ABOVE:Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin joins Pulse survivors at the March For Our Lives. Blade photo by Wyatt Reid.
Survivors of the 2016 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., took part Saturday in the March For Our Lives with heavy hearts as they remembered the 49 people killed that night, but they also expressed optimism about the potential for change.
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.
ORLANDO – “Should OADO do something to eradicate automatic and semi-automatic weapons from American life?” the Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee posted on its Facebook page July 3. “Who is up for the challenge?”
It was the first post from the legendary Orlando activist group in almost exactly two years. OADO has a long list of human-rights successes in the Orlando and Orange County areas, ranging from Orlando’s hot-tempered, pro-LGBT Chapter 57 battle in 2002, fair-housing ordinances, human rights ordinances, gender-identity ordinances, domestic partnership registries (the group notoriously argued with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs through 2012 on this issue and its importance, forcing her to eventually, if half-heartedly, acquiesce). To most watching or involved, OADO had managed all that it could on a local level, and it had done so with great results and a lot of volunteer time spent.
As the whole world stares at Orlando through teary eyes after the terrible incident at Pulse that took the lives of 49 vibrant people, stellar individuals from our community, we are in the process of decompressing. If you can only imagine the absolute horror that comes with both the truths and items of speculation about a mass murder in your community – and let us not forget the many more wounded – then maybe you can fathom how far our growing need for a surface, or a horizon, really is. This issue is about finding our footing, about finding our way out.
When I was 28, I worked the door of that very same venue, although it wasn’t called Pulse then; it was a little Italian restaurant called Dante’s, a sort of ramshackle venue for amazing jangle-pop-folk-rock Orlando musical talent. It wasn’t gay; I was, but that didn’t matter to anyone. I was just there out front taking in cash for events, hair akimbo, mind alight.
ABOVE: AR-15 A3 Tactical Carbine with 4x Scope. (From Wikimedia Commons, via Sniper Country)
Mchenry, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago gun shop is raffling a semi-automatic weapon to benefit victims of the nightclub shooting in Orlando.
Second Amendment Sports in McHenry, Illinois, is selling tickets for $5 to win an AR-15 rifle similar to the one gunman Omar Mateen used when he opened fire in a gay nightclub June 12, leaving 49 people dead and 53 injured. It was the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
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