|FLORIDA–In response to the mass shootings that took place over the weekend, Florida Rising’s Senior Director of Advocacy and Programs, Moné Holder, issued the following statement:
“Communities of color around the nation are mourning the lives lost this past weekend in tragic acts of gun violence. A white supremacist gunman opened fire at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York and was apprehended unharmed and alive. The Black customers and employees of Tops Supermarket who lost their lives were wives, mothers, fathers, husbands, and contributing citizens within their communities.
The month of May is dedicated to Asian American Pacific Islanders, but will now be a remembrance to those whose lives were impacted by the mass shooting at a Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Southern California. To attack and kill people while they are in their place of worship is unfathomable. We sadly, will soon mark the anniversary of another act of white supremacist terrorism at a place of worship which took place in June 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina at Mother Emmanuel Church where nine innocent worshippers had their lives stolen. We will also mark the sixth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting where our LGBTQ family was the target of yet another rampaging mass murderer.
There have been too many situations where white men have been able to get away with stealing innocent Black and brown lives while justice is a thing hoped for, but rarely given to communities of color. White supremacists and extremists have been given a platform in recent years which has allowed for heinous acts to go unpunished and even lauded. Immediate gun laws are needed in America to eradicate these heinous acts which are nearly non-existent in nations with gun control measures. In a sad, but not surprising, display of recklessness, Governor Ron DeSantis has declared that ‘constitutional carry’ will be law in Florida before he leaves office. This underscores the importance of federal gun control policies that will help put a check on the rampant gun violence in Florida, which is partly why our state bears the unflattering nickname of ‘the gunshine state.’
Tonight, in Orlando, we will be holding a candlelight vigil at the Lake Eola Amphitheater beginning at 6:00pm. Members of the Florida Legislature, faith leaders, and community activists will share public comment and words of reflection. We invite our neighbors and members of the press to attend to honor the lives of our fallen brothers and sisters.”
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