CAPAC Members Comment on Orlando Massacre

WASHINGTON — Following are statements from members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus about the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. on June 12:

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside): “No words can truly express the pain and heartbreak I feel for the victims in Orlando and their families. My thoughts are with them during this dark hour. This horrific tragedy reflects an ideology of hate and intolerance and its aim is to instill fear in our communities and our country. We cannot and will not allow it to succeed.

“I will always be a proud member of the LGBT community and I will always feel proud to live in a country built on the principles of freedom and tolerance. No person or group can take that away.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena): “My thoughts are with the victims, families, and loved ones affected by Sunday’s horrible shooting at Pulse in Orlando. But thoughts are not enough. We must speak out against prejudice and hate and take action to keep the most dangerous weapons out of the most dangerous hands. We all deserve to feel safe in our communities.”

Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose): “Today, dozens of members of Congress and their staff took to the Capitol steps for a vigil and moment of silence for the victims and survivors in Orlando. Just hours later, we were on the House floor, where we held yet another moment of silence for yet another mass shooting, but this time we were not silent. We protested and demanded Speaker [Paul] Ryan and House Republicans to take common-sense action — allow research on gun violence and stop suspected terrorists from getting their hands on guns. Enough is enough!

“Saturday night’s brutal attack against the LGBTQ community is a challenge for every American to stand for equality for LGBTQ people and against hatred toward Muslim Americans.”

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento): “Our entire nation stands with Orlando and the LGBT community as we process the pain and grief we feel in the face of such a horrific and deplorable act of violence. My heart goes out to the families, loved ones, and all of those whose lives are forever changed by this senseless, evil act.

“Our first priority remains the safety of our citizens, and we must do everything we can to stop the violence that has become all too familiar in our communities. That includes a coordinated response to the evolving threat of terrorism directed or inspired by extremist groups such as ISIL. It also includes common sense reforms when it comes to our nation’s gun laws. We can, and should, be acting in Congress to take specific and immediate actions to close gun loopholes that will make our families safer.

“As we seek answers and try to make sense of this tragedy, let us remember that our ability to overcome the hate that drove this attack rests in the strength of the American spirit to choose a higher path. In our most challenging moments as a nation, during our