2016 Candidates React to America's Worst Mass Shooting in Over 30 Years

By Vivian El-Salawy on June 12, 2016
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Just two days ago, “Voice” singer Christina Grimmie was shot at her show in Orlando, FL at the age of 22, and unfortunately did not survive the gun shot wounds.

However, violence struck Orlando once more, this time in an LGBT club.  Last night, a mass shooting at the Pulse Club in Orlando, FL killed at least 50 people and left at least 53 others with both major and minor injuries.  According to the Telegraph News, this makes it the largest mass shooting in America in approximately 30 years.

Image via WFTV

The attacker seemed to be carrying an assault-type rifle and a handgun, as well as some other type of device on him, claims an FBI spokesman to BBC.  The gunman was identified as a U.S. citizen –  Omar Mateen, confirmed by Fox News.

“More likely than not that it was an ideologically motivated attack,” claims Grayson.  There is much dispute over Mateens’ motives and while the FBI believes it is an act of terrorism, there are still many conflicting opinions and reports.

Image via 10 Best

Social media plays a crucial role in the public reactions to events such as these, whether in the moment or after the fact.  ”The Pulse” sent out posts during the shooting, urging people to flee the incident.

Image via Heavy Editorial

Presidential candidate Donald Trump responds to the tragic event on Twitter:

“Really bad shooting in Orlando.  Police investigating possible terrorism.  Many people dead and wounded.”

Trump’s response was relatively straightforward and not necessarily informative or sympathetic.  It is arguable that the mentioning of potential terrorism, rather than encouraging some form of aid or unity within the situation, instead instills a sense of fear.  While the events within Orlando have been both tragic and dangerous, this tweet seems to promote more panic than it does reassurance.

Meanwhile, presidential candidate Hilary Clinton responds on Twitter (noted – tweets ending with “-H” signify direct tweets from Hilary, as opposed to tweets sent out by her staff):

“Woke up to hear the devastating news from Fl.  As we wait for more information, my thoughts are with those affected by this horrific act. -H”

Hilary’s staff posted another tweet shortly after, but in Spanish:

“Desperté con la devastadora noticia de FL. Mientras esperamos más información,mis pensamientos están con los afectados de este horrible acto.”

Hilary’s response in both English and Spanish was favorable to many, considering the night of the event was a “Latin night” and her reaction was able to reach out to a greater, more diverse, and potentially more relevant audience.  in addition, she gave off a more sympathetic response and addressed those affected by the situation, rather than informing those unaffected.

While both candidates did not receive much information upon the event, they did both declare a sense of interest in awaiting more information, perhaps before releasing any additional statements.

Upon the tragic event, “Time” encourages people to help the victims of the shooting in any of four ways: donating blood, donating money, attending a vigil, or offering counseling.

Image via KindaKind

“There is an urgent need for O Negative, O Positive and AB Plasma blood donors following a mass shooting in Orlando, Florida,” OneBlood said in a news release, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “Dozens of people have been injured and taken to area hospitals. The need for blood continues.”

One can only hope that the tragic events of Orlando, FL can instill a sense of unity, rather than more violence and division.

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Vivian El-Salawy is a third year student at Florida State University. She is currently pursuing a degree in Editing, Writing, and Media with minors in Slavic (Russian) Studies and Communications. Alongside writing for FSView & Florida Flambeau and WVFS Tallahassee 87.9 FM, she is a member of the World-Renowned Marching Chiefs and Seminole Sound.

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