Kentucky politicians react to worst mass shooting in U.S. history

06/13/2016 03:46 PM

UPDATED: On Sunday morning a gunman went on a shooting rampage at a popular Orlando, Florida gay nightclub killing 49 people and wounding 53 others in the worst mass shooting in American history.

As details are still emerging police believe the 29-year old shooter, who was shot and killed by police at the scene, is a homegrown terrorist who has pledged allegiance to terror group ISIS.

Since news of the attack on the nightclub was announced politicians took to social media to express their sympathy and horror at the mass killing.

On Sunday afternoon, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, issued a statement saying the “nation’s prayers are with the victims and their families in the wake of this terrible tragedy.”

“We thank the citizens and first responders who helped rescue and save lives amidst horror and chaos,” McConnell said in the press release. “We will continue to monitor developments from local law enforcement and the FBI to determine the exact nature of this crime and whether it was connected to international terrorist groups.”

By Monday, McConnell shifted his remarks to focus on the terrorist organization that may have influenced the shooter.

“It’s no longer an open analytical question whether the followers of ISIL and other Islamic terrorist groups will attempt to strike us here in the West. They have. They will continue to do so,” McConnell said on Monday. “We need to do what we can to fight back so we can prevent more atrocities. That is exactly why, for instance, the Senate needs to be briefed on the President’s counter-ISIL campaign.”

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, took to Facebook Sunday to comment that the “horrific shooting is a reminder that we must be vigilant.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Paul wrote. “We can and must stay strong and united against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Lexington Mayor and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Jim Gray commented on the shooting on Sunday.

“Our LGBT family and all of America suffers today,” Gray said. “Bullets don’t know black or white, male or female, gay or straight. My heart goes out to the victims and their friends and families.

“This senseless act of terrorism and violence reminds us that America is required to unite and lead. As difficult as it may be, we must learn from this…yet another horrific tragedy…and end these acts of terrorism.”

Multiple other Kentucky Congressman took to social media to condemn the violence.

Kentucky’s lone Democratic federal delegate U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, tweeted that he was “saddened by the horrific shooting in Orlando.”

“My heart breaks for the families, friends and all affected by this tragedy,” Yarmuth wrote. “This was an attack on America, on the LGBT community, and on all of us who seek safety and peace —here at home and around the world.”

Yarmuth continued in his tweets saying, “When it’s easy to get tools of mass destruction, it’s easy for those wishing to cause maximum harm to cause maximum harm. Heartbreaking.”

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Vanceburg, had a different view on the mass slaying posting on Facebook Monday that President Obama “has already politicized this tragic event to promote gun control, but it’s another clear example of why gun free zones are a terrible idea.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of the terror attack in Orlando (perpetrated by a self professed adherent to radical Sunni Islam),” Massie wrote. “Please remember what the medical professionals and police who responded are dealing with and keep them in your prayers as well.”

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or



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