HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — 49 people were killed and 53 were wounded when gunman Omar Mateen opened fire with a semi automatic, so called assault rifle, at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida one year ago today. The deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter in U.S. history. It is also the deadliest incident of violence against LGBTQ individuals in history. The shooter made a 9-1-1 call and swore allegiance to the leader of the so called Islamic State. The FBI and the CIA said they could find no credible evidence linking Mateen to ISIS.
Yvette Bello of Glastonbury is a Latina member of the Gay community. She says there has been an erosion in the past year for Gay rights and that she feels less safe about that and the availability of guns. “I would say the same thing with the Sandy Hook (shooting) which also deeply devastated our community,” said Bello. “I don’t think it’s getting better.”
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At the State Capitol; Connecticut’s two U.S. Senators were joined today by advocates for closing the so-called ‘gun show’ background check loophole and the ‘no fly-no buy’ legislation. Both concepts failed in the Senate following the Murphy/Blumenthal filibuster a year ago. “ISIS has been very clear they want their recruits inside the United States to go to gun shows and to buy assault weapons,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut). Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) stated, “Massacres have no effect on congress. Elections have effects on congress.”
Following the filibuster, Senator Murphy started a political fund called the “Fund to End Gun Violence.” The fund helped two senators and one member of the House in last year’s elections and all three won. Murphy says the fund will be helping many more candidates in next year’s elections.
Sen. Blumenthal added, “We need the energy and outrage felt by the American people to be harnessed and mobilized and to make changes in the people who represent us.”