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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Reaction to Orlando massacre

12

June

Political figures react to the Orlando shooting:

Gov. Rick Scott (Twitter): "This is an attack on our people. An attack on Orlando. An attack on Florida. An attack on America. An attack on all of us."

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando: "Our thoughts and our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the entire Orlando community. Words cannot express the horror, pain and sadness that we feel about this terrible loss. I commend the Orlando police for their heroic efforts to save the lives of those who could be saved.  Local and federal law enforcement are working right now to uncover more information about the motive and other circumstances of the shooting."

Sen. Marco Rubio: “Confronting the threat of violent homegrown ‎radicalization is one of the greatest counterterrorism challenges our law enforcement and intelligence community faces. ‎We must do more at every level of government and within our own communities to identify and mitigate this cancer on our free society and prevent further loss of innocent life.”

Sen. Bill Nelson: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of all the victims of this horrific attack in Orlando. I have spoken with the FBI and there appears to be a link to Islamic radicalism. I have conferred with additional sources and they think there is likely a connection with ISIS. So as we all mourn the senseless loss of life and investigators continue to learn more, we must remain vigilant and remember that if you see something, say something.”

Bernie Sanders (Meet The Press): "It's horrific, it's unthinkable. And just hopes go out to all those who were shot that they can recover. And I've got to tell you, 25 years ago, I believe that in this country, we should not be selling automatic weapons which are designed to kill people. We have got to do everything that we can on top of that to make sure that guns do not fall into the hands of people who should not have them, criminals, people who are mentally ill. So that struggles continues."

Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores: “We join together today as a nation to pray for the Orlando victims and their loved ones. This is our Paris. Let us resolve today to always confront and defeat terror at the hands of evil so that this may never happen again.”

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada: “While we do not have all the facts yet, one thing is clear: This was a senseless, hateful attack on innocent people, and we must do everything possible to ensure that justice is done. That this act of hate occurred at an LGBT mainstay during LGBT Pride Month makes it all the more horrific. Hatred, terror and bigotry have no place in our country, and we will not allow our nation to be ruled by fear.”

RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia: "We are grieved by today’s horrific attack. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those lost and injured in this mind-numbing and infuriating attack on innocent people in Orlando. We urge everyone in the Orlando area to help by donating blood as well as pray for the emergency room doctors and nurses that deal with the aftermath of another hate-filled, senseless tragedy.”

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.: "I know the pain and sadness that has brought too many communities — Newtown, Oregon, Aurora, San Bernardino, and now Orlando — to their knees, and I can only hope that America's leaders will do something to prevent another community from being added to the list. This phenomenon of near constant mass shootings happens only in America — nowhere else. Congress has become complicit in these murders by its total, unconscionable deafening silence. This doesn’t have to happen, but this epidemic will continue without end if Congress continues to sit on its hands and do nothing — again.”

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. (Meet The Press) "If it is found out that this person was at least inspired by ISIS, then it'll probably be a terrorism debate. If he wasn't, it may be a gun debate."

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton: "Tomorrow, when we return to Washington, we should have moment of silence for the victims - immediately followed by a vote to close the loophole that allows people on the terror watch list to buy assault rifles - or any weapon. This isn't politics; it's common sense. In the weeks to come, we should not be afraid to ask why, when an AR-15 assault rifle is the one thing that's common to Orlando, San Bernardino and Newtown, we allow these deadly weapons to be freely available? And why every gun purchaser isn't subject to a background check? And why the mental health crisis is't urgently addressed?"

Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Tallahassee:  "As we search for answers, we must come together as one community to mourn today. As we pray for the victims, their families and loved ones, we must also stand strong with the people of Orlando. While we mourn, we are thankful for the heroic actions of Orlando’s law enforcement officers, whose actions saved the lives of many. This act of terror is a hate crime against the entire LGBT community, and reminds us that hate and extremism is dangerous and disgusting in any form."

Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach: “I am so sad for the Orlando shooting victims and their families. We must all stand together against hatred and violence.”

Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland: "I am deeply grateful to our law enforcement officials as they investigate and begin to find answers to this evil act. I ask all Americans to join me in prayer for the victims and their families. Floridians are strong, and we will heal and become stronger. God be with us during this extremely difficult period."

Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami "This is a horrific reminder that all Americans are vulnerable to this threat, and that we must come together behind the struggle to contain and defeat terrorist organizations on their own turf. This tragedy is particularly painful because it takes place during LGBT Pride Month. My thoughts and prayers are with the family members of the victims and with many of my constituents who are celebrating Pride Weekend in the Florida Keys."

Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville: "My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims senselessly murdered or injured in this tragic and senseless act. Although there are numerous unanswered questions at this time, the fact that this attack took place at a nightclub frequented by members of the LGBT community, and that it took place as our as our nation celebrates LGBT Pride month, leads one to believe that this was motivated by deep hatred and prejudice."

Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa: "Nothing is more important than the safety of the families of my neighbors and all Americans. We must ensure that law enforcement, intelligence agencies and military service members have the tools they need to keep us safe.  Theses horrendous circumstances remind us that the Congress can act to reinstate the military, high-capacity assault weapons ban and pass legislation to prohibit any person on the national terrorism watch list from being able to purchase a firearm. "

Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor: "As we mourn the tragic loss of life that took place this morning, we must stay laser-focused on rooting out radicals in our own country who heed the call to radical jihad and aim to harm our friends, neighbors, and families. Protecting our homeland should never be taken for granted, and should never ever be the subject of partisan politics. I will continue to be a strong voice in Congress to fight Islamic radicalism here and abroad. As the former Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Response and Preparedness, I had the opportunity to participate in a series of Homeland  Security Committee hearings on radicalization nearly a decade ago. Then, as now, I believe we should provide our law enforcement and intelligence officers the tools they need, within constitutional constraints, to prevent the spread of incitement to violence and hunt down radicals who want to see the demise of our ideals and values. This is truly a tragedy, but our nation has proven that in times of tragedy, Americans unite and stay strong despite the evil in the world. Orlando, we are all here for you."

Jeb Bush (Twitter): "Praying for the victims, their families and Florida in the wake of this horrific massacre and act of terrorism. #OrlandoStrong"

[Last modified: Monday, June 13, 2016 8:01am]

    

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