Lance Bass no one needs an AR-15
Los Angeles (CNN) Social media has been flooded with tributes to the 49 people killed in the Orlando mass shooting. Famous figures in the L-G-B-T community are also speaking out on Twitter.
TV host Andy Cohen tweeted: “I am speechless, sick and so sad reading the news from Orlando. Sending strength to my gay brothers and sisters.”
TV personality Ross Matthews wrote: “I am sickened to awake to the horrific news out of Orlando. Smiling, happy, dancing people gunned down for no reason. Hug your friends.”
And singer Ricky Martin tweeted: “I am gay and I am not afraid. Love conquers all. #PrayforOrlando.
Late night comedians used to being funny got real, real serious — making bold statements in the wake of this tragedy.
Seth Myers: “Whether the shooter was a homophobe, mentally ill, a terrorist inspired by ISIS or all three — what killed so many people on Sunday was his gun.”
Samantha Bee: “He beat his ex-wife. He’d been reported multiple times to his employer as homophobic and unhinged and the FBI had twice questioned him for ties to terrorism. But none of these things disqualified him from legally buying a gun that shoots 45 rounds a minute.”
Conan O’Brien: “Nobody I know or anyone I have ever met in my entire life should have access to a weapon that can kill so many people so quickly.”
John Oliver: “Right now, this just hurts. And the worst thing is, this pain is so familiar. In Paris, last November, terrorists seemed to target places symbolizing everything that is wonderful about France: culture, music, restaurants. And in Orlando, early this morning, the gunman attacked a Latin night at a gay club in the theme park capitol of the world.”
Jimmy Fallon: “What can we learn from this? What if my kids are gay? What do I tell them? Maybe there’s a lesson from all this… a lesson in tolerance. We need to support each others’ differences and worry less about our own opinions.”
Steven Colbert: “Love does not despair. Love makes us strong. Love gives us the courage to act. Love gives us hope that change is possible. Love allows us to change the script.”
James Corden: “He said, ‘When something bad happens, we have three choices: we can let it define us; we can let it destroy us; or we can let it strengthen us. We are with you – every step of the way.”
Entertainer and activist Lance Bass tweeted this: “I’m gutted over the news in Orlando — the tears will not stop. My thoughts are with my gay brothers and sisters and their families.”
Lance Bass joined Amara Walker on “CNN Newsroom L.A.” to share his emotions over the last few days.
Bass: “It’s been devastating — just like the whole world is feeling. I woke up Sunday morning with a lot of texts from friends because I used to live in Orlando. I spent a lot of years in Orlando and still have a lot of friends that live in Orlando. Before I even knew what happened, I was getting texts of, ‘I’m so sorry about Orlando,’ and I just immediately started bawling — not even knowing what had happened. I just felt it. As we got the news, it was just absolutely devastating. Of course, I was trying to figure out if I knew anyone that was hurt.”
Walker: “You lived in Orlando. So did you know of this night club or had you been there before?”
Bass: “Of course. I’ve definitely been to Pulse. It’s one of the places that the L-G-B-T community can go and relax and have fun and not worry about something like this happening.”
Walker: “This attack doesn’t fit into one single category. It’s terrorism. It’s a hate crime. But when it comes to the L-G-B-T community, do you think that people also need to focus on the history of the L-G-B-T community — the fact that it has been the target of violence many times before?”
Bass: “Yeah. This is nothing new for L-G-B-T. We’ve been under attack the whole existence of humanity. It’s just in recent years that people are now accepting the L-G-B-T community as a whole. The support we’re getting is just amazing right now and overwhelming. You see that times have changed and people are supporting and showing that love is love. Like you said, there’s many layers to the situation right now: it’s a hate crime; it’s terrorism. We need to talk about gun regulation. It’s everything all put together and I have to say that this is a hornet’s nest that has definitely been stirred up. The L-G-B-T community is not one that will just sit back and let anything like this happen. So you’re gonna see a lot of change happening in the next few months.”
Walker: “What kind of change are you talking about?”
Bass: “It’s up to us to educate the people about who we are electing into office. You need to find out who your representatives are. Who are the ones being paid by the NRA to make sure these gun laws are not passed? No one’s taking guns away — just certain types of guns. No one needs and AR-15. Obviously. Look what’s happened in just the last two years with this particular gun. We don’t sell grenades, right? So why would we sell these weapons that can kill all these multiple people? It’s just not needed.”
Walker: “Do you think there needs to be more tolerance in religions when it comes to the L-G-B-T community? Not just in Islam but Christianity, as well. Evangelicals do take an anti-gay position.”
Bass: “Of course. Everyone definitely needs to be more tolerant of everyone’s views. It’s all about love. There’s gonna be extremism in every religion and every walk of life. Those are the ones that we really have to watch and those are the ones that we have to be scared of. Because Christianity, Muslim, whatever it is — those extremists are brainwashed into thinking that they’re doing something good. They really do. But obviously they’re really on the wrong side of everything: of history; of just being wrong. We just really have to be sure that we put laws into place that are protecting us from those extremists. Because right now, the law is on their side. This guy got a gun — an AR-15 with all this ammunition just days ago after the FBI already interviewed him three times. It’s insane that it was that easy to grab a gun like that. That is just wrong, wrong, wrong and we can’t do it anymore. It’s time for us to say something; to do something. We cannot forget about this tragedy.”
Produced by: Ben Bamsey for “CNN Newsroom L.A.”