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Giffords Commemorates Victims of June 12 Shooting

Orlando, FL Today, Giffords Senior Advisor and former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Democratic Senate candidate Congresswoman Val Demings commemorated the victims of the June 12 shooting at Pulse Nightclub by visiting a mural that honors their lives and the community. Mucarsel-Powell and Rep. Demings were joined by key Orlando stakeholders including artist Michael Pilato, retired NYPD Sergeant and Clinical Social Worker Nancy Rosado, Alianza for Progress President and Founder Marcos Vilar, State Representative Carlos Guillermo-Smith, and Senator Victor Torres. The June 12 shooting was the deadliest attack against LGBTQ+ Americans in US history, and it targeted the Hispanic community in Florida.

Giffords Commemorates Victims of June 12 Shooting

Left to right: Marcos Vilas, State Senator Victor Torres, former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Congresswoman Val Demings, Michael Pilato (artist), Nancy Rosado, State Representative Carlos Guillermo-Smith, Danny Ramos

Giffords Senior Advisor and former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell:

“Every day more Americans lose their lives to senseless gun violence. As someone who has lost a loved one to gun violence, I know the pain and trauma left behind. This month marks six years since the horrific day in Orlando that saw 49 beautiful lives taken too soon, 58 more injured, and a community forever changed. Still, Senator Marco Rubio has nothing more to offer than thoughts and prayers. I was honored to be joined by Congresswoman Val Demings and our Orlando community today to remember the victims and say ‘Enough is enough.’ The time for action is now, and Florida needs a senator who will put Floridians’s public safety first—not the gun lobby.”

Congresswoman Val Demings:

“Gun violence affects us all. It threatens the safety and security of our communities. It threatens the lives of the men and women I worked with everyday in law enforcement. Six years ago, it took 49 lives at the Pulse Nightclub. It took countless lives in Parkland, in El Paso, in Uvalde, in Buffalo. Innocent people are being gunned down in innocent places. Shame on elected officials who don’t have the courage to take urgent action on this crisis. Shame on those who see our officers shot down on the street and continue to put the gun lobby before what’s right.”

Marcos Vilar, Executive Director, Alianza:

“The time has come for sensible reform. Those who stand in opposition to common sense reform, like our current Senators in Florida, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, need to stop sacrificing our children and other innocent victims who pay the price for their multi-million dollar, NRA campaign contributions. Enough is enough! As we mourn our lost ones, we remember Pulse, Parkland, Uvalde, Buffalo, El Paso, Sandy Hook, Columbine. God protect us from the blindness and corruption of our two US Senators of Florida.”

Senator Victor Torres:

“I am proud to stand with my colleagues and community advocates to call for much needed reforms to protect our friends, families and citizens from this senseless gun violence.”

Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, endorsed Rep. Demings earlier this year. Rep. Demings was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2016, months after the horrific shooting at Pulse Nightclub. Throughout her career—which includes 27 years in law enforcement, culminating in her becoming the first woman to serve as chief of police in the Orlando Police Department—she has been a champion for commonsense gun safety. This fall, Rep. Demings is running against incumbent Senator Marco Rubio, who has consistently chosen to put the gun lobby’s interests over those of Floridians. Rates of gun violence are rising across the state, and now more than ever, Floridians need a champion who will work to keep them safe every day—not a senator held hostage by special interests.


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