The Safe Tennessee Project, together with its 31 affiliate state gun violence prevention organizations, is saddened and horrified by today’s shooting at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, FL. Saddened and horrified, but not shocked. We are no longer surprised when someone motivated by hatred is able to easily obtain assault-style weapons and rounds upon rounds of ammunition, turning another place of joy and celebration into a site of devastation and mourning.
Reports indicate that this shooting — with forty-nine killed and at least fifty more injured — is the deadliest mass shooting in American history. The shooter was an American citizen and officials are investigating this as an act of terrorism. In truth, every mass shooting is an act of terrorism — it incites fear and terror and aims to create chaos and panic.
In the coming days, we will learn more about the shooter, and more about the victims, survivors and heroes who braved danger to help others. We will mourn with the grieving families and friends as they lay their loved ones to rest. We will listen to politicians express platitudes while doing nothing to keep the weapons of war off our streets. So while we send our thoughts and prayers to the victims and survivors, we also pledge to honor them with a demand for action NOW for stronger gun laws and commonsense policies to keep our loved ones safe.