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At Times Like This, We Need To Pull Ourselves Up, Hold Our Loved Ones Close, Block Any Legislation That Would Prevent Suspected Terrorists From Buying Guns, And Say A Prayer For The Victims

Like the rest of the nation, I was horrified by this weekend’s senseless attack on an Orlando nightclub. Such brutality is unconscionable, but as Americans we need to remain strong in the face of violence and intimidation, and resist giving in to despair. At times like this, we must pull ourselves up, hold our loved ones tight, block any legislation that would prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing guns, and say a prayer for the victims.

The loss of life in Florida came as a terrible shock to all Americans. The scope of this tragedy—49 innocent people murdered in a single act of hatred—is almost impossible to comprehend. But does that mean we should give in and abandon our way of life? No. As always, when faced with these kinds of horrors, we must steel our resolve, comfort the families of those killed and wounded, and ensure that we continue to live under a system of laws in which anyone can easily purchase a semi-automatic weapon, no matter their possible ties to terrorist organizations.

This is who we are as Americans.

Now isn’t the time for politics, or bickering, or considering the fact that people with presumed ties to terror organizations bought over 2,000 guns from U.S. dealers since 2004, or turning against one another—it’s a time for coming together and grieving.

This is a sad day for our nation. Our hearts are heavy, our votes are against measures barring those on FBI watch lists or the government’s no-fly list from obtaining a firearm, and our sincerest condolences go out to the loved ones who lost a family member or a dear friend. In moments such as these, we must turn to God to give us the strength to carry on living our lives and rejecting bills that would keep guns and explosives from people who have violent extremist views. Let us all find His grace in these dark hours.

Now isn’t the time for politics, or bickering, or considering the fact that people with presumed ties to terror organizations bought over 2,000 guns from U.S. dealers since 2004, or turning against one another—it’s a time for coming together and grieving.

As we reflect on this horrible tragedy, it’s only natural that we might feel a heightened sense of unease. However, we should take care not to let our fears get such a hold on us that they prevent us from going about everyday activities like fighting initiatives to increase federal oversight of gun sales, going to the store, not putting even a single roadblock in front of someone with inclinations toward committing acts of terror to prevent them from procuring a military-grade weapon, or enjoying the company of our friends and family. Our strength is in our resolve.

And let us be sure not to forget the first responders and law enforcement officials who heroically and selflessly put themselves in harm’s way, all of whom—like the 54 senators, including myself, who have rejected measures to keep terrorists from procuring guns—deserve our highest praise.

Attacks like this are designed to frighten us into giving up our liberties, whether it’s the freedom to go about our days in peace or the freedom to purchase high-powered rifles with large-capacity magazines without even the most basic check to determine if we harbor sympathies toward ISIS, al-Qaeda, or any other terrorist group that encourages the massacre of innocent civilians. But we can not give in to these attacks on our freedoms.

We must also, in the face of tragedy, never allow the collection of data on gun violence in our nation. That’s important, too.

Because ultimately, once we’ve taken time to remember those we’ve lost, we all have to go on living. An act of violence like this disrupts our lives with its senselessness and barbarity, but at the same time, it also causes us to remember how much we value this precious gift of life. So please, let us all take a moment today to tell our spouses, our parents, our children how much they mean to us, and let’s be sure to open our hearts and share our love and our prayers with our friends, our neighbors, and our fellow Americans.

After all, what more can we do?

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