Never again, but why now?

By : Jamie Hyman
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In the weeks since a shooter killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., survivors have been featured in a town hall on national television, visited the Florida Legislature and led a march of more than a million protesters nationwide, demanding sensible gun control.

In the weeks following the shooting at Pulse nightclub in 2016, the levels of advocacy and response were far more muted, which is forcing members of the LGBTQ community to wonder why, after a mass shooting that at the time was the deadliest in U.S. history, government officials, the media and the nation failed to rally behind the Pulse survivors with the volume and intensity that are leading millions to take action today.

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Homo Erectus: The Evolution of Us – Hope (and Thoughts and Prayers) for Our Gun-Totin’ Future

By : STEVE YACOVELLI
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Steve Yacovelli

The Parkland shooting has yet again re-ignited the great American gun control debate. Both sides of the coin have brought out their best arguments for control/freedom. It’s sadly yet another repeat of the same ol’ “thoughts and prayers” responses we have heard time and time again: from Sandy Hook to Virgina Tech to Las Vegas to our own Pulse massacre. Yet this time something feels a bit different; it feels like a tipping point of sorts.

While there was ample focus after Pulse within our community and beyond to look at common sense gun control, sadly we were constantly met with that “thoughts and prayers” shenanigans from politicians on both sides of the aisle. Some – like Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan and Florida State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith – passionately reached out to lawmakers to change things. Groups like the Orlando chapter of Gays Against Guns and The Dru Project formed and shouted for gun reform. But nothing seemed to change. Some thought that, gee, if Washington wasn’t moved into action when kindergarteners were gunned down in their own classroom at Sandy Hook, maybe nothing could really turn the dial.

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LGBT advocates joining next week’s March For Our Lives in D.C.

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Emma Gonzalez of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has become one of the faces of the new gun reform movement.

The Human Rights Campaign and the National LGBTQ Task Force are among a large number of LGBT advocacy organizations and LGBT activists expected to participate in a March 24 demonstration in the nation’s capital against gun violence.

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Orlando’s chapter of Gays Against Guns is officially launched

By : David Thomas Moran
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ORLANDO – You might recall a group marching in the Orlando Pride parade last November with a huge rainbow banner that said “Gays Against Guns.” That wasn’t just a one-off parade stunt. GAG Orlando is still at it and recently met at The Center Orlando to layout some gun safety directives for the next few months including joining the League of Women Voters’ Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.

The Orlando chapter of GAG also plans to step up pressure on gun retailers, lobbyists and elected officials to stop enabling gun violence. The group is part of a national network of GAG chapters focused on ACT UP-inspired direct actions and founded in response to the Pulse hate crime.

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In the wake of the Pulse massacre, the LGBT community inadvertently intersects with the gun-rights battle

By : Billy Manes
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“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine for the 49,” was just one of the transcendent protest hymns echoing through the lobby outside the Orlando office of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on July 11.

While organizers representing the full panoply of Central Florida staged their “#sitinforthe49” – a clear reference to the 49 people gunned down by a semi-automatic rifle in the early hours of June 12 – echoes of unrest from the fringes were everywhere. Members of Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, Equality Florida and Organize Now, among others, assembled peacefully, even mournfully, for a morning of conscientious objection.

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