Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, the Democrat representing Texas’ 30th District, has long been an ally of the LGBT community. Today (Monday, June 13), Congresswoman Johnson released this statement in response to the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of this senseless shooting. This attack was an act of hate that marred a weekend where millions of LGBT Americans held Pride events in cities across the country. It is outrageous that the LGBT community was targeted with such violence.

“There have been reports that the ex-wife of the shooter claims he suffered from mental illness. If this is true, this event provides another example of the need for reform to our mental health system. As the lead Democratic cosponsor of H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, I recognize the need to be able to identify and treat those with mental illnesses before their illnesses result in deadly acts.

“Tragically, news reports about mass gun violence have become a constant presence in our everyday lives. This attack reiterates the need for our country to fundamentally rethink the gun culture and the laws that surround it in America. When one man, with a history of domestic abuse and mental illness, is able to buy a gun, murder 49 people and injure more than 50 others, it highlights the deficiencies in our current system. We must not continue to send condolences to the countless victims of violence without doing everything in our power to prevent more families and communities from suffering from this kind of senseless violence. We must act now to end mass shootings in our country.”