By now you’ve heard about the horrific tragedy in Orlando. Cops killed the shooter and, in doing so, saved 30 people. The shooter allegedly called 911 and pledged his allegiance to ISIS before carrying out the deadly shooting. The shooters parents are from Afghanistan and say he was targeting gays because he was upset that two men had kissed in front of him in Miami. But that wasn’t the only planned attack.
Santa Monica, California police arrested a man, who had explosives, assault rifles and ammo. He was planning to attend the LA Pride Festival. The man told cops he was waiting for a friend. The fact that these events keep happening is perhaps the most shocking thing of all. A friend and colleague of mine posted a graph showing that that there have been 173 mass shootings in the U.S. Today is the 165th day of the year. Think about that.
Here’s some eye witness reports from those that happened to be in or around the club during the shooting in Orlando:
Clubgoer Carmen Pena tells People: “I know that he was in the room, because I heard a woman screaming, and then all of a sudden she stopped. There were so many people running around, and I was trying to get to the back door. And I knew the shooting was behind me, but I was afraid to turn and look. So it was like tunnel vision looking at the door. I was praying to all the saints to keep me safe. I can’t stop crying. I feel so sick. It was awful.”
Christopher Hanson tells WFTV: “One hundred and 50 feet in front of me, there’s people being shot. The person next to me was shot. I don’t know if it was that person’s blood or my own blood on my shirt. You could just hear shooting and screaming and I had to drop down on the ground. I was crawling on my elbows and when I dropped, I was being stepped on… everybody was just running, trying to get out. They were just screaming, it was chaotic.”
Ray Rivera tells The New York Times: “I thought it was firecrackers. I saw bodies on the floor, people on the floor everywhere. It was chaos, everybody trying to get out.”
José Flores: “It looks like a war zone might look. That’s why I think it’s so important to have a relationship with God – those people didn’t know they were having their last drink, what was getting ready to happen.”
Of course, celebrities also took to the web to comment on this tragedy as well:
Seth MacFarlane: These shootings are a regular occurrence. You don’t get to be “shocked” anymore unless you take action to stop them. Ban automatic weapons.
Kesha: “How many times are we as a nation going to read a horrific story like this, where someone uses a gun to kill an innocent person, and DO NOTHING. I demand gun control. Sometimes things leave you at a loss for words. My heart is with the families and the loved ones of these victims. This is so sad. I don’t understand why these shootings are happening. I’m just so sorry.”
Josh Groban: “I’m heartbroken for the victims, for Orlando, for the LGBT community, for our country. When does it end?”
Ariana Grande: So. Much. Violence. It hurts my heart. Sending as much Light and love as I possibly can to anyone and everyone I can possibly reach…How how how how can one have so much hate ????? My heart…… is so broken. Praying for the families of the Orlando victims. I am sorry.”.”
Olivia Wilde: Madness. Hideous and cruel madness. To the survivors, and families of those slain, I’m so sorry. #StopGunViolence
Chris Rock: Military weapons belong in the military .
Julianne Moore: How many people have to be killed before we act as a nation to#EndGunViolence? #Orlando @Everytown … Email or call your Representative and ask them why they have done nothing to #EndGunViolence #Orlando
So what can you do if you happen to find yourself in a similar situation. You’re out of the home and there’s an active shooter in the building where you happen to be. Click on the photo below for a video which offers a suggestion:
We live in an incredible city, in an incredible country. As we gear up for the Kingston Pride parade this weekend, let’s join together to celebrate and show the world that hate – in any form – is unacceptable.