J Street is horrified by the mass shooting that took place at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando on Sunday morning. Like the rest of our nation and people around the world, we are devastated at the news of the staggering number of wounded and dead.
This was an act of terror and a hate crime – a vicious assault against a community that is all too often targeted for being perceived and labeled as “different” or “other.” This is a time for our leaders and for all people of good faith to come together and affirm our belief in tolerance, respect and love. We must fiercely resist calls to demonize and scapegoat another vulnerable minority, Muslim-Americans, in this moment of anguish.
This attack was also yet another terrible example of the damage that is wrought in this country by gun violence and the proliferation of deadly assault weapons. The fact that it is still so easy for would-be terrorists to procure these tools of destruction shows that the the struggle for peace in the Middle East is not the only issue crying out for transformative political leadership.
Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, with the people of Orlando and with the LGBT and Latino communities in this country and around the world.