PLBC stands by Orlando LGBTQ shooting victims and their families

HARRISBURG, June 13 – State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, D-Phila., chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, and the PLBC membership express their sorrow and sympathy for the family and friends of the victims of the Sunday morning mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub popular with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people.

More than 100 victims were shot, and at least 49 victims plus the shooter are confirmed dead, with more than 50 others injured, many seriously.

"Regardless whether this is determined to be an incident of domestic terrorism or tied to one of the hate groups around the world, the violence committed against others by so many people must be addressed," Brown said. "Our elected officials and other role models must ensure the words they use express compassion and concern for all, not further inflame racial, religious or sexual tensions.

"This country was founded on equality for all. Attacking any group, whether due to race, religion or sexual orientation, must be stopped. Those who even threaten violence must be considered as real threats to the safety of all.

"Sadly, again the mass shooting was made much worse by the easy availability of assault weapons. It is incomprehensible that a person who was twice interviewed by law enforcement over past comments was still able to easily and legally purchase his weapons of mass killing.

"As President Barack Obama said yesterday, '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.'"