On the third anniversary of the deadly mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, 2020 presidential candidates are spreading a message of remembrance and a promise to fight for future gun reform.
The 2016 attack was especially heartbreaking to the LGBTQ community, as Pulse nightclub was a gay bar and the shooting happened during pride month.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg sent an email to his supporters about the impact the tragedy had on the LGBTQ community. If elected, Buttigieg would be the first openly gay president in history.
“Pulse wasn’t an attack on just one community – it was an attack on LGBTQ Americans, Latinx Americans, and Black Americans,” Buttigieg wrote, reminding supporters that the shooting happened when Pulse was hosting a Latin night event.
‘It was an attack on people who look like me, and an attack on people who look nothing like me. It was an attack on all of us. It was an attack on individuals expressing their sexuality, their heritage, their gender, and their freedom.”
On that day, 49 people were killed — most were Latinx and/or identified as LGBTQ. At the time, it was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Buttigieg called on Congress to pass gun reform laws such as a ban on military-style assault weapons and universal background checks. He also called for states to pass hate crime laws.
“Evil flows from peoples’ ability to see another human being as something other than a person; good comes from the ability to see and treasure another’s humanity as one’s own,” Buttigieg wrote. “That’s also called love, and love is going to win.”
The Indiana mayor included the name of every victim in the note.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent a similar email to her supporters, urging that action was needed.
“We need commonsense gun reform — now, before the next mass shooting, but also to stop the daily gun violence on our streets,” she wrote.
Warren later added, “The Pulse massacre was in the middle of Pride month. This June, every June, every month, we remember what Pride represents: turning away from darkness and division and turning toward our best selves — inclusive, strong, united, optimistic, and proud.”
We gathered together this morning at the LGBTQ Memorial to remember the lives lost three years ago at Pulse and to commit to the fight for full equality. We will continue to be there for one another and ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect. pic.twitter.com/V96h4S33Vm
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 12, 2019
Today we remember the 49 lives — mostly Latinx and LGBTQ+ — cut short from hate and gun violence three years ago. In their memory, let’s act to prevent the next heartbreak.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 12, 2019
Three years ago, 49 lives were lost in a mass shooting targeting the Pulse nightclub—the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in history.
We must act to end these tragedies, and prevent those that would harm LGBTQ individuals from obtaining firearms. https://t.co/rC9lCfHrlb
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) June 12, 2019
Three years ago today, a shooter armed with hate and semi-automatic weapons murdered 49 people at Pulse nightclub.
We must do more than remember the victims: We must fight to end gun violence, and refuse to accept homophobia, transphobia, and racism—wherever it takes root.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) June 12, 2019
Three years ago at #Pulse nightclub, we lost 49 lives to hate. I still hold the pain of this tragedy deep in my heart.
As president, I will end the NRA's reign & pass gun safety policy to save lives. We can—and we will—build a nation based on love & respect for one another.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) June 12, 2019