Guest editorial: Let’s not have another tragedy pass by without action

By Rep. Susan A. Davis

Pride Month is a time to celebrate our progress and to recommit toward total equality today.

With the shooting deaths of 49 people at a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and the wounding of 53 other people, this year’s Pride activities will take a somber tone.

This deadliest mass shooting in the history of our country brought senseless sorrow and loss to the victims and their loved ones. The world expressed its grief and support for the LGBT community and the community of Orlando.

Susan Davis Image copyIn a familiar refrain: We are all Orlando.

The shootings join a list of attacks on the LGBT community throughout our history — Stonewall, the arson of the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans that killed 32, the assassination of Harvey Milk, and the murder of Matthew Shepard.

Orlando underscores the climate the LGBT community still faces on a daily basis. According to the FBI, 20 percent of hate crimes are LGBT-motivated. This is second only to hate crimes based on race.

These incidents of violence are attempts to instill fear, intimidate and weaken the resolve in the quest for equality. But in the end, they always have the opposite effect.

I am inspired by the ability of LGBT Americans to rise up in the face of these horrific events and continue the fight for equality, inclusiveness and opportunity. We owe it to the victims of Orlando and the victims of past acts of violence to work toward an even better world for future generations.

The outrage I feel, as a member of Congress, when these mass shootings occur, is that nothing ever changes. Republican leadership in Congress simply refuses to let us have a debate on the issue of gun violence, let alone pass significant laws that will protect the American people.

People are demanding action and Congress should respond. Here’s what I’d like to see enacted:

We know that the Orlando shooter was on the terror watch list. Democrats are reviving past legislative efforts to keep those on the terror watch list from buying guns. If you can’t fly then you shouldn’t be able to buy guns.

The AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle is becoming the weapon of choice for mass murderers. It was used in Orlando, Newtown and San Bernardino. Why do we continue to allow easy access to these assault weapons where the sole purpose is to kill as many people as possible?

Listen to the audio of the amount of shots fired at the nightclub. If that doesn’t convince anyone we need to reinstate the assault weapons ban then I don’t know what will.

Glaring loopholes in our nation’s system of background checks need to be closed. There is bipartisan legislation in the House that would extend background checks requirements to gun shows and purchases over the internet.

Our nation’s laws still don’t adequately protect the rights of LGBT Americans.

The Equality Act would add sexual orientation to the list of protections under our nation’s civil rights laws. This will give LGBT Americans greater protection under the law and provide critical legal recourse to fight discrimination.

The Student Non-Discrimination Act will confront discrimination in our schools and will instill the notion of equality at an early age. It ensures all students, regardless of sexual orientation, have equal access to all school activities. It declares that harassment is discrimination.

How we respond to these moments defines who we are as a nation. Let’s renew our commitment to diversity and equality. Let’s come together to create a future where everyone can live, love, and never have to live in fear for who they are.

—Rep. Susan Davis represents Congressional District 53, which includes including the San Diego communities of Old Town, Kensington, Mission Hills, University Heights, Hillcrest Bankers Hill, North Park, South Park, Talmadge and Normal Heights, as well as La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and parts of El Cajon and Chula Vista.


  1. Scott H. Kidwell says:

    Rep. Davis, you are suggesting a pretty controversial thing to quash a constitutionally protected second and sixth amendment rights? Heck, while you’re at it, how about also quashing our constitutionally protected first amendment rights too if you are on a “no fly” list?

  2. russell buckley says:

    My jaw dropped as I read Rep Davis editorial (Let’s not have another tragedy pass by without serious action). Not once in the article did she express outrage at the perpetrators of the horrific act — Radical Muslims fighting a war on western civilization. Because she is unwilling to focus on, much less identify, the culprits, her suggested solutions will have a limited impact in reducing the number of murders committed by Radical Islamists.
    Yes, better background checks might make a difference and if there are ways to improve them, I’m all for it. Yes, reinstating the assault weapons ban might make a difference — although it had no positive impact when it was in effect the first time. Bad people seem to get weapons regardless of laws — consider the gun violence in Chicago. Too, remember that most murders committed by Radical Muslims world wide, have been by suicide bombers. It is especially difficult to understand why an Equality Act would make even a small difference to those who committed the murders in Orlando, or Santa Barbara, or at the military base in Texas, or in Paris, or in Brussels, or in the many other places they have been carried out.
    Gays have won their big civil rights battle in this country. The right to legally marry is the law of our land. It is the laws of Sharia and the practices of Radical Islam – throwing gays off buildings or stoning or drowning them — that need changing. While all murders are horrible, the majority of Radical Muslin murders, both here in the United States and many other places worldwide have not been perpetrated against gays in particular but against liberal minded western civilization in general.
    I just don’t understand why Rep Davis chooses to ignore Radical Islam as the source of the problem. Until she and our other leaders are willing to do so, their “solutions” to reducing the barbarity will continue to be mostly the feel good type suggested in the editorial rather than strong and directed actions that will have a meaningful impact on reducing the scourge of Radical Islam, here in the United States and worldwide.

  3. Elliot Weasel says:

    Susan Davis is a Jewish Supremacist and promotes typicalJewish Supremacist anti-American and anti-Christian values such as:
    -massive illegal immigration
    -denigration of marriage between a man and a woman
    -destroy Americans right to bear arms
    -remove Christmas and Easter from public events
    -foment racial strife by creating alliances and radicalizing La Raza
    -foment hatred between Christians and Muslims
    -subversively attract 15,0000 Somali muslims to San Diego
    The list goes on and on. Beware of the Jewish Supremacists where ever they lurk.

    • Jen Van Tieghem says:

      Editor’s note: The La Mesa Courier, in no way, endorses the views or opinions made in the comments section of our online version of the paper. We will respect people’s right to comment as long as the comments can be attributed to individuals are not made anonymously.

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