CNN is reporting that there has been a mass shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando:
Orlando, Florida (CNN)Fifty people were killed inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, Orlando Police Chief John Mina and other officials said Sunday morning, just hours after a shooter opened fire in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
At least 53 more people were injured, Mina said. Police have shot and killed the gunman, he told reporters.
“It’s appears he was organized and well-prepared,” the chief said, adding that the shooter had an assault-type weapon, a handgun and “some type of (other) device on him.”
Officials warned that a lengthy investigation was ahead, given the number of victims and the scope of the violence.
The shooter is not from the Orlando area, Mina said. He has been identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, about 120 miles southeast of Orlando, two law enforcement officials tell CNN.
Orlando authorities said they consider the violence an act of domestic terror. The FBI is involved. While investigators are exploring all angles, they “have suggestions the individual has leanings towards (Islamic terrorism), but right now we can’t say definitely,” said Ron Hopper, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Orlando bureau.
It’s being characterized as the worst act of terrorism in the United States since 9/11.
First and foremost my heart goes out to the victims, their friends, and their families. But second I weep for my country. This story pushes all of the buttons. Some will inevitably see this story through the prism of gun control. If only, they will say, we prohibited firearms capable of such destruction.
With equal inevitability some will view this story primarily as Islamist terrorism.
Still others will see it an anti-gay hate crime, as proof positive that immigration in the United States is out of control, as a law enforcement problem, as evidence for concealed carry of firearms, or with any of a thousand other preconceived notions. The Blind Men and the Elephant.
And they’ll all be screaming at each other.
Let’s inhale, mourn the dead, and wait until we know more before drawing any conclusions. And let’s not exploit this situation on behalf of our pet causes.