Activists And Survivors Mark Second Pulse Massacre Anniversary With Rally For Tougher Gun Laws

The Orlando Sentinel reports:

An emotional, rain-soaked rally on the eve of the Pulse anniversary Monday evening was mixed with anguish and raw anger over the lack of progress on gun reform and gay rights in Florida and the sheer number of mass shootings that have happened since.

“Six hundred and twelve days,” said Brandon Wolf, a survivor of the 2016 Pulse shooting and organizer of the Pulse Rally to Honor Them with Action at Orlando City Hall. “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.”

Pulse survivors were joined on the steps of City Hall by survivors of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and about 200 rallygoers, several of whom stretched a rainbow ribbon in front of the podium reading “Gays against guns.”

The Tampa Bay Times reports:

It’s been two years to the day since the Pulse nightclub shooting that claimed 49 lives in Orlando. And for two years, Gov. Rick Scott has faced the same question from many in the state’s LGBTQ community. Why didn’t the governor do more to reach out to LGBTQ citizens after the massacre?

Scott, for the second year in a row, officially proclaimed June 12, “Pulse Remembrance Day.” But some LGBTQ advocates say they want more from the governor. Smith has long criticized Scott for failing to sign an executive order banning discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity in the workplace.

And many have noted the difference in the governor’s response to the Pulse shooting — after which the governor failed to push for any law regulating firearms — and Scott’s legislative push after the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting.

Click Orlando reports:

Two years ago on June 12 at 2:02 a.m., Orlando was forever changed. On Tuesday, the city and Pulse nightclub will remember the 49 people who were killed and continue to support the more than 50 others who were shot or injured.

At noon, a bell will toll 49 times at the First United Methodist Church marking the 49 lives taken. Later in the day, a remembrance ceremony and community gathering will happen at the new Pulse memorial beginning at 7 p.m.

A month before the second anniversary of the shooting, the temporary memorial at Pulse opened to the public. It was the first time mourners and visitors had had an official place to leave tokens and write notes at the South Orange Avenue location since the FBI erected a fence around the club hours after the shooting.