‘Our community grieves’
... A gunman filled with hate took the lives of 50 LGBT brothers and sisters and wounded many more in an Orlando nightclub. Tremendous thanks is due to law enforcement and other first responders who stepped into harm’s way to help victims.
Today, our community grieves for the victims and families affected by this senseless gun violence. We are reminded to be cautious in the coming weeks, but we also are called to help those directly affected by this tragedy. ... Join SC Equality in letting Orlando know that South Carolina stands with them.
— S.C. Equality, a Columbia-based gay-rights advocacy group, on Facebook
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‘Hate is never the answer’
‘My heart hurts today. We don't all have to agree all the time, but hate is never the answer.’
— S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, on Facebook
‘We are fighting a war ... not a crime’
This is a horrific day for America. ... I fear this will prove to be system failure. Congress should immediately restore the budgets for our intelligence and law enforcement communities which have been suffering. ... My goal is to prevent future terrorist attacks, not simply respond to them. We are fighting a war against radical Islam and a hateful ideology, not a crime.
— U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, on Facebook
‘You are only strengthening our resolve’
Last night, we unfortunately were faced once again with what happens when someone is overwhelmed by hate. The atrocity in Orlando has left Florida and our nation in shock, and I know that over the next few days we will come together and show the world that America stands as one against terror and those who would do us harm. ...
To ISIS and Islamic terror groups and fighters around the globe — your senseless acts, driven by your misguided and heartless belief in a bloody, global jihad, will not defeat us. You are only strengthening our resolve, sturdying our footing and sealing your own fate.
— U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, in a statement
‘Another unfathomable act of evil, of hate’
... (T)his was clearly yet another unfathomable act of evil, of hate, perpetrated against good and decent people who loved their lives and did nothing wrong. Their loss, and the loss their friends and loved ones must now somehow endure, is simply incomprehensible — and heartbreaking. ...
One year ago this week, we here in Charleston were brought face to face with the same kind of evil that the people of Orlando are being forced to reckon with today, when nine beautiful souls were viciously stolen from us by a racist gunman in the basement of Mother Emanuel AME church.
— Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, in a statement
‘We all stand with you’
The hate-filled killings in Orlando is an act of terrorism and the attack on the LGBTQ community is an attack on all Americans. ... We all stand with you in grief prayer and resolve.
— State Rep. James Smith, on Twitter
Wage ‘war against radical Islam’
This is an attack on every American by radical Islam, and we have no choice but to respond. ... It shouldn’t take a tragedy like this to cause us to open our eyes about the threats before us, but if we do not pause to do some soul searching about how we talk about and address Islamic terrorism in this country, we are dishonoring those who have perished and are simply acting foolishly.
We must unite as Americans and send a resolute signal that there can be no tolerance for the type of radicalism being pushed by Islamic State and others anywhere in the world. We must also not allow a misplaced sense of political correctness to prevent us from waging war against radical Islam.
— U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, in a press release
Almost a year ago, Charleston was rocked by killings fueled by hatred. I am deeply saddened to learn of the horrific attacks in Orlando this morning — the worst mass shooting in our country's history.
— U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, on Facebook
Prayers from @CityofColumbia for the people & families hurt in the horrific shooting in Orlando.
— Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, on Twitter
‘Prayers ... with the victims’
@My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the attack in #Orlando and their families.
— U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, on Twitter