At least 50 people have been killed and another 53 injured in what President Barack Obama has condemned as “the worst mass shooting” in US history.
A heavily armed gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida at around 2am local time. After a three hour stand-off, police stormed the building armed with an armoured vehicle and stun grenades, killing the shooter and rescuing 30 people.
“Although it’s still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate,” said Obama, offering his support to all members of the LGBT community.
“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.”
Hillary Clinton also offered her support to the LGBT community, condemning the shooting as an act of hate.
“To all the LGBT people: know that you have millions of allies all over the country. I’m one of them. We will continue to fight for their right to live freely, openly and without fear. Hatred has no place in the United States,” she said.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, is coming under masses of criticism (surprise, surprise) for his utterly inhumane stance. While yes, he offered his condolences to the victims and their families, he also bathed in congratulations for being “right” about terrorism:
Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Celebs are among the thousands condemning his words:
Trump is truly an awful person. https://t.co/vQp3CQ9Nmv
— John Legend (@johnlegend) June 12, 2016
Once again, Donald, you have shown why you cannot lead us. 50 people are dead, and you bask in congratulations. https://t.co/pUN7ceAff7
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 12, 2016
.@realDonaldTrump You’re the only person in America who would or could “appreciate the congrats” while families mourn 50 dead.
— Chris Sacca (@sacca) June 12, 2016
The whole thing is a sad, awful reminder of the easy availability of guns in America. In his address, Obama reiterated his call for tighter gun control.
“This massacre is a further reminder of how easy it is for people to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or in a movie theatre, or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well,” he said.
You can watch his full statement below:
Photo: Facebook / The White House.