Heartbroken

As I watch the horrible news unfold out of Orlando this morning, my heart breaks.

My heart breaks for those we have lost, those who survived and all of the families affected by this horrendous act of terror.

Processing this is overwhelming. That this massacre targeted an iconic gathering place for the LGBTQ community in Orlando only amplifies our understanding that hate like this still exists in the world. That this murderer has claimed allegiance to a terror organization puts national security front and center in our minds. And the fact that an assault weapon was used, a machine designed specifically to kill people, is infuriating.

Of all the questions and challenges this attack brings forward, everyone can agree – a person armed with both hate and a gun is a threat to all of us.

The silence from Congress on addressing gun violence is deafening. This is one public health challenge that we do have an answer for, the solutions are on the table and ready to be passed – killing machines like assault weapons do not belong in our streets, and when guns are misused we must hold those manufacturers liable for their products just like we do for every other industry in the United States. Congress must act.

As we all continue to pray for everyone involved down in Orlando, I hope you will make plans to join your neighbors and community at 8:00 pm at Cal Anderson Park for a community candle light vigil.

With love to you all,

Joe