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50 People Killed, 53 Wounded at Orlando Gay Club in Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History

| June 12, 2016

Pulse Orlando is at 1912 S Orange Avenue, near the heart of the c ity.

Pulse Orlando is at 1912 S Orange Avenue, near the heart of the city.

Last Updated: 3:21 p.m.

Note: scroll below to watch President Obama’s full statement.

In the deadliest mass shooting in memory–and the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil since 9/11–, 50 people have been killed, 53 wounded by a lone gunman at Pulse Orlando, a gay nightclub on South Orange Avenue, starting at 2 o’clock this morning. Orlando has declared a state of emergency.


“This was an act of terror, and an act of hate,” President Obama said just after 2 p.m. “This could have been any one of our communities.”

The shooter had an AR-15 type assault rifle, a handgun and possibly a “suspicious” device, according to the sheriff. The suspicious device possibility was later discarded, as officials said all the murders were conducted with the assault weapon and the handgun. Police say the assailant was not from Orlando. The shooter held some people hostage before he was killed by police. The club, in a statement, said it was at capacity, with some 300 people, when the attack broke out.

“Everyone get out of pulse and keep running,” a message on Pulse’s Facebook page stated shortly after the attack began.

In an early-morning news conference, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings called the shooting a “domestic act of terrorism.” An FBI official said the gunman may have had “leanings” toward Islamist extremism. “We do have suggestions that that individual may have leanings towards that, that particular ideology,” the FBI’s Agent Ronald Hopper of the agency’s Tampa division said at the first news conference. “But right now we can’t say definitively, so we’re still running everything around.”

By the 10:30 news conference, police were saying that they could not yet determine whether it was an act of terrorism or a hate crime. And by 1 p.m., reports based on alleged interviews with the shooter’s family in Port St. Lucie were connecting the attack to a hate crime–that the shooter was motivated by hate for gay people, which may explain why he traveled the 100-mile distance from his home to a well-publicized, highly attended LGBT event in Orlando.

The FBI confirmed that the shooting was carried out by Omar Mateen, of Port St. Lucie, who had twice been interviewed by the FBI, in 2013 and 2014, to follow up on allegations that he’d made statements of sympathy to ISIS. There was no evidence to pursue the case beyond those interviews, the FBI said in a 3:15 p.m. news conference, finding his alleged ties “inconclusive.” He was “not under current investigation at the time of this incident and he was not under surveillance,” Hopper said. He had bought the two firearms involved in today’s shooting within the last few days, officials said. He had been working for an American security firm for nine years–a firm that had contracts with federal government agencies to provide them security.

omar mateen marriage license

Omar Mateen’s marriage license. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Speaking to media at about 11:45 a.m., U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said: “I asked the FBI if there was any connection to Islamic radicalism. There appears to be. But they are naturally cautious and waiting throughout to see if this is [as] the facts emerge. I have checked with intelligence staff and they do believe that there is some connection to ISIS, but I might say this is not official. I asked the FBI what I should convey, and because of the nature of this shooting, they have asked me to ask anybody that knows anything about the shooter, especially in the Ft. Pierce St. Lucie area, to please come forth with the information. This appears to be, unfortunately, since it’s the largest mass shooting, an act of terrorism. But the facts, we can’t say that totally yet.”

Nelson was in Orlando, near the scene of the massacre. He does not appear to have been informed about the potential motivations of the shooter’s hatred for gay people, though hatred for gays–and violence toward gays–and Islamist fanaticism are not necessarily mutually exclusive: Islamist regimes such as the Taliban or Iran and terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS have notorious records of brutality and atrocities toward gay, lesbian and transgender people, wherever they’ve held sway. But so far officials and analysts have stressed that there is no evidence of more than possible “sympathizing” between the Orlando shooter and Islamists–and even that link has not been confirmed, though officials have also reported that he made a phone call before the shooting pledging his allegiance to ISIS.

Hours after the attacks, the New York Times reported, “the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the massacre, in a statement released over an encrypted phone app used by the group, stating that the attack ‘was carried out by an Islamic State fighter,’ according to a transcript provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist propaganda.” CNN, however, said it was not ISIS itself that took direct responsibility, but an Arab news agency citing a source and attributing the attack to ISIS.

None of the terrorist attacks that have taken place in the United States since 9/11 have been carried out by affiliates of either ISIS or al-Qaeda, but rather by lone wolves inspired by the organizations. (The holy month of Ramadan began on June 5.)

At 1:40 p.m., KABC, the ABC affiliate in Los Angeles, was reporting that authorities took a suspect in custody in Santa Monica “after discovering an arsenal in his car that included tannerite powder, assault weapons and a camouflage outfit.” The man was taken in after a traffic stop. “Officers found five pounds of tannerite-type powder, assault weapons, long rifles, clips loaded and taped together and a camouflage outfit along with a security badge.” The Los Angeles mayor said that incident is unrelated to the attack in Orlando.

NBC News reported that it had contacted the man it said is the shooter’s father, who told NBC: “We are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he was taking. We are in shock, like the whole country.” His son, he said, was “angry when he saw two men kissing in downtown Miami a couple months ago.”

omar mateen image identified

Omar Mateen, an image CNN broadcast at noon.

Around 9:20 a.m., CBS News and ABC News identified the attacker as Omar Mateen, 27, a U.S. citizen and resident of Port St. Lucie. He is a 2001 graduate of Spectrum High School who earned his associates degree in 2006. The assailant’s vehicle has been located near the nightclub. Television stations were showing live images of a robot, used in situations involving potential bombs, processing the vehicle around 9:45 a.m. The FBI’s Hopper told media in a 10:25 a.m. news conference that the agency had confirmed the identity of the shooter, but was not yet releasing it officially pending notification to next-of-kin.

A marriage certificate filed with the St. Lucie Clerk of Court lists Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, born Nov. 16, 1986 in New York, as having married Sitora Alisherzoda Yusufiy, now 27, a Port St. Lucie resident who was born in Uzbekistan. The marriage took place on March 31, 2009. He was employed as a security guard for federal properties and was licensed to cart weapons.

“Federal, state and local law enforcement are at what may be the home of the assailant in the Orlando mass shooting early Sunday, according to law enforcement officials,” St. Lucie County’s TCPalm website was reporting at mid-morning. “They are at a home in the 2500 block of South 17th Street, Fort Pierce, said police spokesman Ed Cunningham.” The home is registered to a Omar Mateen. Property records indicate Mateen owns the property at 2513 S 17th St., #107.

According to police, the shooting began inside the club, where a law enforcement officer, working security at the club off duty, attempted to confront the gunman. There was a brief confrontation outside the club before the gunman returned inside and took more than two dozen hostages. Police Chief John Mina said in a brief news conference this morning that law enforcement decided to rescue the hostages at about 5 a.m., triggering a “controlled explosion” in the process. One law enforcement officer was injured.

Police say there is no reason to believe that there is any additional threat to the Orlando area. People who’d been at the club during the shooting and who survived were bused to Orlando police headquarters for interviews.

“There was some communication” with the gunman before the gunman went back into the club, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said at the 10:30 news conference, “but we’re not going to release that right now.” He added, referring to police at the scene in the early part of the confrontation: “Once the initial shots were stopped, they were dealing with a hostage situation. So in that time, we need to set up, reevaluate, reassess what’s happening, and make sure that all the pieces are in place, we have enough staffing to take care of the situation, we have armored vehicles to come to the scene, and those were crucial in the rescue of those hostages.”

Referring to the tally of victims, Mina said, “Just based on what the initial officers saw, without jeopardizing any more safety, they thought there were about at least 20, but now it’s up to 50, so definitely one of the worst tragedies.” He said there was an initial shooting at 2:02 a.m., “numerous shots fired, and then there were gunshots exchanged between the SWAT team and the suspect at 0500 hours,” that is, 5 a.m. But it’s not known, he said, when the majority of the victims were killed.

The 10:30 news conference also featured Imam Muhammad Musri, who leads the Islamic Society of Central Florida and is the national president of American Islam, underscoring the growing likelihood that the shooter is a Muslim, though officials at the news conference did not make reference to ties to Islamist terrorism. “I’m here today to stand as a faith leader with our law enforcement community and our city leadership in this hour of horror that was brought upon our city,” Musri said, praising law enforcement and urging members of all faith to help where they can in the investigation. “No one could have predicted this, no one could have prepared for it. This could have happened anywhere,” he said, adding: “I want to also caution many in the media from rushing into judgment, and from sensationalizing the story, because we do not want the story to be shifted from the focus where it is. It’s a horrible tragedy. We are mourning. We are sad. We are heartbroken. And it’s not really time for any sensational news and rushing to judgment.”

“I was there,” Ricardo Negron Almodovar said on the club’s Facebook page around 3 a.m., as the gunman was still in the club. “Shooter opened fire @ around 2:00am. People on the dance floor and bar got down on the floor and some of us who were near the bar and back exit managed to go out through the outdoor area and just ran. I am safely home and hoping everyone gets home safely as well.” He said he never had a look at the shooter. “My eyes were on the floor and as soon as there was a break, people started running out the back, including myself.”

orlando mass shooting

Orange County Sheriff Demings addressing media in a brief news conference this morning.

“My daughter is in there. Please keep praying for them,” Lilbia Carmen said as the attack was unfolding. “She’s waiting for cops to be able to come out. I was on the [phone] and all I hear is shot guns.” Two hours later, she posted: “She’s out. Thanks so much for your prayers towards my princess and myself! My life is back!!! Thank you God for hearing our prayers!”

Martha Bonilla wrote: “Sadly my cousin was in their and has been shot I pray he makes it praying for him. For those that made it out I’m happy that you are all ok.. My thoughts and prayers are with all of [you].” Erickseon Robledo wrote: “My friend is there. He almost got shot. He is ok. But he just told me that there could be over 20 dead people. He even help people to get out while they were bleeding.”

It is the deadliest mass shooting in the United States, nealry doubling the death toll of the October 1991 shooting in Killeen Texas, when 27 people were killed. Florida had not known a mass-shooting since June 18, 1990, when James E. Pough, upset that his car had been repossessed, murdered seven employees and a customer at a General Motors office, a day after he had killed a man and a woman elsewhere.

But Sunday’s shooting is evoking unnerving memories of the last mass shooting at a nightclub: the Friday, Nov. 13 assault on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, where 90 people were killed by ISIS-inspired French-born terrorists as part of a larger operation targeting several areas of the city. Authorities in Orlando, however, were quick to reassure residents that Sunday’s attack was limited to Pulse. The venue is one of the largest and most popular gay clubs in Central Florida, and the attack, coincidentally or purposely, took place in the midst of Gay Pride Month.

“This is some shitty news to hear after going to Pride,” Douglas Gonzalez wrote. “My thoughts are with the victims and hope all the victims make a speedy recovery. And rest in piece to any of the people who died from this horrible attack. THIS is what us the LGBT community have fought all our lives and will continue to fight against! And to the religious assholes saying ‘doing God’s work,’ how fucking dare you! This is why we must teach people to sympathize and more importantly empathize with others! This and all the crimes that befall our community remind me that there is still work to be done.”

“The Equality Florida family is here in tears of sadness and anger that this has happened,” Nadine Smith, co-founder and president of Equality Florida, the LGBT advocacy organization, said. “If we can help, let us know. We are monitoring the news and stand ready to assist.”

“Many lives were lost and many more individuals were impacted by witnessing the crime,” Mayor Buddy Dyer said. “We are a strong, resilient community, tonight we had a crime that will have a lasting effect on our community, we need to stay strong.” Twice as many people visit Orlando every year–60 million, drawn in large part by Disney’s parks–than do Paris.

Gov. Rick Scott’s office said around 9 a.m. that the governor was heading to Orlando. Another press conference is expected around 10:15 a.m. Authorities said they’d hold a news conference about every two hours today.

Orlando police and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office were involved in the “initial entry” into the club, the sheriff said.

Pulse opened in July 2004 in what used to be Dante’s restaurant, featuring three rooms–a smokers bar, a dance floor and an ultra-lounge. It calls itself “Orlando’s Latin Hotspot,” and was holding one of its “Upscale Latin Saturdays” party last night.

“We are certainly having our share of violence in two successive nights,” Sen. Nelson said. “We’ve had two killings. The singer performing live at the plaza, shot down two nights ago, and then this horrific act. So, what is happening to our country? We are going to have to dig down deep and ask ourselves who we are as a people. We’ve got to think of ourselves as the common denominator of American, not a hyphenated American or off on some cause, and that’s what we’ve got to explore deep inside at this point.”

pulse night club gay pride orlando terrorist attack

Pulse Night Club patrons during a Come Out With Pride parade at Orlando’s Lake Eola Park in 2010, attended by some 60,000 people. (Jeff Kern)

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85 Responses for “50 People Killed, 53 Wounded at Orlando Gay Club in Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History”

  1. I’ve been watching this since 4 am it’s so devastating.

  2. Cherish every moment in this sad little world. Appreciate all the moments of joy, laughter and love that can. Prayers out to all who were touched by this horrific violence.

  3. Ralph Lewis says:

    WTF !! Why?? Times have changed, SADLY for the worse. My sympathies to the families of those injured or killed. How does someone walk through the streets and into a business with an assault rifle

  4. Yellowstone says:

    Oh well, just another one of those things . . .

    We have to remember the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

    Everyone at that bar last night should have had their own gun, or guns, explosives, and knives.

    We need more guns!.

  5. Such a tragedy, sad for all the victims

  6. Please pray for Orlando today

  7. Andy says:

    My conservative friends have been telling me for 8+ years that “Obama is comin for for our guns” – well, I think I’m about ready for it. As a society we don’t appear to be mature enough to handle it. Toddlers shooting mothers, mass shootings, deranged stalkers, jeez.

  8. Donald Trump's Tiny Fingers says:

    Thoughts are with you, need to have a national conversation about sensible gun control, #prayfororlando, etc, ad nauseum.

  9. Amber Lynn says:

    WTF is this world coming too

  10. Our prayers are with you Orlando from Palm Coast

  11. Katie Semore says:

    So much hate in this country, needlessly and for no reason except that people are different from each other. Sure am glad that we aren’t all like the killer(s) in this horrific situation.

  12. Kelly says:

    If just one or two people there had been armed, 20 people would not have died. :( So sad. :'(

  13. Rich Mikola says:

    How about we call it ‘ISLAMIC TERRORISM.

  14. Geezer says:

    Awful events such as this are seemingly becoming more, and more routine now.
    The latest accounts suggest that this was the act of a male with leanings towards
    radical Islam. Boy, have we got trouble in our country.

    I am surprised that there wasn’t a gun-scanner in use at the entrance, such as
    many clubs employ in Miami and Tampa.

    My sympathies go out to all of those affected by the acts of this evil nut-job.

  15. layla says:

    For those who think this was just a crazed gunman, I suggest you go to drudge and read the national headlines.

  16. Doug Bracy says:

    Prayers are going out to all the Family’s!

  17. layla says:

    This is a terror attack. These people DIED because they did NOT have the ability to protect themselves. Sure hope your kids were not there.

    Is anybody else wondering why FL is our only local outlet to print this story?

  18. neverwas says:

    Please go donate blood, there is a huge need right now.

  19. yellowstone says:

    Terrorism!!?? Find someone, or something, to blame it on. How about calling what it really is: Insanity. Abnormal Human Psychology.

    Look folks, this kind of thing has being going on for a long, long time. Too long.

    Columbine (CO), Tim McVeigh (Oklahoma), Newtown, Denver Theater shooting, and on and on. And it just gets bigger and badder as the weeks go by.

    Something has happened to the American psyche that has triggered this. Could it be the public witnesses too much violence (TV, Irag/Syria, Xbox) as an everyday diet. Have people become so numb they expect this bad ass behavior daily?

    No folks, this is not just a simply act of terriorism. It’s just plain stupidity.

    If a person was intent on mass killing, and taking his own life at the same time, he could strap an explosive on themselves and take care of hundreds all at once.

    It’s not terrorism. It’s INSANITY WITH A WEAPON.

  20. Tom says:

    A good President would stop importing 500,000 potential terrorists per year.

  21. Marlee says:

    Sen Nelson is premature in his ISIS statement.

    There is this:
    Orlando Gunman’s Father Says Son Reportedly Got Angry After Seeing Men Kissing
    http://www.mediaite.com/online/orlando-gunmans-father-says-son-reportedly-got-angry-after-seeing-men-kissing/

    This is Gay Pride Week. This could be a domestic hate crime.

  22. David B says:

    My thoughts and prayers to my family, friends and those in Orlando.

  23. Lin says:

    This is so clearly Islamic terrorism
    We cannot be Islamaphobic-Phobic
    They have declared war on the west and anyone not like them
    Our government needs to fight back
    Ignoring threats don’t make them go away
    Government lying about countering threats doesn’t make them go away
    JV team? No
    This is very sad for those victims and their families
    It is truly a hate crime but also terrorism and also war
    But gays are targeted by violence in Islamic countries to the point of executing them, throwing them off buildings
    I’m sure the next Obama speech will just blame everyone but the perpetrators
    Look back in history
    There has been massacres before

  24. Ken Dodge says:

    Want to solve this? Prevent armed LEOs from entering gun-free zones; they won’t remain gun free for very long.

  25. layla says:

    This young man has been investigated by the FBI in 2013 and 2014. I wonder how many here know that in the Middle East, gays are thrown off the roof to their deaths? This is an ideology and NOT a hate crime.

    This is NOT a domestic hate crime. WATCH AND READ THE NEWS.

  26. Bc. says:

    This is not and should not be about gun control this was a soldier off Ali soldiers get guns look at Paris you can’t own a water pistol but the killers had automatic all-47 bombs and granade so much for gun control. I have a ccp after today I will Carry my gun whenever I leave my home. That’s gun control

  27. Dawn2334 says:

    He admitted it was because they were gay on posts and said it was for islam’s holiday being celebrated….islam is the problem..if I give my gun to the govt, will islamic extremists turn theirs in??…My husband travels for months at a time and its my daughter and I in a rural area….so I would say…..first and foremost when are we going to discuss islam perspectives on killing….and why on God’s green earth would we bring more here if by ANY CHANCE a portion were extremists?!!!

  28. Scoobydoo says:

    TRUMP!! TRUMP!! TRUMP!!

  29. Lin says:

    These attacks by Islamists have been going on for centuries
    If not guns, other weapons
    They have taken the fight to our shores and soft targets at that
    This is also a culture war
    They don’t come here to embrace our values
    They hate our values
    They want to spread Sharia and have succeeded in many countries
    They will kill us if we don’t go along
    Terrorism like water flows to where there is the least resistance
    So far that has been here and the other Islamaphobic-Phobic administrations.
    We must fight back and start by calling it what it is

  30. dave says:

    This killer was born here, no one brought him here, he didn’t travel here as an immigrant ,so everyone saying why let more in, he is not an immigrant, hopefully this event will spark change with Florida’s relaxed gun laws and background checks will start being made for all online and gun show purchases, and if you think that means someone is trying to take your guns than you have zero logical sense in your head.

  31. Lin says:

    What a watered down speech by the president
    Shooter pledged allegiance to al bagdadi
    Isis told their adherents to go kill
    Shooter did.
    Not guns, that blame again
    “If that’s the country we want to be”, president says?
    50 people dead this time

  32. dave says:

    Citizens who are members of the general public should not be allowed to buy or own assault weapons period

  33. anonymous says:

    This is Islamic terrorism and a hate crime together. He was a Muslim. That says it all. I send prayers to all victims loved ones and those who are wounded because Obama continues to let the Muslims run this country. I can’t stand him or his wife never did. Always suspect of him and his real intentions towards this country and American people.

  34. Mark says:

    More gun control! This guy was on the FBI watch list and he still had a gun license and guns. I guess they were to busy with hillary’s security review to lock him up. Obamass, what is the common denominator with all these acts? Guns, murder vests? How about a sick ideology, namely Islam.

  35. Marlee says:

    Excuse me, I usually don’t engage with commenters….

    but….could you please tell me how Trump, Trump, Trump will specifically stop Islamic terrorism?

  36. YankeeExPat says:

    I’ll give it 24 hours until the same Whackjobs that purport that the Newtown School Shooting and the Boston Bombing were a Hoax, present the claim of “Hoaxism” to this tragic event.

    I am truly heartfeltly saddened that victims of violent crime in America are dismissed as collateral damage.
    This event will have a week of intense coverage and debate, and suddenly as quickly as it occurred it will disappear.

    Humans need to practice Humanity.

  37. THE VOICE OF REASON says:

    Here’s hoping that when this guy gets where he’s going, all 72 of his virgins are male.

    And named Bubba.

  38. Bc. says:

    Marlee; trump will call it like it is that we are at war with radical Islam who want to kill you and me he will order our military to bomb the crap out of them, kill them in there home land and not let them in the USA. not like the joker president we have now. did you watch obama news report today he still won’t say radical Islam

  39. Bc. says:

    Dave I have beautiful polished wood hunting rifles that will shoot just as fast as the ar15 it is not the gun

  40. tulip says:

    Trump was asked what he would do about Isis. His answer was “blow them all up” or something to that affect. Perhaps if Obama had been less of a coward, condemned Islam, and done what Trump suggested, we wouldn’t be having these problems today. Heck, Obama didn’t even sound sorry when he spoke his unemotional rhetoric. I feel this country will be in grave danger for many years to come.

    So all these people that don’t want the gov’t to be able to listen in on cell phones for terrorist chatter, and think it’s okay for assault weapons to be purchased, owned and used by civilians, I hope you’re satisfied.

  41. Geezer says:

    There will be a run on AR-15s now at the gun shops, just like after the Beltway Shootings and Sandy Hook,

  42. footballen says:

    A Muslim guy who has twice been investigated for sympathizing with ISIS murders 50 people and wounds 53 others and we urged to not rush to judgement (which I wholeheartedly support). Whenever a white cop shoots anyone in the line of duty and suddenly its ok to stereo type and make ridiculous assumptions. This world is incredible!!!!!!

  43. Steve says:

    Marlee, you need to listen to what Trump says. There is no way that this Mass murderer’s family did not know what he was involved with.
    Trump said he would go after the families and friends of every suspected terrorist and learn what they know about the the inhuman bastard. He would get the FBI, CIA and any other organization he feels can do the job and grill the families and close friends, maybe even waterboarding them to get what they know. Then he would get them out of this country. Would Sanders do that? Would crooked Hilliary do that. Go Trump. There’s your answer. I think America has had enough.

  44. YankeeExPat says:

    In my own response …..

    I was wrong, less than 24 Hours.

    https://youtu.be/96alA6uXNeU

  45. DaveT says:

    Obama just doesn’t get it. Say it Mr President, Radical Islamic. A Radical Islamic is a disease that needs to be eradicated. But our government just can’t understand that and fails to even admit it.

  46. Instigator says:

    In a gun free zone. All sitting ducks. Prayers for the victims and their families.

  47. A.S.F. says:

    Marlee–The shooter pledged himself to ISIS in a 911 call and ISIS has officially claimed responsibility. This IS the modus Operandi of terrorism today. To use social media to inspire unstable and hateful elements to stage acts of terror in the name of radical Islam. In Arab Muslim nations, Gay people are tied to chairs and thrown off tall buildings. Stop trying to be a minimizer or apologist for this kind of insanity in the name of political correctness. My deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the victims and their families.

  48. A.S.F. says:

    I can’t believe that this guy was questioned at least twice by authorities for possible ties to terrorism, had a history of domestic violence, had his co-workers totally creeped out by his radical threats and views at work.–Yet worked as a security guard for an internationally-based security firm called G45. Which entitled him to use high-powered firearms. My suspicion is that he chose a Gay nightclub (two hours from his home–what are the chances that he had never visited the place before) because he was not only mentally disturbed but also dealing with repressed Homosexual urges. His ex-wife claimed he used to beat her frequently (for not doing the laundry correctly, for instance.) And someone who went to Middle school with him said he was a constant disruptor and trouble-maker who was supposed to be expelled repeatedly but never was. His father aspired to high office in Afghanistan and had a history of posting political (mostly incoherent) rants on Facebook. That’s the guy everybody is giving credibility to for the claim that his son was a good boy who only was set off by the sight of a gay couple kissing in Miami on one occasion several months ago. Riiigght!

  49. Geezer says:

    An enemy that welcomes death is the worst possible foe you can hope to never have.
    Kamikazes had NOTHING on these ultra-religious zealots.

    One does have to be mindful that these blood-thirsty murderers represent a minority.
    Most Muslim people want to raise families, enjoy good health, and live long lives.
    These acts bring a firestorm upon the non-violent “believers,” and they wind up paying for the
    actions of the extremists.
    There is no known deterrent to contain the radical Islamist.

    This is a bad situation, and I pray that none of these radical groups obtain a nuke.
    “Bad” is putting it mildly…

  50. woodchuck says:

    Get use to this kind of terror in the U.S.A.This is not going to be random act anymore.We as citizens are not allowed to say anything about suspiscious activity because it not politically correct,Well one person does not care about being politically correct Trump! He calls it for what it is terrorism.

  51. ken dunlop says:

    Sherry, what are your thoughts?

  52. dave says:

    The police were unable to fight this man off because he had purchased an assualt riffle, you can watch the video of the fire fight in the street before the terrorist went into the club. If he was not able to purchase that assault riffle the cops would have stopped him before he went inside

  53. Retired law enforcement says:

    The LIBERALS have already started after taking the “que” from King Obama and his lady in waiting Hillary this “crime” was a result of the “GUN” and we need more laws against the “GUN”. Just because this RADICAL ISLAMIC DEMON thought this up, praised ISIS and MURDERED all those people we cannot admit the truth It goes against everything Obama and Hillary have been lying about for years.

    In all my years I have never seen or heard about a bunch of GUNS getting together to plan a terroristic attack. BUT THen again I tell the truth and call it as I see it. IM NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT

    POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND OFFERS AID AND COMFORT TO THE ENEMEY.

  54. Marlee says:

    I asked…how Trump, Trump, Trump will specifically stop Islamic terrorism?
    There have been no specific answers here.

    Do you propose bombing Libya, Iraq, Syria and Jordan? ISIS is fluid and active in those 4 countries and prob more.

    I think Trump, Trump, Tump supporters think we are fighting WW2.

  55. flagler1 says:

    Trump just got a lot of votes yesterday.

  56. DaveT says:

    We can outlaw guns but terrorist will find other means, like ISIS did in Paris and remember Timothy McVeigh he used a truck loaded with explosives in Oklahoma City April 1995 where 167 people died, and over 500 were injured. Terrorist do not need to use guns, what we need to do is identify these people before they do harm to others.

  57. Knightwatch says:

    I’m numb. Words fail.

  58. Common Sense says:

    Some observations:
    The extreme right Trump supporters started making false statements before the names of the dead were released. Shame on them.

    The President gave a measured, compassionate speech.

    Trump congratulated himself and then called people names. He didn’t have any facts, even the FBI doesn’t yet but that didn’t stop him. Shame on him.

    The American born shooter was able to buy a gun that can shoot up to 700 rounds per minute. A gun that has no role in hunting or other sports. A gun designed for killing people.

    He was able to do it because the NRA has fought to protect his rights.

    How many more lives must be lost before we stop this madness?

  59. Donald Trump's Tiny Fingers says:

    Honestly I’m surprised at all of the outrage from people on the right. You’ve spent years systematically attacking people that are gay, denied them equal rights, denied them the ability to marry, and then dreamed up some fantasyland crap to pass laws regarding bathrooms of all things. The message from the right has for years been anti-gay and anti-minority, and here comes a domestic terrorist, born in New York, that embraced your message. He hated blacks, hated fags, beat his wife, and killed or wounded over 100 people in a gay club. If he was white and had called 911 to pledge his allegiance to the westboro baptist church you’d be applauding his actions and trump would probably posthumously nominate him as his running mate.

  60. Mike O says:

    The anti gun argument doesn’t work here.
    This piece of camel dung was a licensed security guard. He would have had a gun and access to more guns regardless. Call this what it is… ISLAMIC EXTREMIST TERRORISM.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      No questions, but a corrective. If you’re going to link to the inane bigotry of a journeyman imam no one ever heard of in a lost Florida congregation of six and a half souls, might as well also link to America’s own two leading imams, who represent a few million congregants, and who created their own little circle jerk of blame a couple of days after 9/11 as they both revoltingly blamed 9/11 on, among others, gays and lesbians and their “alternative lifestyles.” I’m referring of course to those leading lights of Christian charity and Evangelical saintliness, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, who predicted, if not wished, far worse on America. (Here’s the video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-CAcdta_8I). If that’s not the spiritual inspiration for the infamous “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church that gave us insulting protests at servicemen’s funerals, I’m not sure what is. Falwell’s fuller sentiment: “The pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.'” Then Robertson’s concurrence. So without denying the degeneracy and utterly impardonable backwardness of salafist Islam’s atrocities, not just toward gays, if you’re going to have the inelegance of cherry-picking the rare obscure smoking bb gun from our own American backyards, you should at least have the intellectual honesty to point to the larger danger, when it comes to the unceasing and lethal attacks on LGBT people, from a kind much closer to our own vaunted creeds. Forty-nine people were murdered yesterday for being gay or lesbian or transgender, but let’s not pretend that this hasn’t been a backyard–not even a backalley: Americans don’t hide their disdain for LGBT people, they exercise it in the schoolyard, in bars, in plain view in the streets–crisis for years, with people dying of it unceasingly. Clearly, our shiny American glass house upon a hill needs a little squeegeeing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B-hVWQnjjM

  61. dave says:

    Dave T this shooter was identified by the f.b.i before this happened, the problem is congress struck down a bill that makes it so terrorist on that list can not buy guns.

  62. Knightwatch says:

    I found my voice.

    This is an outrageous act of hate against a specific group within our free society… a group that has suffered insults, exclusion and acts of violence in the past and lately has been singularly targeted by our good christian citizens for special abuse.

    To those who would all immigrants liable for this tragic act by a lone assailant of foreign heritage, the murder was a American citizen, born in this country.

    To those who blame our president, and even Hillary Clinton, your reasoning defies rational human thought and logic. You are simply striking out against an incomprehensible act with the only response you ever use for everything that may go wrong in this country. It’s got to be Obama and Hillary’s fault. After all, if they would just use the term “Radical Islamic Terrorists” (and insult the 3.3 million Muslims living in the U.S) none of this would have happened. There’s no argument I can make that you would ever consider. I can only hope you are (1) not armed, and (2) are open to further information and analysis as the facts unfold. I have siscere doubts about both.

    And, to those who would use this tragedy to promote the call for more guns (gee… if everyone in that club was armed, this would have not happened) note that there was an armed law enforcement officer outside and he couldn’t stop it. And ask yourself why an obviously disturbed individual, on the FBI’s radar, was able to buy a semi-automatic weapon. Because the NRA has killed any reforms that would have prevented that.

    My heart’s with the LGBT community today and always.

  63. anonymous says:

    This country is in dire straits. I never thought I would see the USA in this kind of trouble. When I grew up we played outside, cars and houses unlocked and schools were safe. There weren’t even cameras anywhere.
    We are screwed and I ’m afraid it’s a little bit too late with 3.3 million Muslims in this country. Funny, this wasn’t true before Obama.

  64. DaveT says:

    Knightwatch, how do you know that some of those 3.3 million Muslims are not Radical. A lot of Muslims are not radical but good people. This guy was a radical Muslim and a supporter of ISIS. As a US Military IRAQ Vet and a retired police officer I can assure you that there is hate in every forms of region, I have faced it armed and unarmed have you. With over 740k people on that watch list, the FBI missed this one, no question about it. But how many more did they arrest to prevent some terrorist act, those arrest we never hear about. FYI terrorist do not need a gun to create harm and unrest, explosives worked in Paris and killed over a hundred people. Our government needs to do a better job in isolating radical people that demonstrate hate against the United States of America and to insure that any individual on a watch list should not be able to purchase a gun, much less work as a contractor in a security firm at a Federal Building, which Mateen did. Dave so true our Congress needs to act and make it that gun purchase restriction a law instead of these parlor games both sides play.

  65. Sherry says:

    Dear Ken Dunlop. . . I don’t know you, but I would like to. . . how kind of you for asking. . . as many friends in many countries are asking. . . this is the message I sent them when I first heard. . . while staying with loving friends, here in beautiful Tuscany:

    Terrible! Terrible! Terrible!

    Get rid of assault weapons, semi-automatic ones too. . . and limit the amount of ammunition. . . track all weapons and bullets. . . then it wouldn’t matter the fucking motivation of the killer. Yes, I know. . . any reasonable regulation of guns, guns, guns will not happen in my lifetime. . . or maybe any lifetime! Our American society seems to be hell bent on speeding towards self destruction. . . how very heart breaking that human beings cannot seem to evolve any further away from their brutal, “animal” nature!

    We will continue to focus on bringing peace and love into each moment of our remaining days. . . and reflect on our destiny that has kept us from bringing children into this world.

    Peace, Love and Joy to the “survivors”. . . there are fewer of us now.

  66. Katie Semore says:

    Trump offers nothing to the fight except his big f**king lying mouth. He has no more of a clue than he accuses Obama or Clinton having. Truth be known, Clinton knows a a whole lot more than Trump and that doesn’t mean she has to know much.

  67. Sherry says:

    and Ken. . . this is what I sent to our wonderful gay friends in the USA and Australia:

    Orlando. . . what to say about such a tragedy forged from a sick society. Just “know” that we hold you both so very close in our hearts today and every day. Fear not for you are very dearly loved even by those far away.

  68. Katie Semore says:

    In response to anonymous’ s post at 12:52 pm, I will say, “Or before Bush sent his military to Iraq and not only resulting in approx 5k unnecessary American deaths, thousands and thousands of innocent Iraqi deaths.” This did not start with Obama and Clinton.

  69. Proud to be a Nurse says:

    It is not terrorism….it is a HATE crime! Call it what it is and stop calling everything terrorism to look for excuses to take our guns away. If those in the club had weapons permits and were carrying a concealed weapon they could have stopped this many before so many lost their lives. Just becuase there are are a few crazies out there doesn’t mean all should have their rights taken away. Look at the deaths from drug over-doses, cigarette deaths, alcohol deaths and they doesn’t receive the attention that a few crimes with guns get. We have already been shown in Boston that lives can be taken even without a gun, so don’t blame the guns. We need more mental health help in this country!! It is obviosu this gun-man had issues and they went ignored. I am saddened for the families of the victims and for those who lost their life. Events like this bring people together but it is sad that it takes events like this to do so. It is very disturbing that this has been called an act of terrorism when it is not a terrorist attack. Our governor and others were way too quick to point a finger….shame on them! The medical personnel treating those who were injured deserve recognition for putting their lives at risk with AIDS, Hepititus, Infections etc. Seems like the only ones to receive the praise is law enforcement and that is so unfair!

  70. Defenderofthesecond says:

    With the new revelations in this case (Mateens two mysterious trips to Saudi Arabia and the fact that he worked for G4S) is quite alarming. Let’s not forget that the lunatics in San Bernardino had also traveled to Saudi. It’s about time that our pussy president stand up and say “Radical Islamic Terrorism”, a phrase that he adamantly refuses to say. This has nothing to do with guns (even though many of you will use the guns as a vehicle to escape reality). The problem here is the ideology that was instilled in this man, the same ideology that is instilled in any follower of Allah. Islam has no place in America. It’s time they all get out while the getting is good. They have proven time and time again that they are not capable of living in a civilized manner. If anyone cares to educate themselves, I urge you watch the videos by Dr. Bill Warner. They are the only religion on Earth that uses violence as a measure to try and advance their religion(or lack thereof). When are we, as a civilized nation, going to recognize a disease and eradicate it? How many terrorist attacks have happened on obamas watch? More than any other administration in history. Now, I must give Mateen credit for acknowledging his heritage and keeping his name(unlike some who come to this country).

    “How many bad apples need to fall off the tree before we acknowledge that it’s not the apples that are bad, it’s the tree”

  71. Bc. says:

    If Hillary is elected get used to this she is no better than the loffy clown we have now you think this attack was bad they will get bigger and more often. Think before you vote the country needs a tough none political correct potus.

  72. Common Sense says:

    For those of you who believe the lies from the NRA…

    Did you know Bill Clinton signed into law an assault weapons ban? At the time no one thought it took away away their 2nd Amendment rights. When the ban expired efforts were made to reinstate it but the NRA told their pet politicians to oppose it.

    I can’t help but wonder if Sandy Hook and Orlando would have happened if the ban was still in place.

  73. karma says:

    I find the left to be very hypocritical on so many issues. Any talk about a ban on Muslims and your called a bigot. The left claims most are peace loving, only a few have bad intentions. The very same thing can be said about an assault weapon. Must owners of assault weapons are very responsible yet the left wants them all ban.
    Pierre- Jerry falwell and Pat Roberson are no more a Christian than Joel Osteen. They all say crazy things to get attention. They will be judged just like the people they speak about.

  74. Geezer says:

    A.S.F.

    You nailed it. It has come to light that Mateen frequented Pulse and picked up men.

  75. Sherry says:

    This from a friend who lives near the tragedy with their teen aged children:

    Hi Sherry,

    This IS a terrifying time. Unfortunately, a larger than expected number of people in this country are dishearteningly, on the same wave length, as their repulsive selected candidate. I do not speak his name. I firmly believe he is fueling the fans of hate and negativity amongst his misguided followers. In my mind, there is a direct correlation of this recent horrific Orlando incident and him. By the ugly statements he makes, he lights matches under already unbalanced individuals, who in turn act on evil they possess in their hearts. His vile words have made our nation more dangerous and now deadly. It’s heartbreaking.

    The way I am approaching these challenging times is by choosing to rise above their low level of humanity and take the high road and pray for his heart and for his soul to stop the insanity. I choose to give my energy and focus on sending Sec. Clinton love and positivity instead. Of course, I’ll also be campaigning for her too. But, as for the kids I have decided to have them only participate in our neighborhood; and we only go to registered Democrats homes because of the toxic atmosphere right now. I’m hoping by spreading this message of sending love, to as many people as possible, they will also tap into the positive energy flow in our universe and hope they ask their friends and families to do the same. We will ban together.

    Yesterday, the kids and I waited 4 hours in a parking lot to donate blood in the sun and heat. While there, we saw and felt firsthand the love and support that poured out of our community. People were bringing us umbrellas for shade, ice/water, popsicles, gatorade, cookies, fruit. Papa John’s sent over pizza. Sports Authority brought over a big tent. Target brought over tables to put all the donations. It felt so good to see everyone come together.

    The absolute worst in people also brings out the very best in people. I’m always going to work as hard as I can to elect candidates who are serious about banning assault weapons and limiting the amount of rounds in clips for ammunition. Candidates who understand mental health issues and the importance of identifying them at an early age, are the candidates getting my Vote and support. Innovative and compassionate candidates are out there. I believe there are more good people in the world than bad. And I choose to believe and affirm sensible gun legislation Will be passed and sooner than you think.

  76. Sherry says:

    This from a dear friend in British Columbia:
    Hi Sherry,

    I am so sorry to hear about this terrible tragedy. My first reaction to it filled me with sadness as it was one of disgusted acceptance. Here we go again, who cares, nothing will be done. Everyone will call for a moment of silence then the killing will continue. And, indeed this is possibly (probably) what will happen. Clinton (thank goodness) will call for solidarity and Trump will disgust us. And, as predicted, everyone stuck to their playbook.

    But then I heard of the legislator who walked out of the congress/senate during that moment of silence because he couldn’t stand the playbook response. It’s not enough, it’s not acceptable and hasn’t been for such a long time.

    I look at Obama trying, yet again, to be moved and react appropriately to such a senseless act of violence. He probably wants to scream from the rooftops, “fuck you NRA and your mindless followers”.

    This one is blamed on ISIS, homophobes, “other” haters and the list goes on and on. The next one will be blamed on white supremacists, Christians and people who hate small children or ditch diggers, who cares, there’s always a next one.

    I am becoming allergic to ‘haters of others’ I don’t want to be around them. In my arrogance I think they are just plain stupid. Perhaps it’s called “old age”.

    I have always told my kids, “be careful who you hang with”.

    Thanks for allowing me to rant and “hang” with you and Menos.

    Canada tends to be a more progressive and liberal country than the US yet I see people with narrowness of mind around me frequently. I admire your guts in standing up to social conservatism in your Republican state.

    Judy

  77. Sherry says:

    and here is my response to my friend Judy:

    Darling Judy,

    Thank you so much for your letter and your thoughts. . . and you being OK with hanging with us. We do live in terrible times. If I did not speak against hate, I would be betraying all I believe in. We all of us must but try and do our best to say “NO” to those who would turn us against one another. We, each one of us, are children of the universe. . . each precious in our own right. It is time we stood up for the love of humanity and turn away from anger, fear, bigotry and hate. We need to do our best to make such things socially unacceptable, for they are abhorrent to all evolving humankind.

  78. Anonymous says:

    Lets NOT blame those who do such or the reasons they do them. lets Blame and take away constitutionally secured rights of those who have NOTHING to do with such evil.

  79. Sherry says:

    This speech is most certainly worth your time and your consideration:

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/06/13/ken-burns-donald-trump-stanford-commencement/

  80. Sherry says:

    Insanity reigns when anyone can compare hypocrisy and intentions to the mass murdering of innocent people with assault weapons! Outrageous! Horrific! Stupid in every way!

  81. Jail the gunman's wife NOW says:

    Can’t wait for the autopsy’s to reveal how many of the bullets in the dead were from law enforcement. There was no excuse for so many in the rest room to have had to die. If law enforcement would have acted sooner and done more than open fire, throw objects and bash the wall with a vehicle. I can’t help but wonder how many were laying in the building when the gunman had been killed that could have been taken to the hospital when law enforcement was keeping he bodies in the building and beginning their investigation. Seems like there was a loss of more life than necessary. This should be a lesson that gun control is not what is needed, what is needed is that more people need to be armed to protect and defend themselves! Had those in the club been armed they could have taken out the gunman right away! My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who have injured family members and to those who have lost loved ones. The lesson to be lerarned here is once a person is a person of interest you never take them out of the radar! There is no excuse for the flub up by the FBI and others. Now it is time for the gunman’s wife to be jailed!!! She could have stopped this and becuase she was with her husband casing the place and when shopping for ammo and holsters she is an accessory and needs to be behind bars!!!!!!!!!!! Come on FBI….so something already!

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