My heart goes out to all the victims in Orlando and their family members and loved ones. My thoughts and hopes are with the injured for their swift recovery.
This tragedy reminds us once again that our country needs to take action to restrict access to assault weapons that enable such mass killings to occur with such frightening regularity.
All episodes of needless slaughter are uniquely horrifying. In this case, it is especially disturbing that the murders occurred at a gay nightclub when many were celebrating gay pride and recent progress against discrimination towards members of the LGBTQ community. Unfortunately passing laws against discrimination - whether based on sexual orientation, race, gender or national origin - does not eliminate hate or the threat of violence.
This latest tragedy compels us to raise our voices against all such violence - whether motivated by religious extremism (Christian, Islamic or other), anti-LGBTQ intolerance, racist bigotry, anti-immigrant hatred, abusive policing, or needless state sanctioned violence.
Likewise we must raise our voices in support of equality, understanding and nonviolence and to create a welcoming, tolerant and peaceful community for all.