.

Up yours, Fish.

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No, because we "gays" understand you can't blanket hate a whole group because all too often we are grouped into a bucket of hate by ignorant people like yourself.

Gays are not pedophiles, we are not trying to destroy society by wanting to get married, we are not unclean or unnatural, we are not hated by a god for who we are and Trans people aren't raping people in bathrooms.

Hateful people with access to guns kill people out of hate.
Will hate still exist if we control guns? of course. hateful people will still find ways to use pressure cookers and planes to hurt people... but lets not pretend that guns built to efficiently kill aren't at least part of the problem here.

And if we are going to seriously discuss banning a whole religion for being hateful then we are going to have to add extreme fundamental Christians who are part of the problem too - but obviously don't see themselves as such because they aren't brown.

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Or maybe not.
First, I'm appalled at what happened in Orlando. All rational people should be. It is a time for Americans to help each other. I don't care what color flag you have, rainbow or whatever. You are an American and have my support. Having said that, the reality is that you now know that radical Islam has you marked. They always have. The record of that band of psychotics, ISIS, in the Middle East speaks for itself.
I am actually quite middle of the road. So, the hard Left in this country will tell you it's about guns. It ain't. There's 200 million guns out there. They ain't coming home. That chicken has left the barn.
Look to the future.
Join the Pink Pistols.

http://www.pinkpistols.org/2016/06/12/pink-pistols-saddened-by-attack-on...

Hell, join anyone else. They will be happy to have you.

Milo is calling it the way he sees it. Leftie heads asplode...http://www.breitbart.com/milo/2016/06/12/left-chose-islam-gays-now-100-p...

http://www.breitbart.com/author/milo-yiannopoulos/

He is fun to read.

https://pjmedia.com/trending/2016/06/12/gay-activist-after-orlando-trump...

We're all on the list:
http://www.city-journal.org/html/take-gloves-14572.html

Anyway, like it or not, we're all in this together. We have more in common than separates us.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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I refuse to fight hate with hate.

Radical Islamists or whatever you feel like you need to call them may have us "marked" as queers, as Americans, as not their own, but the answer is not to use the same tactic back and to mark an religion or region of the world as evil.

Any queer person can tell you that hate does't always come from the barrel of a gun. It also comes in the form of words, laws, looks, and actions. The LGBT community has put up with so much hate from our fellow Americans, and yet have accomplished so much in such a short period of time.

Let's work together as Americans to prevent our own citizens from having the ability to shoot each other so easily. Let's show love and compassion by accepting LGBT people as American citizens with the same rights everyone else can enjoy without fear of being shot at, attacked, heckled, or discriminated against by a piece of legislature. Nothing we do will prevent attacks on our nation from outside but at least we can take steps to stop attacking each other.

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First of all, This:

It's not about guns

is not true, dmcBoston. While it's true that there are other root causes, the fact that so many people twist the 2nd Amendment to their own beliefs that this particular Amendment guarantees the rights of individuals to bear arms has made firearms, especially assault rifles, and handguns, far too easily accessible here in the United States. That, imho, is also a huge part of the problem.

Omar Mateen is an American, who was born here in the USA, to Afghan parents who immigrated here to the United States. Therefore, he should be tried for, charged with, and forced to serve a life sentence in a maximum-security prison, without parole, for the horrific mass-shooting that he committed in Orlando that resulted in the deaths and injuries to so many people.

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You misquoted me and took my words out of context. What I said was,"So, the hard Left in this country will tell you it's about guns. It ain't. There's 200 million guns out there. They ain't coming home. That chicken has left the barn.
Look to the future.
Join the Pink Pistols."

The meaning being there's 200 million (or is it 300?) guns out there. Ban guns? Good luck with that. Perhaps you should be willing to defend yourself in the face of a sociopathic killer.

Omar Saddiqui Mateen is now partying with his 72 virgins, if you're a believer.

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Are you delusional? Right to bears arms means for all US citizens! You clearly have a twisted and confused interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. You seem to ignore the multiple Supreme Court, Trial Court cases the reaffirm the 2A.

It seems clear that many of the Left find it easier to have a discussion about gun control and the scary looking "assault weapons" than to discuss the global jihadist problem. Google what happened in France this morning/afternoon, pretty disturbing stuff.

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I don't remember you calling for a ban on immigration by all Catholics after that terrorist John Salvi killed people.

Or all second generation Italians radicalized by the Catholic Church teachings.

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Germans due to the Nazi connection
Turks due to Armenian deaths
Italians
Khmer Rouge
KKK

It is morally and intellectually dishonest to blanket one group. If we were to do so not only the above descendants but every Christian should be suspect. Christians have a long history of barbaric, cruel and hateful actions.

This is a great way to make a loud and meaningless statement.

How about something meaningful? The Supreme Court clearly declared that in its interpretation of the 2nd Amendment right to own weapons (regardless of whether they were correct) that regulation is still appropriate. As with yelling fire in a theater in the context of the First Amendment no right is absolute.

Since no right is absolute the question is what is the appropriate level of regulation? In other words does anyone need a weapon that is more powerful than a weapon for hunting or self-defense in one's home? Are there any other contexts where ownership of a weapon is justified according to the Supreme Court?

Is private ownership of a weapon designed for military use appropriate, necessary or in any way justified? It's not. Does the 2nd Amendment establish a right to private ownership of weapons of mass killing and mass destruction? It does not.

So regulation of assault rifles, machine guns and any other kind of weapon of mass killing is reasonable, and after the killing of children at Sandy Hook and now Orlando, it is absolutely necessary.

To support private ownership of weapons of mass destruction is to support the mass killing of people, whether they are children in Connecticut or adults in Orlando.

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"Weapons of mass destruction" like an atomic bomb? Further, an AR-15 is not weapon designed for the military. The military designed it first and the made a replicate for civilians to use. Aesthetically they look they same but the facts are they are not.

There is very few people in this country that support "mass killing of people." The ones that do, clearly have some serious physiological issues and they're the ones who unfortunately commit these atrocities. In a country, of 315+ million people, how do you stop these few? Any good ideas?

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qualifies in my book as a weapon of mass destruction. Or is there a specific distinction between what is and is not a weapon of mass destruction? Is it a question of how many people are killed? A weapon that kills 49 people in a few minutes is not a weapon of mass destruction but let's say if it killed 99 people it would be?

Atomic bomb? Going for the extremes in comparison. Fallacious logic. Let's stick to reality as in what is a real assessment of what an average American can purchase.

If an average American can purchase a weapon that kills 49 people, and wounds many others, in minutes, that qualifies as mass destruction.

Or perhaps it is more important to split hairs about what constitutes a weapon of mass destruction than to acknowledge the weapon in question was used to kill 49 people and wound many many others.

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So by that logic Bush didnt lie to start a war in Iraq. There were clearly many assault rifles aka "weapons of mass destruction" being held and used by the murderous Dictator Saddam...

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Whatever.

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Bringing in the question of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as justification for invading Iraq is not related to the question of assault rifles in civilian hands. It is misdirection and a false comparison.

Context matters. Bush et al. wanted the nation to believe that the Iraq government was creating either nuclear bombs or developing weapon based on chemical warfare. They were not concerned about weapons that a person can carry and use to kill large numbers of human beings.

But the issue here is whether it is good national or state policy to allow civilians to own weapons that can kill a large number of people in a short amount of time? We already do not allow civilians to own bombs. So if it is illegal to own bombs then why would it not be illegal to own weapons that can inflict comparable damage. As mentioned earlier the home made bombs of the Tsarnaev brothers killed far fewer than the weapon used in Orlando. Conjecture about how many would be killed if the bombs were placed elsewhere has low value for discussion since it did not happen.

Therefore the weapon used in Orlando had a greater impact for causing death than the weapons used by the Tsarnaevs. If what the Tsarnaevs used can be considered weapons of mass destruction then certainly the weaponry used in Orlando fits the definition weapon of mass destruction.

But this is preaching to either the choir or the loyal opposition. I am more concerned with persuading folks who are on the fence of what weaponry is appropriate to own. So thank you for putting forth arguments that are easy to shoot down. That demonstrates that there is no legitimate reason to own weapons that will kill many people. Instead the argument is based on the pure emotional need feel powerful and mighty.

Human beings don't change. Some want value love above all else, others value power above all else. I believe that in the halls of the NRA the name of their god is Power.

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Fish, save your God's blessings, and your drivel. I have better ways of supporting MY family. Tell me when you support comprehensive, common sense gun control. That means no more AR-15s and other civilian derivatives of the military's automatic weapons.

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Do you remember the 1993 Federal Assault Weapons ban signed by Clinton? That seemed like a "comprehensive, common sense gun control" right? Well it expired in 2004 and "in 2004, a research report submitted to the United States Department of Justice and the National Institute of Justice found that should the ban be renewed, its effects on gun violence would likely be small, and perhaps too small for reliable measurement, because rifles in general, including rifles referred to as "assault rifles" or "assault weapons", are rarely used in gun crimes. That study by Christopher S. Koper, Daniel J. Woods, and Jeffrey A. Roth of the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania found no statistically significant evidence that either the assault weapons ban or the ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds had reduced gun murders."

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And I don't necessarily dispute that in 2004, that might have been the case.

I think there is ample empirical evidence in June 2016 to say otherwise.

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The law expired in September of 2004, making 2003 the last full calendar year in which the law was in effect. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime statistics, 390 people were murdered with rifles in 2003, making rifles the weapon of choice in 2.7 percent of murders that year.

In 2014, the most recent year for which detailed FBI data are available, rifles were used in 248 murders. And not only are rifles used in far fewer murders over a decade following the expiration of the 1994 gun ban, they’re also used in a smaller percentage of homicides. In 2003, when the gun ban was in full effect, rifles were used in nearly 3 percent of murders. In 2014, they were used in barely 2 percent.

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Interesting that Maura Healey on the radio disagrees. She claims that killings as a result have increased.

There is a researcher associated with Harvard and the Smithsonian that conservative legislators loved going to for his opinions about climate. He swore that climate change is due to the sun and have nothing to do with pumping massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. A year or so later it was discovered that much of his funding comes from the petroleum industry. Of course he was not qualified to speak to climate change since that was not his speciality but that didn't sponsor Congress people who are in the pockets of petroleum interests from using him to justify their position.

So studies should always be taken with a grain of salt.

I would also be interested in CDC studies about gun violence. But the CDC is prohibited (by Congress) from conducting these studies.

Seems to me that there is a lot of lobbying money spent on preventing studies. So before I accept the conclusions of any privately sponsored study I want to know who paid for it.

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There are other measures beyond the limitations that the assault weapons "ban" promulgated, and others posting after me, that explain why research was stymied. Maybe if we repealed the ban on CDC and NIH funding and researching firearms injuries and deaths, you might have a leg to stand on.

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G. W. Bush did away with the ban on assault weapons when he took office.

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Nope, it expired.

"The ten-year ban was passed by the U.S. Congress on September 13, 1994, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton the same day. The ban only applied to weapons manufactured after the date of the ban's enactment, and it expired on September 13, 2004, in accordance with its sunset provision.

In public policy, a sunset provision or clause is a measure within a statute, regulation or other law that provides that the law shall cease to have effect after a specific date, unless further legislative action is taken to extend the law."

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Had that ban not expired, the weapon used Sunday would still have been legal.

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The Colt AR-15 (and any duplicates/copies of same) was banned as part of the FAWB.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Assault_Weapons_Ban

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Which two of the following did the Orlando shooter's gun have?

Folding or telescoping stock
Pistol grip
Bayonet mount
Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
Grenade launcher mount

If it didn't have two of the above, it would have been legal between 1994-2004.

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You can read the damn bill yourself.

There are a number of gun models that were explicitly called out for definition as banned guns. The Colt AR-15 and duplicate/copies of it was one of them.

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-103hr3355enr/pdf/BILLS-103hr3355enr.pdf

Hit Control+F and type "colt".

The laundry list of "2 or more of the following" was a catch-all for things they didn't name explicitly.

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Just curious, O-FISH-L. Fewer than 0.5% of the Muslim world is in ISIS or professing allegiance to ISIS. So, why wouldn't we have a welcome mat for the 99.5% who aren't? And this guy didn't even need a welcome mat...unless you're professing that we should remove all Muslims from the country until we can determine if they've joined the 0.5% or not.

Furthermore, up until this occurred, the biggest discussion in the Christian South was where transgender people were given permission to pee (suddenly those same people are sending "thoughts & prayers" to their American brothers and sisters though, aren't they?).

Christianity has the same problem with homosexuality (and the Bible has more to say on it than the Koran does) that Islam does. This isn't a Muslim issue. It's a bigotry of various religions issue. It just happens to be the cross this asshole shooter decided to hoist himself up on. And so, when Westboro Baptists say that all gays should die, where are you? Are there too few of them to condemn all of Christianity?

The shooter was an American. One in 320 million. Should we be wary of all Americans or that too introspective for you to grasp? Or is 1 in 320 million too few people to paint all of us the same way?

At what threshold are you willing to stop trying to generalize the actions of the few to the actions of the many? 1 in 1000? 1 in 10,000? 1 in 100,000?

Or should we start with the fact that this guy was a legal gun holder. One in 100,000,000. How about we reevaluate the weclome mat for gun owners in our country unless they can be thoroughly vetted. Time for us to realize that gun owners are exterminating people across the Middle East and here in the US too.

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If you want to impose sanctions on a community that this guy was a part of, you've got the wrong one. Was he a Muslim? Sure, but most Muslims are not hateful pieces of shit like this guy. You should really be focusing your bile on the asshole community. This guy was an asshole. Assholes are the only group of people in the world that I feel comfortable unilaterally hating. They come from all walks of life, all races, religions, genders and sexual preferences. The one tie that binds them is that they are fucking assholes.

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There's many more "assholes" (i.e. nutjobs who would gladly lop your head off because you don't think allah is akbar enough) among muslims than pretty much any other group out there. Now, we definitely shouldn't impose sanctions on the entire community over the actions of a few assholes, but at the same time our law enforcement agencies should be given the ability to find those assholes without having to worry about getting ripped to shreds be CAIR&Co and every bleeding heart idiot out there. Guns don't kill people, assholes do. Take away guns and assholes will start making bombs. Take away assholes and guns will be nothing but inanimate metal objects.

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is an Afghan-American, born to Afghan immigrant parents, here in the United States of America.

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Reposting this...

Dear Omar,

It is not much more than 24 hours since you walked into Pulse Orlando and opened fire. You took more than fifty young lives right in front of us – in our backyard. People who were playing, laughing, loving. People who had so much to offer the world – to you. Omar, you don’t know this, but the painful irony of your actions is that the people you gunned down would have invited you into our world and called you friend if you had let them. They would have played, laughed, and loved with you. That you and others like you couldn’t see that is perhaps the most tragic aspect of this event. But we move on.

Perhaps you were trying to instill fear in us, but you failed. We will not fear. Did you think the GLBT community would capitulate? Well, Omar, you picked the wrong community for that. We have faced the hate that eroded your soul for as long as we have been on this earth – much longer than you have been around. We have learned that your hatred does not define us. We define ourselves, and long before ISIS and your skewed worldview became more prolific, we chose to carry the banner of love. That can never be taken away. You should know – you tried. I only wish you had lived to see how miserably you failed. We are the GLBT community. We will not run. We will not cower. We will not break. You may have taken more than fifty young lives yesterday, but their ambition, their spirit, their love will live on in us. We will be stronger for it – for them. If you thought you could teach us a lesson, you were wrong. There is no lesson in this that we have not already learned. We were forged in fire. We chose love.

Perhaps you were trying to stoke the flames of war – create such animosity toward your cause that we would lash out and exacerbate the global crisis that continues to plague humankind, but you failed. Do you think we will cry out against Islam? Against Afghanistan? You are a fool. The thing about us, Omar, is that we are not an ethnic, religious, or political group – we are everyone. We are Islamic, so you can’t make us hate Islam. We are Afghan, so you can’t make us hate our home. We are Jewish, and Buddhist, and black, and white, and Latino. We are European and Asian, we are Christian and atheist. We are your brothers and sisters, even if you don’t know us. We are mothers and fathers. We are sons and daughters. We are everywhere - from every walk of life that humanity has created. We are here to stay, and we will not hate. We are too busy loving. Loving each other, loving those who are gone, and finding within ourselves the courage to love even those like you. You see, we know from personal experience that hate will destroy us and love will save us. You simply cannot erase that fact with an assault rifle, and we will not acquiesce to your demands. We will show the world what it means to love.

Perhaps you simply hated our community and found solace in the twisted words of religious fanatics to justify what you thought was an appropriate course of action. I wish you had been alive to see how wrong you were. For all the strife that our community has been through, we aren’t alone. I wish you could have seen the world stand still and bow their heads in prayer for our well-being. I wish you had seen the thousands of our neighbors who stood in line for hours to give their own blood to help your victims. I wish you had seen the very humanity you attempted to snuff out, overflowing from every corner of The City Beautiful, this great state, and our beloved country. I wish you had seen our nation – your nation – get it right in the wake of your sad, misguided acts. As early as a decade ago I cannot say that I am sure we would have seen the same reaction to what you did, but you didn’t kill more than fifty young men and women a decade ago, you did it yesterday – and America has come so very far. Our friends outside the community who support us, encourage us, love us – they stepped up, too. They didn’t let this be an attack on the GLBT community, they acknowledged that this was an attack on us all. You see, Omar, we are a part of them, as well. They are a part of us.

So here we are. Just a day after your rampage, and where are we? Yes, you will find some of us still with tear-stained faces. You will find some of us still trying to make sense of what seems like a changed world. You will find some of us are gone. And you will find the rest of us holding them always in our hearts, running with their banner, and never ever letting hate prevail over the love in which we have fought our entire lives to live. You picked the wrong target, Omar. While you may have wounded us, we are certainly stronger now. For ourselves, for our friends who became your victims, for future generations, for humanity. We must be – just one more lesson we learned long ago.

Saint Francis of Assisi said “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” You tried, but the few wicks you snuffed out – their fire isn’t gone. We just moved it to our candles. We stand in solidarity. We are gay. We are lesbian. We are bisexual. We are transgender. We are all the people who have ever had to fight for love and acceptance. We are allies. We are Pulse. We are Orlando. We are America. We are humanity. We are love. And we will win.

May you rest in more peace than you found in life.

Sincerely,

David Tod Boudreaux

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And particularly to William.
May the victims rest in peace.

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Pray and support the victim and their families. Then investigate how this wife beating cop wannabee managed to get a security clearance at his job as a GS4 security agent a massive private security company which runs prisons, and has been granted millions in homeland security contracts down south and work as a quasi police force with no one to answer to.
The FBI has a lot of explaining to do and during the press conference they promised to be transparent which means get the shredder and the delete button ready.
Thank the lord for the brave men and women of the Orlando police force and the heroes in the club who saved countless lives while risking their own lives during this night of terror.

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The FBI has limited resources. Its not an unlimited number of people able to look at everything all at once, 24/7.

They decided Mateen wasnt an immediate threat so they moved on.

Thanks to the GOP it wouldnt have mattered. The ability to get firearms easily in this country (and Florida in particular) makes it moot.

You want to blame someone, blame the politicians who flat out refuse ANY gun control legislation because of freedum.

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The guy passed background checks that the Left clamors for!! What do you propose then?? Further, he worked for a Security Company that did work for the DHS which likely means he was likely subjected to additional background checks. Again, what laws do you suggest that would have prevent this terrorist from buying guns?

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Our mental healthcare consists primarily of drugging up seriously mentally ill people, then sending back out onto the streets with at best half-assed outpatient care. And our laws regarding seriously mentally ill people generally make it very difficult to commit them to a psychiatric facility, which as it is are in short supply in many locales and poorly funded. Some of this dates from so-called reforms from the 60s and especially the 70s when the ACLU sued and the US supreme court ruled you can't forcibly hospitalize mentally ill people except under extreme circumstances and you can't force them to take meds. One the saddest, most pathetic thing I see are homeless, obviously schizophrenic people living on the streets (many fear shelters and with good reason).

Another problem is a huge stigma and ignorance that surrounds mental illness even today.

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The mentally ill are no more violent than the general population.

This is purely a matter of unfettered access to weapons of mass destruction that have no purpose other than killing a lot of people very quickly. Redneck countries like Canada and Austrailia seem to have been able to get it sorted. The only reason that the US has not is because the NRA and weapons manufacturers prize their backdoor shipping channels to the drug cartels, insurgencies, and failed states of the world.

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Exactly. Why are we assuming he was mentally ill??? This coward was raised to hate homosexuals and he was a violent abusive person. That's what you get when raised by awful parents that teach hate and any religion that justifies it. Disgusting people. As a lesbian woman I want to vomit on his father.

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The reason it's brought up is that his ex-wife said he beat her. She said that the only thing that could explain his actions was that he was "mentally ill". He wasn't diagnosed with anything that we're aware of at this time. It was an opinion of his ex-wife (who had to be physically removed from the situation by her family who saw what was going on because she was suffering from battered wife syndrome).

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Yes I read that she thought that and I can totally understand why she would think he was. That is also my first reaction when I hear of evil acts or witness them. "That person must be crazy" but are they??? That is an easy excuse and if he was mentally ill I'm sure the fact that his father preached hate for homosexuals fueled the fire.

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...is William dressed as Paula Deen? Very convincing, if so - I had to look twice.

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We had 20 children mowed down like lambs at the slaughter and nothing. 50 people, 100, 1,000 it doesn't matter to the NRA. Their philosophy dictates that this American citizen had the right to keep and bear arms. Background checks are an affront to "freedom". The last 30 years of GOP politics working hand in hand with the NRA has programmed wing nuts to believe that Walter Mondale is going to take away your guns, Michael Dukakis is going to take away your guns, Bill Clinton is going to take away your guns, Al Gore is going to take away your guns, John Kerry is going to take away your guns, Barack Obama (the Muslim) is going to take away your guns, Hillary Clinton is going to take away your guns.....

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Bill Clinton did take guns away i.e. assault weapons ban and 1994 and guess what? It did nothing! Virtually no measurable change in the number or % of "assault weapon" gun deaths. But I guess thats the GOP and NRA's fault too.

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Clinton didnt take anyones guns, he (and congress) passed a law that Bush later let expire that prohibited their sale, not take them away from people. So people like the Orlando terrorist wouldnt have had the assualt rifle, and probably wouldnt have been able to kill nearly as many people, if the GOP didnt let it expire.

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You can't expect to throw bullshit against the wall with no reply. There were 108 people killed in "mass shootings" in the ten year period the assault weapon ban was in effect. In the following 10 years there were 295 people killed with 33 being the biggest mass kill until Orlando. So a 275% increase in the number of events is not measurable? NRA math?

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You can't use actual facts and statistics because MAH GUNS!

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Sources please?

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Adam, dismisses Oklahoma City as a non-Muslim attack, but at least one credible journalist, Jayna Davis in Oklahoma City, has integrity. She lost her job under Democrat pressure, but her best-selling book "The Third Terrorist" is a must read. It was well known that Timothy McVeigh was in the company of a Muslim, top official of Saddam Hussein's "Republican Guard" in the days before the OKC bombing. In fact, initial police radio broadcasts described a "Middle Eastern male" in the Ryder truck. The Clinton's got lucky when a police officer stopped McVeigh for a license plate violation and he was executed in record time. They didn't want a war with Saddam and made it look "homegrown." When the Iraqi soldier sued reporter Jayna Davis for defamation, she was cleared, in fact the Judge said there was overwhelming evidence that he was involved. The same individual was working at Logan Airport around 9/11 when box cutters were placed on board aircraft Keep voting Democrat, nothing to see here!

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Though the manufacturer suggests not using the product for headwear during summer months.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_McVeigh#Plan_against_federal_build...

McVeigh later said he considered "a campaign of individual assassination," with "eligible" targets including Attorney-General Janet Reno, Judge Walter S. Smith Jr. of Federal District Court, who handled the Branch Davidian trial, and Lon Horiuchi, a member of the FBI hostage-rescue team who shot and killed Vicki Weaver in a standoff at a remote cabin at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992.[44] He said he wanted Reno to accept "full responsibility in deed, not just words."[45] Such an assassination seemed too difficult,[46] and he decided that since federal agents had become soldiers, it was necessary to strike against them at their command centers.[47] According to McVeigh's authorized biography, he ultimately decided that he would make the loudest statement by bombing a federal building. After the bombing, he was ambivalent about his act, as expressed in letters to his hometown newspaper that he sometimes wished he had carried out a series of assassinations against police and government officials instead.[48]

Huh. He didn't seem the type to want to work with Bill Clinton. What a tremendous false flag operation!

PS - The reason Davis won her lawsuit wasn't because the guy she investigated was identified as having been involved with McVeigh (in actuality, investigation by the FBI proved he wasn't). It was because she and the TV station (he didn't sue her or address her book in his lawsuit) housed all of their broadcasts as having been about an "unidentifiable person". They sufficiently detached their discussions from him so as not to run afoul of defamation/libel laws (as any good news station would). So, his lawsuit failed on its face.

http://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/opinions/00/00-6366.pdf

Seriously, though, get some fresh air, man. It's not 1994 any more.

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