NEW YORK –– Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements applauding President Joe Biden for signing legislation to establish the National Pulse Memorial.
June 12 marked five years since the shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub left 49 people dead and 53 wounded. The victims and survivors of this shooting were predominantly Latinx LGBTQIA+ people. At the time, it was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. It remains the largest attack against the LGBTQIA+ community to date.
“The Pulse mass shooting is a painful reminder of the hate-filled gun violence that continues to impact the LGBTQIA+ community,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The National Pulse Memorial should remind all Americans, including our elected leaders, that we need more legislative action to keep guns away from people with dangerous histories of violence and hatred.”
“The National Pulse Memorial is an important step to recognize the pain and heartache that LGBTQIA+ families face, five years after the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We must continue to honor and remember the victims and survivors of the tragic shooting with action to reduce gun violence and keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them.”
This year, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund joined QLatinx, the LGBT+ Center Orlando, OnePulse Foundation, Equality Florida, Equality Federation Institute, and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to host a national panel discussion featuring a special message from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and panel appearances from Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Angela Ferrell-Zabala, head of Movement Building for Everytown, Brandon Wolf, a gun violence survivor, Alphonso David, president of Human Rights Campaign, and more. The panel discussion concluded with a 49 second national moment of silence.
Last year, Everytown Support Fund, Human Rights Campaign, Giffords Law Center, and Equality Florida released a report noting over 10,300 hate crimes in the U.S. involve a firearm each year, which equates to more than 28 each day.
This June, Everytown is honoring LGBTQIA+ survivors and recognizing the importance of queer leadership, advocacy, and resilience in the gun violence prevention movement — and is calling on policymakers at every level to prioritize ending our nation’s gun violence epidemic and taking action on hate-motivated violence.