Gun laws the focus as Orlando 49 are buried y
US legislators meet tomorrow to vote on four proposals for limited gun restrictions, following the public outcry over the murder of 49 people in Orlando, Florida, last week.
President Barack Obama, who met survivors of the shooting and families of the dead in Orlando on Thursday, urged Congress to pass measures to make it harder to legally acquire highpowered weapons such as the semiautomatic rifle used in the attack.
On Friday, a group of Republican senators attempted to craft compromise legislation that might stand a better chance of passing.
Meanwhile, FBI agents questioned a member of the Florida mosque attended by Omar Mateen – who fatally shot 49 people and wounded at least 50 at gay nightclub Pulse – as new information surfaced that revealed the killer had exhibited chronic behavioural problems as a youth.
Mateen – the 29-year-old private security guard who was shot dead by police on June 12, ending the massacre – has been described by his first wife, whom he divorced after a brief marriage, as an abusive, mentally disturbed man with a violent temper.
While some of the victims have been buried, friends and families of most of those killed are preparing for a wave of funerals in the coming days – heralding a concentrated outpouring of grief spawned by the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. They will bury loved ones in large public ceremonies and small, intimate ones.
The dead ranged in age from 18 to 50, and came from New York, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and elsewhere.
“It is going to be a long road for the families of victims,” said Orlando’s mayor, Buddy Dyer, on Wednesday at the opening of a centre aimed at helping families with air travel and funeral plans.
Autopsies on all of the victims were completed on Tuesday, and 35 of the bodies have been released to funeral homes.
– Reuters, Wall Street Journal and USA Today
SOMBRE A man reads messages written on a cross at a memorial for those killed in the Orlando nightclub