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Gun violence survivor Daniel Hernandez speaks out about Orlando club shooting

Daniel Hernandez

PHOENIX — In the aftermath of the devastating Orlando nightclub attack Sunday, gun violence survivor Daniel Hernandez said changes are needed to stop more shootings from happening.

Hernandez knows what it is like to be in the line of fire. In 2011, he helped Rep. Gabby Giffords after she was shot in an attack in Tucson.

Now a Sunnyside Unified School District board member in Tucson and a member of the LGBT community, he said the United States needs to stay strong after such a tragedy.

“We are a community that is under attack, we are a community that is under threat, but instead of letting this win and letting us be terrorized, we have to stand up to those who terrorize us,” Hernandez said. “We also need to strengthen our resolve and say that, ‘Enough is enough,’ and that we are going to expect more of our elected officials and demand those who are currently running for office take a stance on these issues.”

Hernandez said citizens must demand action following the attack, specifically regarding the protection of those in the LGBT community and how the U.S. approaches the sale of guns.

“We have such lax gun laws in places like Orlando, like Florida, like Arizona, where people are not required to have background checks for every gun sale, so this (shooting) is a multi-faceted problem,” Hernandez said. “It is an intersection of the LGBT community and the gun violence protection community. I think it’s a wake-up call for many of us that we can’t live in silence and need to work together.”

Hernandez said he has seen similar shooting attacks every few years, but with the Orlando shooting now the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, it should have never gotten to this point.

“There is always going to be another mass shooting, but what we need to do is something to limit the loss of life,” Hernandez said.

He believes the next step is creating national reforms to prevent more killings, with politicians getting on board to help make changes in our gun laws.

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