Pulse - The Intersection of Homophobia, Racism and Access to Guns

June 30, 2016

My heart is heavy for the Pulse nightclub victims and their families. I am sorry for this loss cutting our nation deeper than words can express, and deeply saddened that our immigration laws are preventing some families from even attending their loved one’s funerals.

These were our Latino siblings, friends and neighbors. They were LGBT people enjoying life at an iconic place of safety and acceptance for their community. They were the beating heart of American diversity, and of what makes this country great. And they were struck down in horrific violence; intentionally targeted for all of the good that they embodied.

The Orlando shooting was a homophobic and racist attack, perpetrated almost one year to the day after a similar attack targeting another vulnerable community at another place of sanctuary. Part of honoring the nine lives lost to a white supremacist’s gun at Emanuel AME Church in 2015 should have been taking steps to ensure a similar event never happened again. We didn’t then, and the question we must ask as 49 more souls are laid to rest and 53 remain injured is, will we do it now?

Read Rep. Grijalva's full op-ed at Huffington Post here.