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Australians respond to Orlando

There’s nothing worse than waking up to the news of a massacre. Shock ripples were felt across the globe, and right here in Australia, as we learnt of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida - the worst in US history.

Love is love.jpgImage: Flickr - Victoria Pickering

In the face of tragedy it has been heartwarming to witness people from all around the world unite in support of a community dealing with devastating loss. So many thoughts and prayers are being shared.

However, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do when faced with such a tragedy. So what are some practical things that we, as Australian global citizens, can do to help?

Victoria Pickering.jpgVigil for Orlando
Image: Flickr - Victoria Pickering

Here are 4 simple things you can do right now:

1.Donate

You can contribute funds to support the survivors and families of the victims.

An LGBT+ civil rights organisation, Equality Florida have set up a donation page through GoFundMe. The Center in Orlando are also collecting donations to help fund resources on the ground such as counselling for victims and their families. A "We Stand With Pulse" victims fund has also been set up to help with medical costs.

2. Contact loved ones in the area

Call the Orlando Police hotline on:  0011-1-407-246-4357 if you think you know someone someone who may have been at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Also check out Facebook’s safety check feature for people in the affected area to check in and confirm they are ok.

3. Support gun control laws in Australia

The weapon used in the shooting is classified as a category D firearm in Australia meaning it is restricted to police, military and professional vertebrate pest controllers. However it can be legally purchased with a license for $9,000.

You can support Gun Control Australia in their attempts to tighten our gun laws.

4. Remember the victims not the murderer.

And lastly, in the days to come, honour the victims not the murderer. Remember their lives, share their names, faces and stories.