Pulse Nightclub shooting survivor, Brandon Wolf, did not mince words for disgraced “journalist,” Megyn Kelly, after she made disgusting comments on Twitter attacking gun reform activists.
Kelly, a former Fox News Channel anchor, who was fired from NBC in 2018 over blackface comments on the air, tweeted, “Serious q for gun control advocates: you’ve failed to effect change. Pls face it. You can’t do it, thx to the 2A. We’re all well aware you don’t like that fact, but fact it is. What’s next? Must we just stay here sad, concerned, lamenting? Could we possibly talk OTHER SOLUTIONS?”
Kelly’s post, which was tweeted while police were still canvassing the crime scene at the Allen, Texas outlet mall mass shooting, leaving eight dead over the weekend, was not only callous, it’s inaccurate. According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, contrary to Kelly’s claim that gun reform advocates have ‘failed,’ Connecticut now actually has the sixth lowest rate of gun deaths, after enacting laws there in the wake of the mass shooting deaths of 20 first graders and six adults in Newtown in 2012. It’s not only safer in Connecticut, but it’s also safer in surrounding states. Additionally, as of 2021, Connecticut had the eleventh lowest rate of crime gun exports. Texas, which has continued to expand access to guns, has the 28th highest gun death rate in the country, including the horrific deaths of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde last year.
Wolf, an LGBTQ civil rights and gun reform activist, who’s currently serving as the press secretary for Equality Florida, responded to Kelly’s tweet and invoked his own horrific mass shooting encounter at Pulse in Orlando: “I refuse to believe that dead children on a sidewalk must be the price of admission for being an American, that my best friend’s mutilated body on a nightclub floor is just the way the cookie must crumble.”
“No. I refuse to accept this nightmarish experiment as inevitable,” he added on Instagram.
In the wake of the 2022 Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs and the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, which was the second deadliest in US history, LGBTQ Americans feel especially at risk and unsafe as it pertains to gun violence, which has become an epidemic. As of May 7th, The Gun Violence Archive reports there have been more than 200 mass shootings in 2023.
The issue of mass shootings has become so commonplace, that other nations around the world are issuing travel advisories against their people visiting the United States. CNN reports that Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, France, Germany, Mexico, Japan, and New Zealand have all issued travel warnings to anyone considering traveling to the United States.
In an interview with GLAAD, Wolf said that his message is simple: “It does not have to be this way. We do not have to serve our children up as sacrifices to the profit-obsessed gun lobby. We do not have to sit by while our neighborhoods become war zones, content to throw up our hands and refuse to address the common denominators. No matter your gaslighting, we know the truth. It’s the guns. And we can do — and expect — better.”
“The LGBTQ community is under assault. Extremists are wielding the power of government against us while they use fear and intimidation to try and force us back into the closet. That reality is making life less safe for us. But we have been here before. We have long been demonized, dehumanized, and used as a cultural wedge issue. But we have forged ahead, securing civil rights protections and greater social acceptance than ever before by refusing to be erased and being unapologetically us. This moment calls for us to raise our flags higher than ever and send a message that we will not be erased,” Wolf added.
Wolf also told GLAAD that we all have a stake in this fight and encouraged everyone to take action in their own way: “Every day Americans must be on the frontlines in the fight against gun violence. Find an organization building grassroots power and volunteer or donate. Start showing up in the state legislature. Become a voter for whom refusal to support gun safety reforms is a dealbreaker. Educate and induct your neighbors into the fight. Do not wait until it is your child lifeless on the sidewalk or your best friend who never gets the chance to return your call.”
Most of all, “Act now,” Wolf said.