In the five years since the deadly Pulse Nightclub shooting massacre, there have been a LOT of prayers and thoughts sent out for those affected by gun violence.
Unfortunately, that’s close to all we’ve gotten.
In a country that polls show support commonsense gun legislation (background checks, no guns for those on the ‘no-fly’ list) to the tune of almost 90 percent, politicians are still afraid of the 3 million-member National Rifle Association.
Five years ago today, 49 innocent people lost their lives in what was, at the time, the deadliest shooting massacre in the history of the country. Additionally, 53 more were injured.
On that night, a gay nightclub, one of our safe spaces, became a war zone and an emergency room.
One of the most chilling reports to emerge during the aftermath of the attack came from CNN which noted that first responders and investigators had to force themselves to tune out the cacophony of ringing phones coming from the 49 bodies. Clearly, their loved ones were trying to see if they were alright. “All those people, their phones kept ringing,” said the reporter.
I remember that grim detail hitting me like a dagger.
But on October 1, 2017, my town of Las Vegas became the target of the new ‘deadliest’ gun massacre in U.S. history. I was home watching TV with my husband and suddenly my phone began ringing and pinging, over and over. People from all over the country were checking in on me.
I suddenly remembered that CNN report from Pulse Nightclub. And I felt an even deeper visceral chill.
As I reported earlier this week, Congress has approved designating the site of Pulse Nightclub a national monument and President Biden will sign that action into law when he returns from abroad.
Since the Pulse shooting, there have been more mass shootings and more unnecessary deaths.
And still we wait for any meaningful gun legislation.
There will be a streaming remembrance ceremony today at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT. You can watch below via YouTube.
DNC Chair Jaime Harrison, DNC Secretary Jason Rae and DNC LGBTQ Caucus Chair Earl Fowlkes released the following statement:
“Five years ago, our nation wept as 49 lives were taken in a senseless act of violence. We lost siblings and children, cousins and friends. But we turned our mourning into a vibrant movement for reform. Gun safety is an LGBTQ issue, plain and simple. President Biden and Democrats know we must honor those lost at Pulse with action and pass gun safety legislation to finally put an end to mass shootings across our nation.
“We must also finally address the growing epidemic of violence that leaves countless transgender and gender non-conforming people afraid of losing their lives. In 2021, we have already lost 28 transgender and gender non-conforming people, almost entirely transgender women of color, putting us on track for the deadliest year on record. President Biden is committed to ending the violence, achieving equality and protecting the LGBTQ community. Today, we renew our commitment to making possible a world where LGBTQ people, including LGBTQ people of color, are valued, loved and safe.”
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Amanda L. Alvear, 25 years old
Oscar A. Aracena Montero, 26 years old
Rodolfo Ayala Ayala, 33 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Angel Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Juan Chavez Martinez, 25 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Simón Adrian Carrillo Fernández, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Peter Ommy Gonzalez Cruz, 22 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge Reyes, 40 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Brenda Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Gilberto R. Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Kimberly Jean Morris, 37 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio Capo, 20 years old
Geraldo A. Ortiz Jimenez, 25 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Jean Carlos Nieves Rodríguez, 27 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano-Rosado, 35 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Yilmary Rodríguez Solivan, 24 years old
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Juan Pablo Rivera Velázquez, 37 years old
Luis Sergio Vielma, 22 years old
Franky Jimmy DeJesus Velázquez, 50 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old