DNC Statement on Orlando Mass Shooting
June 13, 2016
WASHINGTON – DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, together with the Chairs of the DNC’s LGBT, Hispanic, Black, AAPI and Women’s Caucuses as well as our Ethnic, Senior, and Youth Councils issued the following statement:
“The unified outpouring of love and support in the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Orlando is a reminder that there is far more that unites us as Americans than divides us. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, the people of Orlando, Florida, and every community affected. This terrorist act and hate crime targeted the LGBT community during Pride Month at a venue celebrating a Latin night. Sadly, we have grown too familiar with news from tragedies like this. A year ago this week, another tragic shooting motivated by racial hatred robbed the Mother Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina of nine souls.
“If ever there were a time to pause and step back from the most divisive rhetoric of our national discourse, this is the time. Political and campaign rhetoric that vilifies LGBT Americans, immigrants, Latinos, African Americans, Muslims, Asian Americans or other groups, serves only to inflame divisions and poison our nation. We’ve even seen this in recent reports of rising bullying in our schools. We all have a responsibility to denounce hate speech in any form before the consequences become deadly.
“We also have a responsibility to act to stem the epidemic of gun violence affecting our communities. It is long past time that our country's leaders take it seriously. As details emerge from this weekend’s shooting, it is especially troubling that we still have politicians who choose to stand with the gun lobby instead of our communities, defending the dangerous notion that the purchase of guns and explosives should be easy and unregulated. The idea that there is nothing we can do is no longer acceptable. We must pursue sensible gun reform.
“As we mourn, we must also send a message that we will not be terrorized. We will not cower in fear. We will stand together and reaffirm our commitment to the values of equality and dignity that define us as Americans, and we will act to make our communities safer for all Americans.”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chair of the Democratic National Committee
Maria Elena Durazo, Chair of the DNC Labor Council
Don Fowler, Chair of the DNC Veterans and Military Families Council
Earl Fowlkes, Chair of the DNC LGBT Caucus
Andrew Lachman, Chair of the DNC Small Business Council
Bel Leong-Hong, Chair of the DNC AAPI Caucus
Iris Martinez, Chair of the DNC Hispanic Caucus
Jason Rae, Chair of the DNC Youth Council
Rion Ramirez, Chair of the DNC Native American Council
Steve Regenstreif, Chair of the DNC Seniors Council
Betty Richie, Chair of the DNC Rural Council
Virgie Rollins, Chair of the DNC Black Caucus
Lottie Shackelford, Chair of the DNC Women’s Caucus
James Zogby, Chair of the DNC Ethnic Council