On The 5th Anniversary Of The Pulse Nightclub Massacre

The 49 victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting

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.”

We remember:

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