A sample of some of the nation’s editorials in the wake of Sunday morning’s mass killings in Orlando:
Once again, shocked Americans are left to grieve — and to question what can possibly be done to prevent further attacks by those committed to mayhem against innocents at home and abroad. By now we know there are no easy fixes, and that demonizing all Muslims is both legally and morally wrong as well as strategically shortsighted.
But Americans should unite in condemnation of radical Islam’s hate for gay and lesbian people, which may have motivated Mateen to target the Florida club. The Islamic State and those motivated by its evil dictates want to divide and weaken this country. Our response must be a recommitment to homeland security as well as national unity in the face of hate. — Star Tribune
Beyond offering our abundant prayers and sympathy, we must ensure that those who survive — who will forever carry the scars from the trauma — know that they are not alone today, tomorrow or in the months and years to come.
Let our community define itself by our unequivocal response: United. — Orlando Sentinel
Just a couple of weeks from now, on July 4, a sad anniversary will pass in Houston. On that date 25 years ago, a young man named Paul Broussard was beaten and stabbed to death after leaving a gay nightclub in the Montrose area. His murder triggered outrage and public demonstrations that shined a spotlight on violent attacks commonly committed against gay men.
Now, a quarter-century later, comes a massacre inside another gay nightclub, a heartbreaking reminder that bigotry can have bloody consequences. That’s a lesson Houston learned long ago, a lesson now evident to the world. — Houston Chronicle
Which of our political leaders have the courage to lead the revolt against gun apathy? Some political figures, like presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, have sought to turn the discussion to foreign policy, and the need to combat ISIS. Fighting the terrorist group is a good idea in its own right, just as providing better mental health services — another common promise politicians make to evade questions about guns — would make sense anyway. But neither will cure America of the gun violence that reaches into churches, movie theaters, schools, offices, and now nightclubs. There is no shortcut: If we want fewer gun victims, we need fewer guns. — Boston Globe
In this well-planned attack at a gay nightclub on Latin Night, the killer not only wounded the LGBT community but also the national community of Muslim Americans, as horrified as any other Americans at the carnage done in the name of Islam. And at a time when Muslims, among others in this country, have been singled out for hateful political rhetoric. It would compound this national tragedy to allow it to fan the flames of anti-Muslim or anti-gay sentiments. — Miami Herald
There is apparently no level of gun violence that will give the National Rifle Association pause. The number of dead in the Orlando nightclub massacre is almost twice the number of victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. Nothing happened then. Nothing is likely to happen now.
Most Americans favor more control on guns – and nearly half want to end sales of the assault-style rifles that were used in Newtown and Orlando. But the NRA and the cowardly members of Congress it intimidates will not take action to better screen who can purchase a gun and to restore a ban on the sale of assault-style rifles. — Raleigh News & Observer
With the United States awash in an estimated 300 million guns, we will not stop this with gun control — not in our generation. But we can begin thinking long-term about how we start making it more difficult for bad people to get their hands on guns.
We can strengthen surveillance with stronger laws and more federal agents, but again, terror that requires the assembly of so few assets is almost impossible to prevent. Tighten surveillance too much in this country and you may do far greater damage to our basic freedoms.
So what can we do?
We can take a page from another free people who, like us, are hated for their values and their way of life. We can learn to live like Israelis. — Arizona Republic
No, the main answer is to counter the sources of hate: To crush the Islamic State and whatever rises to replace it as the cutting edge of Islamist hate, and also to finally get serious about targeting the Saudi and Iranian funding of extremist Sunni and Shiite Islam across the globe.
It’s all well to “stand united,” as the president said Sunday. What’s most needed is clarity on what we stand together against. — New York Post