Two years after the devastating Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, FL, LGBT activists are planning a National Die-In Day at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
On June 12, 2016, a mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub claimed the lives of 49 people, many of whom were queer people of color. At the time, the event was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Now, activists are galvanizing communities across the country to gather at the nation’s capitol to honor victims of gun violence and support the push for sensible gun reform.
Amanda Fugleberg, a lifelong Orlando resident who’s organizing the die-in, tells The Advocate that she’s still shaken up by the events that took place in 2016.
“It brought me to tears to know something like that happened so close,” she said.
According to the organization’s Twitter page, the die-in at noon on June 12 is slated to last 12 minutes and 720 seconds, the latter representing the approximate number of people who’ve died in mass shootings since the Pulse massacre.
— National Die-In Day (@NationalDieIn) May 23, 2018
Fugleberg, along with co-organizer Frank Kravchuk, came up with the idea about two weeks ago. Since then, they’ve set up an official Facebook page, a GoFundMe, and received support from gun reform activist David Hogg, a survivor of the February 2018 mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. Hogg plans to help publicize the event.
The duo also hopes to link up with Brandon Wolf, a Pulse survivor and fellow activist.
In terms of policy reform, Fugleberg and Kravchuk hope to see improved screenings of potential gun owners: “I’d like to see universal background checks, which right now are not great considering the Pulse shooter was able to acquire guns when he’d been on an FBI watch list,” Fugleberg added.
National Die-In Day is one of many efforts to rally around gun reform laws: Earlier this year, students in schools around the country walked out of their classes in solidarity with Parkland survivors. And today, June 1, people nationwide are wearing orange in honor of National Gun Violence Awareness Day.