Two years later, victims are still seeking gun reform nationwide
Two years have gone by since the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida and its survivors are, nevertheless, making themselves heard. Due to what they call a lack of empathy and responsiveness from politicians nationwide, they seem to have taken matters into their own hands.
After the massacre at an Orlando nightclub left 49 people dead and 53 injured, some of the survivors have come together to file a lawsuit in federal court, according to WGN-TV. The victims stated that both the city and the police did not do enough to try to stop Omar Mateen, a terrorist who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State before opening fire on those inside the building.
Various victims have signed on as plaintiffs, accusing the city of Orlando and its law enforcement officers of having violated their Constitutional rights on June 12th, 2016.
The accusers have overtly stated that the officers on site should have acted more aggressively when confronting Mateen to prevent mass casualties. It must be taken into account that the terrorist openly stated his allegiance and plans three hours prior to being shot and killed by the police, as reported by local media.
Who’s all to blame?
The lawsuit specifically names Orlando Police Department Officer Adam Gruler for having have left his posts during June 12th, 2016. The plaintiffs state that during the time that Gruler was not at his post, Mateen walked into Pulse, looked around, left and returned with his weapons.
The legal accusation will also list another 30 unnamed officers. These have been blamed for not capturing the shooter, while others for having rounded up uninjured survivors and transferring them to the Orlando police headquarters for interrogation.
Victim Keinon Carter stated to the Orlando Sentinel, “I believe victims of the Pulse shooting deserve better. We deserve better … we deserve to be rescued sooner by law enforcement.”
'Gays against Guns'
On the eve of the Pulse anniversary, sympathizers and survivors came together at the Pulse Rally to Honor Them with Action at Orlando City Hall. As reported by the WJLA, they wanted to protest lack of progress on gun reform and gay rights in Florida.
Brandon Wolf, a victim of the 2016 shooting and organizer of the event, publicly stated during the affair: “six hundred and twelve days. That’s how long it took for Pulse headlines to become Parkland headlines. That’s how long it took for 49 lives lost to become 17 more. And in those 612 days, nothing changed.”
Survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, along with 200 other attendees, took part in the rally at the steps of City Hall. Some even went as far as placing a rainbow ribbon in front of the podium which stated ‘Gays against guns’.
A Die-In was also scheduled near the Capitol on Tuesday morning to honor the victims of Orlando’s terrorist attack. The affair, which was created by the Foundation for National Die-In, was meant to protest against the inactivity on the part of Congress.
Activists and supporters lie down in a specific area and simply stay silent in the hopes to simulate those who have passed away because of this particular issue.
Latin American Post | Susana Cicchetto
Copy edited by Marcela Peñaloza