orlando shooting

Hate-fueled killings must be stopped around the world.

We, like millions of others throughout the United States, are sad, angry, and scared. On Sunday morning, clergy and staff of the Universal Life Church woke with heavy hearts as we learned of the devastating terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida. Information is still being released slowly as the difficult investigation continues, but we do know that 50 people were killed and another 53 injured when an individual opened fire at a Latin-themed event at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, which caters to members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The individual responsible for the Orlando shooting was armed, legally, both with a handgun and an AR-15 rifle. At this juncture, according to President Obama, he appears to have been motivated in-part by the violent and fundamentalist ideologies espoused by the Islamic State (ISIL), in addition to homophobia.

In the wake of the attack, politicians around the country took to the internet to express platitudes of prayers and “good thoughts”, including President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump. Joining the sitting President and presumptive Presidential nominees in expressing their grief were dozens of politicians who had accepted money from and advocated on behalf of the NRA, a gun-rights lobbying group that has worked tirelessly to ensure that purchasing a weapon like the AR-15 rifle is as easy as purchasing any other item from your local market. This is the same type of weapon that was used in the recent mass shootings in San Bernardino, Newtown, and Aurora; it is estimated that more than 3 million AR-15s are currently in circulation in the U.S.

Orlando shooting

Thousands have come forward to offer aid to victims and affected families.

These expressions of prayer and positive thoughts may be appreciated by some, but could certainly never fill the holes left in the hearts of parents who lost a child, or friends who lost their loved ones. Since the attacks in Newtown in December of 2012, there have been more than 1,000 mass shootings in the U.S.; at least 1,140 people have been killed, and nearly 4,000 more wounded. The disturbing wave of terrorist activity causing devastation in cities around the globe is a human crisis of the highest degree and must be addressed with meaningful action, immediately. At the Universal Life Church we believe that all human life is equal, valuable, and must be protected. While we are sad, angry, and scared, we have also been inspired by the images of hundreds of individuals lining up to donate blood, supplies, and their time to aid those affected by the tragedy in Orlando. We hope that this celebration of human community is heard by our global leaders, that they might institute meaningful policies to ensure the safety of human lives around the planet.

In particular, in the United States, we would urge our leaders to guarantee that all individuals – regardless of their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation – are afforded equal protection under the Constitution of the United States of America. Furthermore, religious and political organizations should not be afforded some of the tax benefits and other protections they are currently afforded if they are found to espouse dangerous and discriminatory teachings. We would also urge that serious consideration be given to policies that would limit the amount of damage a singular individual is able to wreak on human livelihood given the advent and availability of ever-more-deadly weaponry.

The Universal Life Church believes that we are all children of the same universe. We stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters and the peace-loving community at-large. We advocate fiercely and relentlessly for a world in which all men and women can one day join hands and live in peace. We firmly believe in the possibility of this future and, recognizing that the prevailing apathy is not a path toward progress, will continue to fight aggressively for that future.

Updated 6/30/2016:

Much has happened in the weeks following this terrible tragedy. Although we’ve yet to see tangible progress on the issue of gun control, the issue is far from being ignored. Last week a determined group of Democrats gained national attention when they held a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives to protest for increased gun control measures. By the time the sit-in eventually came to an end, over 170 Democrats had participated. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said they would continue to fight for gun control “until hell freezes over”.

While the community in Orlando continues to grieve, fundraisers started for the Pulse victims and their families have been incredibly successful. A national GoFundMe campaign has raised almost $7 million, shattering the website’s previous record for donations. This past Tuesday, more than 1,200 Florida restaurants signed on to raise money for the victims. The state-wide effort is expected to generate a significant contribution to the cause. Only time can heal the wounds left by this awful attack, but it is encouraging to see the state of Florida, and indeed the entire country, rally behind this community in their darkest hour.

134 comments

  1. Ronald Wolfe says:

    Truely, a Sad and terrifying event. Time to stop the polical correctness. We MUST be more vigilant about our borders, yes the shooter was born in us but his parents were not.They were from the mid east and a terristic hot bed. Many questions to be answered. Too soon to drawl a conclusion.

    1. SW says:

      You sound like a Trump supporter. Let’s call PC what it is. It’s respect. To stop respecting and treating people with dignity is not a culture we want to cultivate.
      Love will win over Hate.

      1. Kirk says:

        Trump said he supports the LGBT community. Maybe you didn’t hear his speech today.

        1. Ronald Wolfe says:

          Really, ok, as that guy is blowing your head off make sure you dont call him a name. you might hurs his feelings

        2. David Davies says:

          Trump supports gays of lying when he wants our votes! Guess what, he isn’t getting them!

          1. janice says:

            They all want your vote and Hillary don’t care about you either or any of us. Its a take down of America as we know it.

        3. Shane Lowrey says:

          Search the hashtag #askthegays of you want to hear there side of Trumps ideas.

          1. Shane Lowrey says:

            Their….

        4. Carol Amina says:

          lol…trump would say he supports anything just to try to get a vote…he’s not fooling intelligent people.

          1. Rev paul says:

            I agree with you on that

      2. Ronald Wolfe says:

        PC is not respect at all! it is fear to speak the truth, we are supposed to live in the land of the free FREE SPEACH ever hear of that? no one has the right to tell a major sports team owner they cant say something that they believe in weather you believe it or not, the have the right to their opinion that is what free speach is . if it hurts someones feeelings too bad they will get over it. He or she stil has the right to voice their opinion right or wrong. This is what our country is founded on. If you dont like it get out, go somewhere that they dont believe in free speech. the sports team owners i am referiing too are forced to sell their team because someone did not like what they said Same princples behind politially correct. WE SPPOSED TO HAVE FREE SPEECH CALL IT LIKE IT IS> has nothiing to do with Trump , but Trump like others have the right to say what they want to say, if you dont like what they say vote for someone else. But at least Trump has the guts to say what he believes right or wrong.

        1. Aryl says:

          funny thing about your sports team story: the franchise has free speech too and they used it to tell that racist team owner that he can’t have the team anymore. I always love when someone gets on a soapbox about free speech but then clearly hates it when other people use it.

          1. Peter says:

            Mr. Wolfe, from what I can gather from your semi-literate rant above, your concept of free speech is not the freedom to tell the truth, but the freedom to say whatever you want, regardless of truth. We had a single, simple rule at one school at which I taught: “Your freedom ends where mine starts.” If everyone practiced that, there would be none of the violence that exists currently.

          2. Ronald Wolfe says:

            The franchise ? it isnt a franchise but having free speech is different then forcing an owner to sale, The franchise as you call them can disagree and scold him and voice their opinon also but not force him to sale what is his.Do you want someone to force you to sell your home because they didnt like what you said? or your business? Yes they can SAY what they want that should not give them the right TO TAKE AWAY SOMETHING SOMEONE OWNS. Our free speech laws do not say you must tell the truth in your free speech, and who determines the truth??? notning semi-literate about it and that is my right to be so if I so determine to be. Who determines your freedom YOU???? get off your soap box. We were founded on FREEDOM OF SPEECH it is not FREEDOM of TRUTH If I want to tell the world the earth is flat I should be able to do so regardless of if it is or not

          3. C.J. Hartman says:

            Freedom of speech doesn’t protect hate speech.

            Every citizen is guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When another person infringes on any of those three inalienable rights, the first and most important of all our rights, the 1st amendment doesn’t, or shouldn’t, protect that.

            Also, if you study the history of the U.S., the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights, it’s overwhelmingly evident that the founding fathers feared the day when the government would be out of the control of the people. The original documents are clear in their desire to protect the people from the government. Unfortunately people use them as justification for hate speech and divisive rhetoric. That is certainly not the intention.

            Somewhat unrelated, but it’s incredible how people will use anything out of context to support their own ambition. Whether it’s ISIS using Islam or U.S. citizens using the words of our founding fathers, people will manipulate anything in their heads to support their agendas.

        2. Kybele says:

          Im with you. I say it like it is too. If you cant handle it move to another country where free speech is suppressed.

          1. Randy says:

            Ain’t least trump won’t be stupid enough.to have classified documents on his emails. Hillary is a mistake

      3. Wrd says:

        PC is an attempt to control speech. Love in the final analysis does conquer all. And nations have a right and responcivility to control its borders and keep the bad guys our. Do you lock your doors at night. If so are you locking them to keep your family in the house or bad guys out, hopefully?

      4. Dave Graves Laughlin says:

        Respect is earned, fuckface. If you want to respect Islamic “culture” so much, go to Saudi Arabia or Pakistan and respect it there. In America, if you don’t want to respect and observe the values of American culture and society, and want concessions made for whatever barbaric bullshit baggage you want to drag along with you to this country, then don’t bother knocking on Lady Liberty’s door. As Maajid Nawaz said, “No idea is above scrutiny, no people are beneath dignity,” and here you are wanting to infantilize Muslims and immigrants as being babies unable to handle adult criticism, not to mention dehumanizing them and denying them autonomy to the point that you think Muslims should be handled with kid gloves lest they instinctively behave like animals and lash out violently – that’s your fucking mindset, mine is that they’re adults and can damn well behave like adults instead of like children from Lord of the Flies or like animals from Animal Farm. Take your “Love” over to the Middle East, and call back in 5 years. Let’s see if you’ve caused the desert to bloom and “Hate” to evaporate with your idealistic kumbaya bullshit, moron.

        1. Ronald Wolfe says:

          please take your obsenities somewhere else. This is a religious sight and the F bombs, etc. have not place here, although i respect your right to use free speech, and you have that right why be such a hateful person about all this. you could at least try to earn the respect you refer to as this language will not give you any credence or respect.

          1. C.J. Hartman says:

            I don’t necessarily agree with everything you say Ronald but I want to give you some kudos for this post. Well said sir.

          2. Dave Graves Laughlin says:

            That’s funny: “I’m the arbiter of what you can and cannot say, but I respect your right to free speech!” Get fucked.

        2. Carol Amina says:

          Another trump jumper…omg why is this blog being followed by such ignorant people

          1. Rev paul says:

            Carol I agree with you but the f bombs do not belong here

          2. Ronald Wolfe says:

            i agree the F bombs are signs of lack of grammer as they are offensive not to mention they grammically make no sense.

          3. Carol Amina says:

            For the record spell check messed up my statement…I meant to say “Another trump humper” and I didn’t use the F word…? So what are you talking about?

      5. Carol Amina says:

        Thank you SW! That’s what I’m thinking too! (Regarding Ronald Wolfe’s statement)

        1. Ronald Wolfe says:

          i dont see a SW in the post at all what are you referring to as to my statement?

          1. Carol Amina says:

            Above all these other posts…right under yours
            Quote:

            SW
            June 13, 2016 at 12:57 pm
            You sound like a Trump supporter. Let’s call PC what it is. It’s respect. To stop respecting and treating people with dignity is not a culture we want to cultivate.
            Love will win over Hate

          2. Ronald Wolfe says:

            sorry I dont see a SW post anywhere? regardless, Please dont take my post out of context. I am NOT a supporter of Trump Or Hillary. I think both are poor choices, and that is my free speech as it is mine to comment about Political corectness. Just listen to 99% of all poloticians they are afraid to speek their mind for fear it will hurt their poll numbers, they just tell you what you want to hear then do what they want when in office. Check history, use common sense. I Hate hearing the F bomb but I do respect that people have the right to use it. I can go elsewhere and away from the perons who says it or not read the comment, I would rather do that then take away that persons right to speak the way they feel. I dont feel anyone of us has the authority to tell someone how to speak or what it acceptable and what is not. I too dislike and dispse hateful speech but I do respect the person has the freedom to say it. If not who is to determine what is hateful or what is not and what is the truth and what is not. just reading the posts in here Shows that their are many different opinions on this and I respect that YOu and others have the right to post your opinions, right or wrong, hateful or peaceful. Yes it would be wonderful if everyone said wonderful loving peaceful things all the time but this is not a perfect world and sometimes the TRUTH needs to be said to solve and address REAL PRoblems

    2. Michael Clark says:

      I agree it is to soon to draw a conclusion as to why the man shot up the club.
      It could simply be jealousy and nothing to do with terrorist attack, even though the group claimed responsible.
      However statements blaming political issues are hindering a clear solution that the world needs in addressing the dissatisfaction and greed for power of a few (granted the numbers are not important).
      We all must stop being so single minded on the causes of the world crisis. Fear, is still one of the most destructive influence on man and a very old one.
      The fact that each attack was carried out by a handful of men and women that obviously seem connected to a known group that for some reason eludes the law, speaks volume of a greater concern, Who else should answer other than the known figure heads of that organization.
      The citizens of the world needs the truth and not just escape goats and payoffs.
      There is also monetary gains here or it would have been stopped.

      1. John Owens says:

        Too soon? He shot it up because he was a self-loathing homosexual muslim who was instigated by his FBI handlers to do it. Where’s the mystery here?

    3. Paul says:

      Based on what I have read about the shooter, there is no gun control laws that would have made any difference unless they made sure there was no such thing as armed security guards.

      This guy was an armed security guard, and could have just as easily been a police officer that committed this act of terrorism.

      Also functionally there is no difference between an AR15 and a hunting rifle, it just has an exposed magazine and a pistol grip. Fully auto was banned in the 1930’s because of Al Capone and other thugs.

      If people want to stop killings such as these, it will take removing people from the general population that express support for ISIL and other terrorist groups.
      That is because firearms are easy to get, even if banned. Also it could have just as easily been a bomb or other destructive device. Don’t be fooled into thinking that banning a physical item will stop a killer that is intent on doing mass harm to many as it will do nothing to stop them. What are we going to do ban everything from pressure cookers, pop bottles, clothes pins, toothpicks, cigarettes, and everything else that could be used to make a bomb or firearm? It might make a few feel safer, but make life harder for most of us.

      Besides it is better to stand up to your enemies and use our society to make life better for everyone, than to be on our knees waiting for them to cut our heads off.

      For a clearer idea of what I’m referrining to go to TheReligionOfPeace.org and it is clear what we are dealing with.

      1. Danny says:

        We need “Bullet Control”. Don’t sell bullets for guns. Don’t sell supplies for making such bullets.

        People with these pea-shooter guns do not have the power to resist the Federal US Military, National Guard or the Local Police.

        “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

        I have not needed a gun in my long lifetime, and do not expect to need one at all, ever.

      2. C.J. Hartman says:

        It’s about minimizing the damage done. An AR-15 is a narrow use tool intended for killing humans. Thus, if someone wants to do a lot of damage, it’s the perfect tool. A pressure cooker, even if somehow turned into a bomb, isn’t going to do the damage that a semi auto rifle would do. A pop bottle wouldn’t do the same damage either, nor anything else that you listed.

        I have heard the same argument over and over, if someone wants to do damage they will do damage, and I certainly agree with that statement. However, if you put a semi automatic rifle with 30 rounds in the magazine into the hands of a person that wants to cause damage, that person will cause more damage than if they didn’t have access to a narrow used tool designed specifically for killing humans.

        The data agrees with my statement. If you look at total deaths and injuries from spree killings (specifically in the U.S.) a trend arises. When a semi auto rifle is involved, more deaths and injuries usually result. The potential for damage is much greater with a weapon designed to kill people.

        Considering the fact that the FBI interviewed this person twice and he still legally purchased a firearm is ludicrous. Also, if you are on the no fly list, you shouldn’t have access to firearms.

        I am a gun owner. I grew up on a farm around guns. I advocate gun ownership with proper training, not the current instant gratification system that we have in the U.S. That system is ripe for disaster, as we have seen over and over. Until we do something to ensure that guns aren’t getting into the hands of the wrong people, we are going to continue to see violent acts like what happened in Orlando.

        1. John Owens says:

          I’m kinda with you, but since you can get on that no-fly list without any reason or recourse, that would take away your right to keep and bear, without giving you a reason or a recourse. That would make it a back-door 2nd Amendment killer. If we modify the rules about the no-fly list, that might work, but there has to be a demonstrable reason. We are supposed to be able to face our accusers. The government is into too much stuff without due process. The FBI is totally incompetent under the last several administrations, and this guy and Hillary are perfect evidence of that. The 911 hijackers should have been deported before that event.

          On a side note: the weapons that the citizens had as personal possessions in the time of the Revolutionary War were the same as the military. Not cannon, of course, but the rifles, handguns, and sabers.

          I see the problems being: unenforced immigration law, bureaucratic law enforcement rather than zealous, patriotic law enforcement, and the value of human life being downgraded, so that babies can be dismembered and sold for parts, one can kill another for different beliefs.

          The weapons are just tools. Mine have never killed a human or tried to kill one. The thorn stands ready to defend the rose, yet it is at peace and seeks no challenge.

          1. C.j. Hartman says:

            John,

            We definitely have a lot of common ground. I’m also fearful of what the govt is doing without due process. We are living in the age that the founding fathers of the U.S. dreaded as an inevitability. Unfortunately any chance of stopping this out of control govt seems impossible.

            I also agree that the weapons are just tools but putting a tool designed strictly for killing humans at arms reach is a recipe for disaster. We have seen how that turns out.

            Comparing late 18th/early 19th century weapons, saying that civilians had the same weapons, isn’t a fair comparison. The amount of damage a semi auto rifle can do vs the damage a Revolutionary War era rifle is incredible. Could Mateen have done that kind of damage with a musket?

            I am in the same boat as you, none of my rifles have hurt anyone, nor have I ever been in a position where the life of my family has been threatened, thank God.

            However, while you and I grew up with a respect for firearms, many others didn’t. The fact that anyone, regardless of training, can purchase these weapons on impulse is going to end badly, again and again.

            I am at loathe to use simile or metaphor, but the closest comparison I can find is a car. A car is a narrow use tool intended for transportation of people or goods. When I wanted to drive a car, I needed to go through a rigorous testing and probationary period before I was able to use one alone. A car is a potentially dangerous tool if used by someone that hasn’t been vetted by multiple experienced and licensed drivers.

            Why do I have to go through all this trouble? To protect me as well as others. I am very confused as to why i have to go through this process for a car but I can simply walk into a gun store and purchase a rifle with no formal training or licensing. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

        2. joe says:

          First of all the two pressure cooker bombs in Boston injured hundreds of people many permanently.
          An AR-15 is a semi automatic rifle no different than any such rifle available for over 100 years. Like many other things it only kills people when it’s in the hands of a killer.
          Go back to Lee Harvey Oswald who was clearly an enemy of the state.He killed Kennedy with a $20 mail order gun. In typical brainless liberal knee jerk fashion the focus went to the gun rather than the killer.
          Guns are no worse now than than then. And the brainless knee jerk liberals have the same reaction.
          It is time to focus on terrorists and criminals.
          The liberals have to go before that happens.

          1. Cj hartman says:

            3 civilians and one officer died due to two pressure cooker bombs at the Boston Marathon. 49 dead in Pulse massacre using semi auto rifle and handgun.

            You’re claiming that there is no difference in rifle technology in 100 years, that’s wrong.

            Lee Harvey Oswald is a presidential assassin, not a spree killer

            Liberals and conservatives both need to go, we need moderate leaders to bring our divided country back together.

          2. Cj hartman says:

            Hundreds of injuries is the exaggerated number. The death total for Boston marathon bombing is 5 with between 33-55 serious injuries. The Pulse attack killed 49. 49 people lost their lives. Two attackers with two makeshift pressure cooker bombs filled with nails and ball bearings, while horific, did not cause near the amount of deaths of a single man armed with a semi auto rifle.

            I cannot agree that there has been no advancement in firearms technology in 100 years, because there has been leaps and bounds.

            Next, not sure what a presidential assassination over 50 years ago has to do with the Orlando shooting. Just going to move past that one.

            Lastly, it’s both liberals and conservatives, driving their own personal agendas, funded by the monies of non elected officials, that already ruined this country. It’s both parties, both sides. We need logical, moderate representatives that properly understand the situation. The govt we have in power now is an atrocity. We are in desperate need of people who genuinely care about their fellow US citizens.

      3. Robert Hardy says:

        Amen , that is so true, someone who is bent on killing , will use any means they can , he could have easily blown himself up inside the club

        1. Cj Hartman says:

          Then that means he would have had to know how to build a bomb. Much more difficult than going to a shop and buying a rifle. Not to mention the fact that he’s much more likely to be caught building a bomb. It’s much much harder than it was twenty or even ten years ago to do a bomb plot.

      4. Kirk says:

        Well said!

    4. Bro. Jim Patterson says:

      Although homosexuality is a crime against God, and it is stated those will pay with their blood. It is up to the Lord to deal out the punishment, not Man.
      The weapon used was military style not military grade. The number of shots reportedly fired in the time frame was impossible . As with all the past massacres the facts are highly exacterated . Pray for the sinners that lost their lives, Pray that our Lord shows the terrorist the right way, Pray for the return of peace.

      1. Jehu says:

        Pray for your own disgusting self…..God thinks you are an ass. Read yor bible. Jesus was a homosexual

        1. Ronald Wolfe says:

          How do you know what God thinks? Please send where it says Jesus was a homosexual? I never saw that in the numourous times I read the bible cover to cover?

        2. Rev paul says:

          Man if you think Jesus was a homosexual you must be smoking something

      2. Carol Amina says:

        Your god, sound horrible and ignorant! Or is it that you believe that your god?
        Just because some Christian book says something dose not mean that the rest of us must buy it or go by it!

    5. Reverend Rachel says:

      It is truly a great tragedy for all of America and all my heart goes out to every victim, friend, and relative of all those involved. Secondly, have we had any more physics? I was surprised that so many shots were fired before he was stopped. How is it possible to have carried in unnoticed that large of a weapon and so so many bullets? It must have been that some victims were shot more than once and some bullets missed hitting anyone completely. He must have had time to change clips or reload? I am thinking back on building 7 World Trade Center, not to mention the first two and the physics of that also…then I saw online that Timothy McVeigh who did the OK bombing was seen on video in uniform at a US training facility where they trained for bombs before the event occurred. There are many inconsistencies I have seen and I question the quality of the media’s investigative reporting to put it tactfully. They all seem to be reading off of the same script. What stands out most is that this FL incident was done by someone who had all of his legal papers in order. How would gun control short of completely disarming the nation be effective? Police shoot many innocent people as well and we haven’t taken their guns yet. I am deeply concerned about all aspects of this issue. Thou shall not kill is great. Take away guns, and it will be back to bombs, trains, planes, or who knows what method of destruction they would choose…I don’t see that this type of control is a solution. I think that the bouncer should have had a weapon or any by stander could have tazed the guy from behind. I heard witnesses had said the shooter had been seen talking to other people. Did they check the trajectory of all the bullets? Did they have audio and try to check if more than one gun was fired? Did they collect all the shells and see that they all matched the same gun? God is telling me to tell you to tread with caution and I will pray that things are all brought to light and an effective solution can be found soon.

    6. Carol Amina says:

      This had nothing to do with where his family came from! Look at other mass shootings….most all were home born and bread American white Men…so if we follow your train of thought we should just kick white me with twisted religious minds out of the USA.

    7. Randy says:

      A least trump wants to protect our borders.a lot of y’all are gonna see the Moslem do not have our best interest. Look over seas there cutting the heads off Christians .and it is going to happen here in the United States. You will have to deny Christ or you will over you’re life it that simple.y’all will see soon how much y’all love the savior Jesus

      1. Carol Amina says:

        Randy
        Regarding your ignorant statements:

        A least trump wants to protect our borders.
        –Trump would sell us to the highest bidder if he could make a buck on it. He is all about business His business…if you believe otherwise then I’m sorry for you.

        a lot of y’all are gonna see the Moslem do not have our best interest.
        —Next the correct spelling is Muslim, and I doubt you know any personally. I do and find the have more charity, kindness and honesty in there nature than most so called christians I know.

        Look over seas there cutting the heads off Christians .
        —You must have missed world History as well as English in school. Christians have been killing people sense the time Jesus first came to be. I am pretty sure if the man named Jesus was able to communicate with us he would be appalled at what people do in his name. Those who are cutting heads off people are doing so to christian, jew and muslims. They are not muslims but radical popliteal motivated terrorists.

        and it is going to happen here in the United States.
        I would say trump is the devil if I believed in one, and people like you would follow him and do harm to anyone who won’t jump on his twisted hatful bandwagon.

        You will have to deny Christ or you will over you’re life it that simple.
        —Part of being an American is that I have the right to believe what I want to! It’s called freedom. I am not christian and came to this church because so called christians and there narrow hate-fullness hurt and oppressed me and my children.

        y’all will see soon how much y’all love the savior Jesus
        I won’t and I don’t and you can’t make me….lol (:-p)

  2. Rev Dodd says:

    Such a terrible tragedy. No matter the reason in the shooters head, NO ONE deserves to be killed, injured, or terrorized. Prayer go out to all victims, their families, friends, and community.

    1. Rev paul says:

      My prayers and condolences go out to the family and friends who lost love ones in the night club in florida

  3. SW says:

    It’s time that all religions who have not embraced all people, stop the hatred towards the LGBTQ2 community.
    I explore all clergy to step up and walk in unity with the LGBTQ2 community to send a message that God loves everyone.
    My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and of us in the LGBTQ2 community.

    1. Larry says:

      God loves the Sinner But has told the sinner he Hates the sin!! All will Die who violate Gods Commands.

      1. Rev paul says:

        Amen Larry good post

      2. Carol Amina says:

        Your god is small and your small minded! Shame on you calling yourself a minister….shame on anyone who thinks the killing of people just because they don’t follow you form of religion…..you are the kind of person who lead me to run away from Christianity ….I wasted 15 years of my life trying to find the love and forgiveness in the Christian church…and I found none!
        So now I have peace at last…

    1. Danny says:

      That is a specific SMALL group. It is not “Many”.

    2. C.J. Hartman says:

      One group does not equal many. The NRA advertisement banners on their website triggers my lack of credibility sensors.

      The group advocates doing something but then gives no suggestions, no solutions.

      To me, it reads like they are in the NRAs pocket, like much of the U.S. Congress, and shouldn’t be taken as a serious source. Instead, they appear to be just another puppet of a puppet in the pockets of gun manufacturers.

  4. Mega says:

    So sad for the harmless muslims out there. 2 steps forward and cos of delusional retards…10 steps back.

    1. Dave Graves Laughlin says:

      Be sure to talk about the non-problem, stupid. Thanks for saying nothing at all.

  5. Gary Shade says:

    Michael Clark
    June 13, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    “I agree it is to soon to draw a conclusion as to why the man shot up the club.
    It could simply be jealousy and nothing to do with terrorist attack, even though the group claimed responsible.”

    Are you kidding Michael? The shooter in his own words provided motive in his call to 911 yet you say it’s “too soon” to draw a conclusion? How about we take Omar Mateen at his word?

    1. C.J. Hartman says:

      Mateen faced bullying at his workplace for being Muslim. He claimed to be connected to a handful of random organizations, some that are anything but friendly to each other, to scare his bullies. After the FBI’s investigation, they found no links to any of these organizations.

      We have another example of a young man that felt like an outcast, the same genesis of so many of the terrible spree killings in the U.S. We need to examine the root causes of this problem and figure out how to prevent it from happening again in the future. Otherwise, it will continue to repeat in various iterations. The variables may change a little but the actor will remain virtually he same.

  6. hsw says:

    Some call thoughts and prayers “platitudes.” Today I call them all we’ve got. The solutions aren’t simple, and they aren’t going to happen today. Let’s just all take some time and send prayers, healing light, whatever is within your belief system, to those directly affected, and all who have been harmed by this horrific act.

    Solutions – we have to work on them – but first let those who have lost loved ones, and those sitting at the bedside of loved ones, take time to grieve and to heal.

  7. Kirk says:

    The NRA doesn’t want lunatics like the Orlando shooters (two separate shootings there) to have guns. They are an advocasy group for the Second ammendment and gun safety. The FBI screwed the pooch in this case. Prayers for the dead and wounded!!!

  8. James says:

    What makes me even angrier is that a politician (I forget who) actually posted a comment about the lbgt community “reaping what they sow” implying that they deserved to be shot because of their lifestyle. What kind of insensitive bs is that…

    1. Paul says:

      There is motivation into the killing just because these were gay people, but it could have easily been any other group of people that in the sick guys head that could have just as easily been killed.

      This fact that it was a hate motivated killing should not be overlooked, and anyone saying that it was justified is the reason we have killings such as this. However, I see it that stopping people that are going to go on a killing spree such as this by any means is justified.

      It was Gays this time, but what other group of people will it be next time? We really do not know for sure, but we do know the killer was legally allowed to carry a loaded firearm at all times as part of his job, same as a police officer in most places.

      What is needed is people working together to stop people before they go out and do such things, there were many things that should have lead the FBI to consider him a threat such as the political views of his father and his own views as expressed on aired programs in New York. I know a few that have been through security clearance checks and those things would have come up and many other things as well if he was going to get a job, but why not the same screening if this guy was going to be an armed guard?

  9. zardoz says:

    well the guy was investigated 3 times by feds! and was able to obtain after being investigated a license to get that type of weapon and it is not a automatic weapon folks, i rounds only come out as fast as you can pull the trigger, want to stop such things from those that follow Islam? the run them out of this country before it turns into another middle east unless of course that is what you want and no i am no Trump supporter

    1. C.J. Hartman says:

      You are unfortunately painting Muslims with a broad brush stroke and that’s a mistake. Saying things like “…run them out of this country…” is the root of the ideology that has caused us so many problems. Don’t be surprised when your words end up on an ISIS recruitment highlight reel. Stop feeding the fire they are trying to create. You cannot stop hate with more hate, only create backlash and more hatred.

      How can we fight an ideology that has grown from Western Powers exploiting the Muslim World? Banning Muslims from the country certanly isn’t the way to do it.

  10. pastor powell says:

    My English is real good and the nonle said to be decieved.and a Dr John posted Jesus was gay. Wow.that a abomination.the bible dont say no we’re front to back Jesus was gay.in fact it said a man that would lay with a man is aabomination.and for that man to call our savior gay.he brought judgement open his on soul.and get it right the church show welcomed all that’s sin.and to rebuke the homosexuial feelings Satan has put in you.cause God didn’t make no body gay.that’s the lie Satan told the world.homosexuality is from Satan and the pits of hell .get the bible a read it and while you read it pray God touches you’re heart to call out on Jesus. Pastor Powell.

    1. Britney Powell says:

      My husband I LOVE you so much!!!! GOD loves for preachers to speak the TRUTH!!!!!!

    2. Mega says:

      Your english is crap and you are delusional

      1. sont143 says:

        Agreed!

    3. Paul says:

      Actually I have studied about hell, and there is no easy answer to what it is. There are the fires on the outside of the city where the garbage and dead bodies of the poor were burned years ago. Also it is said that we have to overcome the pits of hell to be able to think, as in passing over Da’ath as part of salvation.

      The abomination of a man lying with another man in The Bible is that: Man should not have sexual relations with his own son, nor should a son want sexual relations with his father. This is quite clear…

      Keep in mind that being human is taking a bite out of the fruit of hidden knowledge and learning what is right from what is wrong. There is a spiritual journey in The Bible open to all that are willing to accept that path.

      1. Danny says:

        History lesson:

        Hell was invented by the Catholic church circa 1250 CE.
        The sold “Indulgences”, essentially “Get Out of Torture Free” cards.

        The Jews who wrote nearly all of the Christian Bible still do not believe in Hell.

        1. Danny says:

          *They sold …

    4. hsw says:

      So when a shooter walks into a church and opens fire, what judgement is that? “Pastors” like you are the reason people are leaving the churches.

    5. Aryl says:

      I like how we agree that the shooter is an awful person for killing people because he is angry but pastor powell says when god does that exact same thing, killing people because he got pissed off, it’s fine. Your god is a murderous, petty child unworthy of worship

    6. Ruth says:

      I totally agree with everything you just saiid and with that being said I don’t believe the attack was from a terrorist but from a guy that just dumper by his partner and in a fit of rage went to the club and started shooting in hopes to kill his partner and his partners new friend.

  11. Tom Jaynes says:

    Stop the hate! If we do not hate gays, we hate the people that shoot them. If if we do not hate abortion and those who provide them, we hate those who kill them. No religion teaches hate. And for those that have no religion, hate is taught. Hate does not come naturally. Yet, it is one of the most irrational of all human emotions. We must stop blaming gays, immigrants, people of other religions and anyone different than ourselves just because our lives suck. Our lives suck because of choices we alone made for ourselves. Eliminating all these “others” will not improve the quality of our own personal lives one whit. This is the 21st century and it is way past time for us to start acting like grownups and not scared little children. I apologize for sounding so angry, but I am livid. Shame on us all!

    1. Paul says:

      True, and yet as a child a child hates that they are denied things by their parents and others. How they are taught is the key factor, how do they act towards others as they grow up and become adults, and also how they act as being part of the Faithful and how they act as Priests of their faith.

      The main problem that I see is far too many are looking for easy answers and solutions to complex problems that requires them getting involved in ways that take time and make them feel uncomfortable. So what do they do… Blame others instead of working together with others to find solutions to life’s problems.

      They vote for someone and want them to be their father figure and take care of problems that they should be solving themselves, and get upset and blame others because the world is not acceptable to them…

      If people want a world acceptable to them, they must as our forefathers before us did and create that world, as there are no others in this world that will do that for us… As others will only create the world according to what they want.

  12. sont143 says:

    I am glad to see the ULC come out against this dastardly act. However, I too, cannot blame Islam, or even guns for this occurrence. We do need gun control. Guns are necessary in many areas of the US where people would eat a great deal less without the means to hunt. However, the mentally ill, those with prior convictions, and those who cannot prove proficiency in handling weapons should not have access to them and I have not yet seen any use for automatic weapons. At the same time, I cannot help but go back to some of the vitriolic comments I have seen on other ULC discussions about the LBGTQ community. The word “abomination” is used quite often–usually by Christians. It appears to me that we as ministers of a non-denominational, non-Christian organization should be better than that. The Bible is not the document that determines ULC beliefs, so please stop using it to justify hatred. You are committing the same error that is made by those who interpret the Quran as a means to murder. God, Gaia, the Universe, or whoever forgive you.

  13. Richard McKee says:

    So all of you second amendment haters, of which this church tends to espouse, we have a great and free country due to the FACT that we can keep and bear arms. Question, what if someone or several people at the Pulse nightclub had been armed? It might not have made a difference, but we will never. know. Better to be able to defend oneself and ones family then to become a victim of crime. As a member of the NRA and a certified firearms instructor I just know but dont understand the hateful attack against guns. Did guns stop the shooter? A person with a gun is best stopped by another responsibility armed individual.
    Prayers are great and it changes lives, but too late for those who are dead and dying. I refuse to be a victim of crime and will defend myself and my family with me last breath.
    Did not Christ say “Sell your goods and buy a sword” He meant I think for self protection.
    We must assemble a crusade against the evil that is ISIS and eliminate them from this earth.

    1. Paul says:

      From what I’m seeing people fear firearms because just as the bolt of a crossbow, or an arrow shot from the God Apollo. Someone dies and does not need to be as close as to cause death with that of a sward.

      In that the person that does the killing does not need to be physically stronger than ones opponent. This means a disabled person can equally defend themselves to someone that is much more powerful.

      Glad that you are helping people to defend themselves, as this is said to be one of the basic human rights of free people everywhere.

    2. Aryl says:

      there were armed guards at the night club. They were completely useless. The good guy with a gun myth is complete stupidity. Also imagine if patrons were armed. The cops show up and all they know is there is a shooter, and suddenly there are many people with guns drawn and several shooting (trying to get the first shooter). Now the situation is more chaotic than if only the one guy had a gun. Didn’t really think any of this through at all, huh?

    3. Pamela J Manyfielf says:

      2nd 2nd Years ago people relied on the church to supply their spiritual, emotional and social needs. There was prayer in the schools ( public and private) and children were disciplined at school, at home and by the neighbors before you got home. America has removed God from their money bed and without God this is what happens. We are in the last days. As it says in 2nd Timothy 3:2 Men will be lovers of themselves… Everyone is out for what they can get and they get it by any means ( living, cheating, stealing and murder). America violates the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God. Everyone ask “what is this world coming too”. If you read your bible and understand what you have read, you’ll know. 2nd Chron 7:14 tells us what we need to do for our land to be healed. I’m praying for this nation to turn from their wicked ways, to seek God in all they do and always give Him who created all things the Glory He deserves.
      Sent from my iPhone

      On Jul 6, 2016, at 7:01 AM, Universal Life Church wrote:

    4. C.J. Hartman says:

      Assembling crusades is what got us into this mess in the first place.

      ISIS exists because the U.S. knee jerked into removing Saddam Hussein from power. After that, a government with no legitimacy took his place. If you study Middle Eastern history, it becomes painfully obvious as to the result of these actions. When there is a power vacuum, someone will step in to fill it. ISIS exists because of actions like the one you suggested.

      You cannot fight an ideological battle with conventional weaponry. You cannot bomb someone into forgetting the past. Hate and violence will create more hate and more violence. We need to break the cycle of pain that we have mindlessly been repeating.

  14. Maren Aspaas says:

    I wrote this in December 2015 after another mass shooting. I feel the same now. When we will have Enough?

    Enough senseless deaths
    Enough tragedies
    Enough bloody Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays
    Enough lives lost
    Enough mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters dead
    Enough little babies in their classrooms
    Enough teenagers begging for their lives
    Enough tears
    Enough trauma
    Enough grief

    I think we have enough guns now
    I think we have enough guns to cause death, tragedy, blood, tears, grief
    I think we have enough guns to kill whoever we want
    Whenever we want
    However we want
    You’ve proven your point

    This experiement is now OVER
    Enough INSANITY

    Now is the time for run-of-the-mill Mondays
    Now is the time for settling arguments with words, reason, and hearts
    Now is the time for safety for all
    Now is the time to go to work, go to school, travel
    Now is the time to pray and worship in peace
    Now is the time to restore our dignity
    Now is the time to embrace kindness and love
    Now is the time to put down the weapons of war
    Now is the time to make it stop
    Make it stop
    Make it stop

    Enough is ENOUGH.
    Enough
    –Maren Aspaas

  15. Stevie says:

    Regardless of his (intentions) who he targeted, what he had an issue with… Anymore it could be as simple as someone didn’t like your hair style!! I believe what this is really about is Mental Illness! This country has almost eliminated all programs for the mentally ill… Some people it’s as simple as a chemical issue in the brain – but regardless. Statistics have shown over the past 15 years mental illness has grown to be close to 1 out of 6 people have some sort of mental illness (which is a large spectrum of types) and not all of course are dangerous! There are often early signs, which are toften dismissed as a phase or they don’t have a clue what to do or where to go?! Even if they did know, all specialized programs available, whether through schools or public programs are no longer available! So unless you can afford the $150.00 per hour fee (and that’s on the low end) there isn’t help available! I hear people All the time about how it shouldn’t be the governments problem, that it would just increase taxes….on and on! That it shouldn’t be the publics problem and it shouldn’t be their responsibilitie to fund it. When dealing with mental illness as we have seen over the past years of these type of issue with shooting and killing innocent people – yes it’s everyone’s problem! Not ALL people with mental health issues are dangerous, obviously. That’s why it’s important to know what to look for – AND programs in place to receive the help they need.. If we do not begin to recognize this and begin to put programs in place affordable to all who need it – this is going to continue to grow in frequency!
    Dr. D, PhD

    1. Rev. Crankie says:

      Dr. D, PhD you are spot on. Reagan era release and closure of asylums was the beginning of our society’s neglect for our fellow humans in need. The atrocities of today are a direct result of our failure to protect the afflicted and our felloe humankind.

  16. ultimatesmurfgod aka Minister Brien says:

    Many times I have put myself outside the pail, trying to put understanding to topics that bear no reason or thought. This is a somber day for many families who will never again be able to hold their loved ones. They were not part of any war, nor were they involved with any violence, but instead were out together in one place celebrating life. These people did not know one another save for the fact of being in the same place celebrating what life had to offer. In one sadistic cruel moment their lives were cut short by someone who had no joy in his heart, only bigotry and hatred for others. Now the families of our lost brothers and sisters know each other not for the celebrations that their loved ones put forth, but instead for the cruelty of one individual. It saddens me to see that the six degrees of separation that was built on love and togetherness is now forever stamped with pain and sorrow.
    It is easy to have a political opinion. It is easy to sit in your armchair and point fingers. Do you really think ANY of that matters to the families that are now living one of the darkest moments in our history?
    Maybe we should offer our love to them, maybe we should help them, maybe we should at least pray for them.
    We should not make their pain the subject for debate. I find that to be almost as cruel. If you cannot understand what I have put forth here today, maybe the veil is a little to thick for you. Please rise above it. The pain is real. It is not a discussion nor a debate.
    My hopes and prayers go out to the families that have been devastated by this horrific event. I ask the god that I believe in to keep the souls of those we lost in his warm embrace. Amen.

  17. Keith reilly says:

    I find it sad that here as with the news your article is spreading a lie a flat out scare tactic and it is done constantly. If an Armerlite model 15 was used the shooter would not have needed 13 reloads.and clips because that or an AK 47 semi auto can take magazines that hold many more rounds.the person that kills like this will do it regardless of what any gun law will do .almost every gun made now and in the past can be fitted to look like one of them guns.I enjoy hunting and took my kids out when they were old enough taught them that gun safety was the most important thing also that if you shoot an animal it is to be eaten. You may not agree with me but please tell the truth don’t spread lies and half truths to fit a wrong agenda I pray we are above this yours in The Lord Keith

    1. Ron L. says:

      Keith, semi-automatic weapons have no place in the hands of regular people. Do you teach your kids to hunt with semi-auto weapons? Maybe teach them to hunt with a real gun (rifle), not some military-grade high-tech killing tool.

      1. Jim says:

        Oh, Ron L. You really have been lied to entirely too much.

        The only semi-auto firearm the military uses on a regular basis is their sidearm, a Beretta M-9, which is virtually the same as the Beretta 92FS. General purpose rifles used by the military are select-fire, meaning the user can select between semi-auto and either full-auto or 3-round burst, depending on the rifle. AR-15 type rifles sold to the general public are semi-auto only… one pull of the trigger results in one bullet leaving the gun. If a private citizen has a full-auto firearm, and does not have all of the extremely expensive and time-consuming documentation that must accompany such a firearm, that citizen is breaking the law. In other words, THEY ARE A CRIMINAL.

  18. John "Born Again" Hancock says:

    Children of the same universe????? Who do you think created the universe?
    God Jehoveh……turn to him before it is too late.

  19. Dave Graves Laughlin says:

    This article is nothing but a ball of willfully ignorant regressive leftist nonsense. Yeah, the fucking problem is only ISIS (I’m not going to use ISIL, the adopted pet nickname Obama likes to give to ISIS because he thinks calling something by a different name makes it go away, mainly because he’s a fucking moron like you people), it’s not like this kind of “kill the gays” and “kill the kuffar” isn’t a fundamental part of the Qur’an and Sunnah, or that Muslims haven’t been doing this kind of shit for 1400 goddamn years – nope, it’s brand new, popped up before we could even get our pants on. Then you go to do the same stupid bullshit that every regressive wants to do: “Quick, somebody mention guns so we don’t have to talk about the actual problem!” I’m sure those guns were marching into that night club to kill gays on their own, and Omar was actually trying to hold them back, but they dragged him in, right? Guns are manufactured from homophobic iron ore, right? The fucking NRA held a sermon and told Omar to kill gay people, right? People intent on breaking the law are going to worry about breaking a gun law, right? You people are as dumb as a fucking bag of hammers.

    1. Cj Hartman says:

      Does anyone actually moderate these comments? Seems to me that all this divisive hate speech doesn’t belong on ULC.

      1. Cj hartman says:

        I’m praying for you bud. Hope you find a way to let go of all the anger and hate you are carrying around.

        1. Dave Graves Laughlin says:

          Wow, thanks a bunch! We all know how scientifically supported and effective the prayers of the retarded are. Hell, I feel different already, like I want to frolic with a dozen puppies in a field of daisies because some random asshole took the time to try to cast a magic spell in my direction. It takes a lot more than this article and your vapid nonsense to make me waste an emotion like hate, but anger is a different story – it certainly does anger me when dumb shits like you think you have the authority to determine what constitutes “hate speech,” along with collective dumb shits (including yourself) muddying the waters and throwing out red herrings because the lot of you don’t have the fucking balls to address the actual issues head on because you’re shit-scared of being labeled something and being triggered. You and your ilk are a cancer upon society, and I hope your brand of stupidity goes the way of the dodo before you poison the discourse with yet more of your cultural Marxist bullshit.

          1. Cj Hartman says:

            still sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. I hope you figure out a way from this dark reality you created for yourself brother.

  20. Jim says:

    One of the worst tragedies in our nation’s history. I don’t care what the victims look like or what lifestyle they lived. They were innocents, and they were murdered by an evil person. BUT FOR GOODNESS SAKE, CAN WE STOP BLAMING GUNS?!?!

    In countries where guns are strictly prohibited, we see similar atrocities. Bad guys can always get guns, so more gun control laws don’t help. Bad guys make bombs from materials that can be purchased almost anywhere. Bad guys have access to explosives that they purchase from other bad guys. Most people wouldn’t have a clue as to where to go to buy a brick of C-4. I know I don’t. Paris, Brussels, Istanbul… the list goes on, and will continue to go on until the threat of evil is stopped. In China the big thing now is stabbings. People are getting killed left and right by evil-doers with blades of every shape and size.

    Guns are not to blame. I own several guns, one if which is an AR-15. My guns have never killed anyone. Are my guns good, and are the guns used by the Orlando shooter evil? Of course not. Guns are inanimate objects. Untouched by human hands, they have the ability to kill no one. My guns don’t kill because I don’t kill. An evil person will always find a way to commit evil acts.

    More gun control laws are not the answer. There is no law that has ever prevented a crime… EVER! We have laws against murder, rape, theft, kidnapping, assault, extortion, racketeering, speeding, drunk driving, spitting on the sidewalk, etc. And yet, with all these laws, these crimes take place every day. Laws tell us what we are not allowed to do, and what will happen us if we violate them anyway AND get caught. So who do these laws actually work on? Law-abiding citizens. People who would never think of going on a shooting spree in a nightclub for any reason. These are the people that would be adversely affected by more gun control laws, not criminals.

    It is estimated there were approximately 320 people in the Orlando nightclub just prior to the shooting. What would have happened if just one percent were armed? Would innocent lives still have been lost? Most assuredly, but maybe it would not have been 49 of them.

    Okay, enough ranting about gun control. I’m sure the argument is lost on most people anyway. We should be focusing on the evil that exists in the minds and hearts of others. We need to turn them around. Not necessarily to adopt our way of life, but to learn to be far more tolerant of others beliefs, lifestyles, genders, colors, religions, and any other differences that exist between us all. That is the true path to enlightenment.

    1. Ron L. says:

      Jim, I’m sure you also support people on the NO-FLY list from accessing guns too, right? How is that possibly justified?

      1. Jim says:

        Actually, I do not support the NO-FLY list or the “terror watch” list at all. People on those lists are being denied their constitutional right to due process. They have no opportunity to face their accusers, examine evidence against them, bring forth evidence in their favor, or have a trial by jury. Their rights are simply taken from them. If a person is suspected of terrorism, arrest them, charge them, and take your chances in court. There are people on the NO-FLY list just because they pissed off the wrong person. Many people don’t even know they are on the list. They are not officially notified. They find out when they try to board a plane. And it can take years and thousands of dollars to get off that list.

        More specifically to your questions of people on the NO-FLY list accessing guns, I refer back to my first post. If they are criminals, they will always find a way to illegally get guns. Laws do not stop crimes from being committed. There are people on the NO-FLY list that have never committed a crime. The question you should be asking is: Should we deny American citizens their constitutional rights based on an unconstitutional list?

        1. Cj hartman says:

          The people doing spree killings are usually not criminals, do not come from criminal backgrounds, and do not have criminal connections.

          I understand that there will be mistakes on the no fly list. I am also aware that people are being denied the right to a fair trial. I agree wholeheartedly that both of those problems need to be resolved. However, people with no criminal ties are buying guns legally and causing massive destruction. That is the issue that we have to address.

          1. Jim says:

            I hear you, CJ, and I can agree to a point. But we have a society where people are killed by drunk drivers every day, in spite of the laws against drunk driving. No one bans alcohol or cars. We have a society where people die of tobacco related diseases every day. No one bans tobacco products. We have a society where people die of obesity related diseases every day. No one bans fast food and soda. We had a 10-year ban on “high capacity” magazines (another misnomer) and “assault” rifles (a term made up by the Clinton administration), and the result as determined by the FBI was that the ban made absolutely no difference. And yet, the gun control crowd wants bans like this again. Why? It did nothing the first time. What makes them think it will be different this time? IT WON”T. GET OVER IT.

            All right. Enough about the inefficacy of gun control. The focus should be on the fact that there are evil people in the world. We need to find them. We need to appeal to them to change their way of acting. I don’t care if someone thinks homosexuality is wrong. There are lots of things people think are wrong, and they are free to think that way. But they need to respect the fact that their thinking cannot translate into action that violates the rights of others. So if folks want to go around hating gay people, straight people, black people, white people, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, tall people, short people, fat, thin, young, old, smart, dumb,… whatever, go ahead and think it. I could care less. Just don’t act on it in a way that violates someone else’s right to live their life the way they want. If they do act, be prepared to face the consequences.

          2. Cj Hartman says:

            Jim I really think we are coming from a similar place. All of those are important issues that America needs to come together to solve as a unified people.

            I would be interested to read the FBI’s study into the impacts of gun legislation in the past 20 year. I’m actually going to go read it after I finish this message.

            I do see a few points where I don’t agree though. The first is that concepts like evil are invented by man to demonize its enemies. We have to see people for what they are: individual actors inspired by individual circumstances. People are, at worst, misguided. Spree killers, and I have studied them individually at length, are usually bullied, socially isolated, and mentally unstable. They are a product of their environment, their lives, and it led them to that point.

            Here I think we are in agreement, but correct me if I’m wrong: the focus should be on mental health. Helping people to get out of the dark fantasy they are creating in their own minds. Accomplishing that feat is going to be a truly daunting task that will take us generations and it will take understanding of the root causes of these tragedies.

            The data I have examined suggests that killing sprees done with semi auto rifles will leave more dead and more injured. Until we can figure out how to solve the underlying mental health issue, I don’t think that we should allow anyone such easy access to narrow use tools designed to kill humans. I’m not saying deny access entirely but restrictions need to be in place to guarantee that these tools don’t end up in the wrong hands, like in the case of Omar Mateen.

            Also, harboring hate in your heart for others shouldn’t be acceptable, instead we should teach people to appreciate differences, to love each other. The same theme that ties together all major spiritual thought within human history. The golden rule.

            Lastly, these spree killers rarely face consequences; many are killed before they can face the reality of what they wrought.

            Anyways Jim I’m going to go look into that FBI study you mentioned. Thanks for the lead!

      2. joe says:

        The devil is in the details. They use buzz phrases like”ban assault rifles” when in fact real assault rifles are not available.Stop terrorists from buying guns.If you can identify a terrorist than deal with the terrorist!
        The legislation they are selling is always just another assault on our rights.

    2. Cjh says:

      There was an armed security guard at the nightclub and it didn’t help.

      If Mateen attacked Pulse and everyone was armed it could have been much worse once the police arrived.

      The fact remains that a strong possibility exists, and the data on spree killings agrees, that if the shooter didn’t have access to that caliber of firearm, this tragedy would have killed fewer people.

      Omar Mateen wasn’t a criminal before he committed the atrocity. He did not have connections to terrorist funding. He was a U.S. born citizen that legally purchased a firearm and used it to kill people in a U.S. nightclub.

      You say that we see similar tragedies in countries with stricter gun control laws and the data suggests that is incorrect. we simply don’t see the high amount of deaths and injuries so consistently.

  21. JR says:

    It is unfortunate that you (and media in general) have depicted the problem as an issue of gun control. Ready access to firearms has been a staple of American life for a long time (my personnel knowledge only covers the last 50-60 years). One must ask ones self why mass shootings have become more prevalent, when in general gun access and availability has become more restrictive (Florida may in fact be one of the few exceptions). In absolutely no cases in the U.S. has gun access become easier.

    While I am sure there are many complex factors at play, it would be helpful to address what has changed (e.g., the internet, first person shooter video games) vice what has not changed (e.g., accessibility of firearms). The twitter fed internet universe has had the effect of glamorizing outrageous behavior and banning high capacity magazines will simply force the desperate & lost individual to seeks alternatives (e.g., Timothy McVeigh) on the internet. Hollywood and the video game industry have continued to glamorize action which includes substantial death and destruction, without focusing on the real-world consequences of that action.

    1. Ron L. says:

      JR, see my comment above. It sounds like you also support people on the NO-FLY list accessing guns too, right? How is that possibly justified?

    2. Cj Hartman says:

      Abuse, mental illness, and social isolation are the primary recurring elements in these cases. Media is a minor factor, if it played an impact at all. More likely is that enjoying these forms of media can potentially be a symptom of an underlying issue.

      Mass shootings have become more prevalent due to the increase in these three factors. The next step is to look at why these factors have increased. I have my theories but they focus more on increased stressors of modern life.

      I do agree that the Internet has dramatically changed the social landscape of the U.S. and not necessarily for the better. The instant gratification society that we live in is fueled by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Everyone is the star of their own life and thus the value of others decreases in relation. A tool for communication is now driving us further apart. By genuinely reconnecting with others, caring about each other, following the golden rule, we might actually have a chance to heal our wounded society.

  22. hindu2u says:

    This truly a very sad thing that has plagued us. We are always searching for cure of cancer and other diseases, we need to start focusing on this disease of hatred,and jealousies. Our duties as religious leaders of our society need to preach love exception and peace.

  23. Rhonda says:

    As I read all these comments I hear opinions from far right to far left. Religious and non religious. The fact is…there are many people who are dead and others who are mortally wounded and families grieving. All the arguing and name calling isn’t changing the facts. Do I believe the shooter and his wife were members of radical Islam…YES…do I believe all Muslims are bad…NO! Do I think ALL people should have guns..NO..DO I believe our 2nd amendment rights should be protected at all costs? YES!!!! There is no easy answer and there is no one right answer. DO I think we will l see more events like this…ABSOLUTELY> …THis is not about being nice…or PC or republican or democrat…this is a big sign of the times. There have been a lack of moral backbone in this country for some time…im not saying anything about a choice of lifestyle ect so don’t call me a homophobe because I’m not. I’m talking about self responsibility and accountability. There are always excuses why little Johnny does this or that. I know about severe mental illness. I lost a daughter to suicide so don’t give me that argument either. There are millions of MI folks and very few of them go out and do mass killings. The ideology of these radicals, that believe that anyone that isn’t….them,… will not be overcome by politicians, legislation or juvenile sit ins. This has been something that has been coming for many, many years. All we can di is be awake…aware and try to do the right things.
    I carry a weapon at all times. I have been raped and a victim and will never be that again. I have the gun with me …even at church. I have that right and will do what I can to protect myself and others…even at the cost of my own life. I don’t live in fear ….I just live and that is what can fight this evil that tsurrounds us. I have faith that …this too shall pass. Love overcomes hate every time…but I’m not so naïve to think there is no evil in this world

    I am a midwife and helped a beautiful muslim woman with her birth not long after 9-11. I pray every day for her families safety. There is good and bad in very group, religion, family, and political side. Do I think there are people who hate our freedoms and constitution…YES…DO I think they will win? I HOPE NOT. Th division that is clear …even in this dialogue is very sad. I have a lesbian niece and am not predudice against different races or groups. I DO NOT think just because a person is a part of a minority group they should have special privileges either. We have enough laws. You can not regulate every action and breath a personhas. Again I believe in SELF RESPONSIBILITY AND CONSEQUENSE…NOO EXCUSES OR WHINNING PLEASE! AMEN AND AMEN!!!

  24. DanCaspian says:

    Freedom of speech is theorist to speak out against the government without worry of the govt coming to get you.

  25. Paul says:

    How about before we created more gun laws we actually enforce the ones we already have. I am a lifetime member of the NRA. And contrary to what this so called universal church says it is not easy to just go get a AR like picking up a gallon of milk. There is a background check. It’s maybe not perfect but in a free country there will be extremist that can cause havock, but this is still the greatest country on the planet (I would say here is more people trying to get in this country than any other. So if it’s gun control you want perhaps you might prefer to live in another country like France, oh yea it is very difficult to get a gun there and that didn’t stop the carnage created by terrorist they still got guns didn’t they? He church also wrote about 1000 mass shootings in the US I can’t find any statistics to back that up more leftist propaganda

    1. Ron L. says:

      What about gun fairs?? No background checks there. And how about passing a law barring people on the no-fly list from buying a weapon??

      1. Cj hartman says:

        While I certainly am in favor of closing the loophole that allows people to purchase a gun at gun shows without a background check there has been no known spree killings done with a rifle purchased at gun shows.

        1. Ron L. says:

          And no-fly lists? I’m legitimately interested what the argument is against closing that loophole, too.

          1. Cj hartman says:

            The argument against no fly is that the govt will use that as a means to indiscriminately bypass 2nd amendment rights without due process.

            I’m in favor of both though Ron. No fly list no gun and all sellers require licensing as well as background checks for any potential buyers.

      2. Jim says:

        Hi, Ron L.
        Sorry, but you are incorrect about background checks at gun shows. Every federally licensed firearm dealer must perform a background check on every buyer unless the gun is being sold to another licensed dealer, or the gun is classified as an antique (made before 1899).

        I think you’re talking about what many incorrectly refer to as the “gun show loophole.” Federal law allows a person to sell a long arm (rifle or shotgun) to another person as long as both parties reside in the same state, and both parties must be legally allowed to own firearms. Any transactions that involve handguns and/or that occur between parties residing in different states must go through licensed dealers.

        Now, it is true that some vendors at gun shows are not federally licensed dealers, and they are only allowed to sell long arms to people that reside in the same state as them. Unfortunately the ATF gives only a vague definition as to the difference between a private citizen selling a firearm or two out of a collection and a person engaged in the business of selling firearms as income. The following is from the ATF’s rule book:

        “The term ‘dealer’ is defined at 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(11)(A) to include any person engaged in the
        business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail. The term ‘engaged in the business’ as applied
        to a dealer in firearms means a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in
        firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and
        profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms. A dealer can be ‘engaged in the
        business’ without taking title to the firearms that are sold. However, the term does not include a
        person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of
        a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms.
        18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(21)(C).”

        Honestly, I would prefer a hard and fast number to differentiate between vocation and avocation. Ten per year, one per month, whatever… anything is better than the term “occasional.” People that are renting table space at a gun show are not “occasionally” selling a firearm. They are making money and should be licensed.

        It’s okay, Ron L. It’s not your fault. The anti-rights media and anti-rights politicians lie to you as they do to the general public every day. How are you supposed to know? I’m guessing you don’t own any guns, which is okay too. That’s your right.

  26. Rev. Donna says:

    I agree completely with Universal Life Church. All people are precious & mutual respect is necessary for all. I too, believe that all human life is equal, valuable, and must be protected.

  27. ultimatesmurfgod says:

    Wow, I am truly frightened by what I have read here today. Somehow, this horrible tragedy has turned from the actions of a truly evil and hate filled person to everyone else personal spin on politics. I made a post above that I had hoped would be read and understood by people of good faith and consciousness but I see now that the world I wish to live in does not exist anymore. Ok, so I need to live in this world now, or leave it….I am just not ready to go yet. In keeping with the personal spins on this subject that all of you seem to subscribe to, allow me to throw my opinion around like so much trash that I have seen in this blog so far…ready?

    Guns killing people….an experiment.
    The accepted thought is that guns kill people. That being said, it follows that we as a society should ban these items. I do not think that goes far enough. I would like to add to that list knives, bats, bottles, (the glass variety), swimming pools, cars, motor cycles, and alll substances which have been shown to cause death.

    Since we are dealing with the subject of guns, I offer the following experiment. This experiment was witnessed, (my friend did try hard not to scoff at this), just so I could have another opinion.
    Here is the set up: One pistol, .38 special, box of .38 hollow point rounds, my living room with a clear view of the front door.
    I first started this experiment by taking the weapon listed above out of its’ locked case. I laid the weapon on my coffee table and I told it to shoot my friend. The weapon either did not hear me or chose to ignore me because it did not shoot my friend.
    My friend suggested that maybe it needed bullets. I modified the above experiment by placing a box of bullets next to the weapon. I then in a pleasant voice asked it very nicely to please load itself and if it would not mind shooting my friend.
    The weapon again chose to ignore my requests opting instead to just lay there. I concluded that it was because the weapon liked my friend and refused to shoot him on tat basis.
    Modifying this experiment one more time I opened my front door. I told the weapon to feel free to pop off a couple of shots out the door. Again, the weapon ignored my request, choosing instead to impersonate a paper weight.
    I performed this same experiment with a variety of items that can kill, knives, bats, ect. All results were the same. The items just laid there.
    It seems that the weapon and any other item needs something else to motivate it to kill. I wonder what that something else is?
    I do not like to speculate, but I suspect that weapons, or any other item needs HUMAN interaction in order to cause harm. So, it seems that the HUMAN would be the common factor in all of the killings.

    Conclusion: Due to the revelation of the human common denominator in all killings, I think we should have a ban on people. With the proper controls in place, I am certain that this would lead to a reduction in deaths.

    People kill people. Items do not. In a perfect world, we would never see death caused by human against human, but we are a very long way from perfect. How can we see this before it happens? I do not know, but I do know this, bans only affect those that OBEY the law. Criminals do not care about bans because they are….criminals. The solution of banning only works if you ban ALL potential items that can be used to kill. That is a very long list. Focus instead on the evil itself, the person behind the action.
    Now, scroll up and re-read my other post on this subject.

    1. Anthony says:

      smurfgod,

      We have a ban on illegal actions — if you hurt/kill somebody you will be charged with a crime. That is the consequence of human behavior (that is your so called “ban on people”). If you kill somebody with your car you can have your license to drive taken away. All people are asking for are increased controls on access to guns. Maybe criminals will get their hands on AR-15s, but maybe not. Why make it so easy for them to do so? Surely, at the minimum, an extensive background check can be run.

  28. Ronald Wolfe says:

    I agree with ultimates, mental health is the real issue hear that is where the focus needs to be. Puting restrctions and background checks dont work as we saw i orlando the shooter was a licensed gun carrier and had proper clearences .

    1. ultimatesmurfgod aka Minister Brien says:

      Yes, someone read what I wrote. Thank you RW for getting the point. Anthony, you missed the point of the post. I am a former service member. I am trained on a wide variety of weapons that have NO place in civilian life. Now, I do not know how some ganng banger can get ahold of some of these style weapons, nor do I know where the money is coming from to purchase these weapons. I do not mind background checks, I just do not see the criminals getting stopped by them. We need ENFORCEMENT on the laws we have. We need mental health interventions. We need more focus put on people and less on the objects. Laws only work if they are enforced. Why, in the name of common sense, was someone who was investiigated not once, but twice by the FBI allowed to purchase weapons, allowed to be licensed as an armed security guard? There was a very large failure here, and that one is on us.

  29. eliud colbath says:

    Your right.all human life. Must be protected.the law abiding citizen too.unfortunately there are work governments that want to hurt the american people.the 2 amendment gives us Christians the right to bear arms. Hilary and obama most of the time never tell the truth.like the father of all lies.they pris and Canive and tell the american people that the guns did it.people will believe the lie before they believe the truth.they are blind to the truth.Jesus is the truth.search your heart and do not fall for the lies.they want to eventually disarm the united states.they only believe in the self.don’t be afraid of the truth.Hilary and obama want a one world order and if they get their way then bible prophecy will come sooner then expected.dont accept the lie.

    1. ultimatesmurfgod says:

      .the 2 amendment gives us Christians the right to bear arms.
      Ummm, no. I do not think there is a “christian” clause written in there.
      As far as your political bias is concerned, wow, I do not even have a response as it is so far out there. I wish I could point to a single person and go “It’s your fault”, but that person does not exist. If you wish to play the blame game, look into any mirror, point at it and say it’s your fault. We all own this. We do not demand enough from our representatives. We let things go. We think that someone else will take care of it. We do not pay enough attention. The bible is a book. A good book I think but still it is a book. You cannot hide behind a book, or a document. It takes much more than that.

  30. Jake Reynolds says:

    My condolences

  31. Rev paul says:

    My condolences as well jake

  32. eliud colbath says:

    I dont think I wrote clause or bible in my comments smrfboy. The word God
    is reserved for him only.exactly what I said you changed my narrative to fit yours.that’s it.I said search for truth.dont try to change it.research it.trust but verify.search for truth and the truth shall set you free.question every thing on both party’s .I am an independent . I am free to choose.
    GOD bless you all my brothers.

    1. ultimatesmurfgod says:

      First, I did read your post and here is a line copied from it: “Hilary and obama want a one world order and if they get their way then bible prophecy will come sooner then expected.dont accept the lie.” I do see the word bible, don’t you?
      I also see nothing but a political agenda in your banter. I changed nothing in what you said, I just made you confront it. The trouble is the extreme views that people have. No room for anything else. It is the closed minded approach to problem solving. The trouble is, that type of problem solving just creates more….problems. But you are right…you are free to chose. GOD gave all people that right. The trick is making the right choices. 🙂

  33. eliud colbath says:

    In politics who knows what the right choose is. Like I said research what you can and then try to make the right division.I have voted both ways.example.not because mommy and daddy voted one way I am going to do the same.let our pride and choose.do what you can without anyone influencing you.dont go through there titanic.l will go this way because its my pride that tells might what to do.what happens to the unsinkable ship.they did not explore the situation.they did not look ahead.they did not search for truth.they hit an iceberg.this is all I am saying. Keep an open mind. I wish all of us would be independents.see 2or3 sides.this way we could make a more or less educated decision.God bless you my brother.

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