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Connecticut lawmakers react to tragedy at Orlando nightclub

HARTFORD — Connecticut lawmakers are weighing in on the tragic events that occurred at an Orlando nightclub where 50 people were killed and 53 others woun...
Blumenthal Murphy Esty

HARTFORD -- Connecticut lawmakers are weighing in on the tragic events that occurred at an Orlando nightclub where 50 people were killed and 53 others wounded in what's described as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. They remarked on the horrific events while also calling for an end to the senseless violence. They also commented on Congress's inaction on gun control, and the need for commonsense measures to prevent more tragedies.

Click here for complete coverage of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

Senator Chris Murphy said  in a statement:

“I'm aching for the victims, their loved ones, and the people of Orlando, and I pray that all those injured have a quick and full recovery. 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."

Senator Blumenthal remarked also on the debate over gun violence:

“As we learn more in shock and horror about the deadliest mass shooting in our history, my heart breaks for the families of loved ones lost or injured – and for our nation, continuing to suffer from this unspeakable epidemic of gun violence. The Senate’s inaction on commonsense gun violence prevention makes it complicit in this public health crisis. Prayers and platitudes are insufficient. The American public is beseeching us to act on commonsense, sensible gun violence prevention measures, and we must heed that call.”

Congresswoman Rosa Delauro cited senseless violence, and that no one should be targeted because of who they love:

“The attack earlier today in Orlando is tragic and heartbreaking. As we mourn the loss of so many lives in what is the largest mass shooting and hate crime in U.S. history, our hearts are heavy. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their friends and families, and the community, as they suffer from this senseless act of violence.

“As our nation marks LGBT Pride Month, we are reminded that no one should ever be a target because of who they are or whom they love. We stand with the people of Orlando and the LGBT community across the nation and the world. Love will triumph over hate and fear.

“From Newtown and Aurora, to San Bernardino and now Orlando, gun violence is tearing apart American communities. Congress must take immediate, commonsense action to help save lives, which includes banning high-capacity magazines and allowing federal funding for gun violence research."

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty said in a statement:

“Today we awoke to the agonizing news that at least 50 lives have been taken from us, and 53 people wounded, in yet another act of brutal gun violence in our country. We are heartsick for the victims and for their loved ones, and we pray for a quick recovery for all those who have been injured.

“I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the law enforcement officers and first responders in Orlando, whose courageous actions ended this act of terrorism and may have saved dozens of lives. The individual apparently responsible for this tragedy is dead, but the work now begins to piece together how this attack occurred and to ensure that anyone who had a role in carrying it out is brought swiftly to justice.

“We do not yet know what motivated this horrific act of terrorism. But the fact that it targeted a mainstay of Florida’s LGBT community as communities throughout our nation gather to celebrate LGBT Pride Month only adds to our immense grief.

“Let us always remember that hatred or violence targeting any community – whether based on religion, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or anything else – is a betrayal of our values as Americans. Such actions are as wrong today as they were yesterday, and we must not forget that.

“We must stand united as Americans, as human beings, in support of all those affected by today’s horrific attack. And we must stand united in opposition to hatred and terrorism whenever and wherever they occur.”

Representative John Larson said in a statement:

“My heart goes out to the victims and their families in Orlando. In Connecticut especially, we know far too well the heartbreak and shock that accompanies a tragedy like this. Minimally, Congress should take a vote on universal background checks. We owe that to the public. Whether you agree or disagree that all gun purchases should require a background check, it is our responsibility to vote. It is past time for Congress to take its head out of the sand.”

Mayor Luke Bronin also weighed in, condemning hatred and also reiterated the need for commonsense gun laws:

"We grieve today for all of the victims of the horrific attack in Orlando: for the dozens of innocents killed and wounded, for their loved ones and their families, for the LGBT community, for the City of Orlando and for our country. The City of Hartford extends our deepest condolences, our prayers, and our commitment to stand united in the face of terror.

"Almost exactly a year ago, crowds gathered joyfully in Hartford and around the country to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality. In the face of this terrorist attack targeting the LGBT community, we gathered together again tonight — in sadness, but with the same spirit of unity and love. Let us condemn the hatred that motivated this attack. Let us condemn the demagoguery that exploits this tragedy to divide us from our fellow Americans. And let us celebrate the aspiration for equality and freedom that makes our nation the target of those who subscribe to a twisted ideology.

"Let us also rededicate ourselves to the effort to enact common-sense gun laws to protect innocent Americans from tragedies like this. There will always be viciousness in the world. There will always be violence. But the pain that can be inflicted by one sick individual, infected with so many vicious strains of hatred and armed with a legally-bought military-style assault weapon, is shocking and unacceptable. This latest tragedy should be a clear call to action.”