Not Again:

Thoughts on gun safety legislation following the Pulse nightclub shooting

We have to decide if this is the kind of country we want to be. To actively do nothing is a decision as well,” President Obama said.

The city of Orlando on Monday released the names of some of those killed in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. More names were added throughout the day to the list once their next of kin were notified. Those identified are:

  • Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
  • Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
  • Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
  • Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
  • Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
  • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
  • Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
  • Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
  • Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
  • Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
  • Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
  • Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
  • Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
  • Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
  • Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
  • Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
  • Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
  • Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
  • Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
  • Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
  • Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
  • Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
  • Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
  • Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25 years old
  • Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
  • Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
  • Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
  • Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
  • Cory James Connell, 21 years old
  • Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
  • Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
  • Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
  • Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
  • Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old
  • Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
  • Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
  • Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
  • Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
  • Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
  • Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
  • Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24 years old
  • Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
  • Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
  • Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
  • Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
  • Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
  • Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz 24 years old

All of these people had mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends…. Just as with the other mass shootings, the horror of losing someone to senseless violence is unspeakable. The agony of the mom who couldn’t get information about her son, and then finds out he’s dead is just agonizing and gut-wrenching.

Why does anyone need a military type assault weapon except to kill people? Can’t we at least ban assault weapons? I think most people in the U.S. are in agreement about that.

There have been so many mass killings recently that I can’t even remember all of them. Don’t we owe it to these people, to the beautiful children who were killed in Newtown, the people killed in church in South Carolina, the victims at the community center in San Bernardino, the children and adults who are killed every day, don’t we owe it to them to do something?

According to

Civilians are acquiring greater numbers of increasingly powerful guns. The connection between per capita wealth and gun ownership is strong enough to suggest that as long as gun ownership laws are not changed, greater national wealth leads to greater gun ownership. The proliferation of civilian gun arsenals is not likely to slow anytime in the foreseeable future. Almost everywhere, civilian inventories are significantly larger than law enforcement or military stockpiles. With fewer than five per cent of the world’s population, the United States is home to roughly 35–50 per cent of the world’s civilian-owned guns.”

The survey also states that the U.S. has 88.8 firearms per 100 people (2007), with the next closest country being Norway with 31.3 firearms per 100 people. The report states, “The United States also has the highest homicide-by-firearm rate among the world’s most developed nations.”

I have three children out in the world. I worry about them. The night of the Aurora, CO, shooting one of them was in Denver at an Americorps training. What if she and some friends had decided to go to that showing? It could have happened. In a culture where so many people are walking around with loaded guns, I worry that one of my children might be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But we can do something. We can keep pushing for common sense gun safety legislation. Go to to find out what you can do.

Categories: Editor’s Blog