America Reacts to the Orlando Shooting—Here's How You Can Help
“Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love—cannot be killed or swept aside.” — Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda in his Tony Award acceptance sonnet for Best Original Score
Shockwaves reverberated across the nation on Sunday after news broke of the devastating Orlando shooting at gay nightclub Pulse. The incident comes on the heels of a seemingly never-ending string of mass shootings in the United States, topping the list as the single deadliest act of gun violence our country has ever seen. With 49 dead and another 53 wounded, it has incited rallying cries for gun control, true equality for the LGBTQ community, and an endless stream of prayers for humanity.
“The place where [the victims] were attacked was more than a nightclub. It was a place of solidarity and empowerment for people to come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights,” said President Obama in his Sunday address. “This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country.”
Many celebrities, activists, and public figures took to Twitter on Sunday to express their condolences for the victims and their families, as well as the frustration, outrage, and sorrow felt in response to this unspeakable act of violence.
Sobbing.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) June 12, 2016
The tragedy in Orlando is just beyond sad. My deepest regrets to all those suffering. There are no words that suffice. I'm...stunned.— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) June 12, 2016
Sickening news. All my love to Orlando.— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) June 12, 2016
I'm heartbroken by this tragedy. Praying for Orlando and the suffering created by this senseless violence.— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) June 12, 2016
Horrified by the mass shooting in Orlando. When will we do something to prevent these killing sprees?— John Legend (@johnlegend) June 12, 2016
Whenever we as a country experience these merciless acts of violence, there’s a growing sense of shared helplessness, frustration, and sorrow; we struggle to find the right words to say, the right actions to take, and the right changes to enact in order to ensure this doesn’t happen yet again.
If you want to do more to help beyond impassioned tweets, Instagram photos, and Facebook posts, you can schedule an appointment to give blood at a nearby OneBlood donation center, make a donation on behalf of the victims on the GoFundMe page, or attend one of the many vigils being held across the country. Day in and day out, you can champion the LGBTQ community and defend their civil rights, reminding America and the world that love is love is love.