George Takei to LGBT community: Fight for strict gun laws
© Getty Images

Actor George Takei on Tuesday said the LGBT community must push for stricter gun control after the recent mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando.

“Now this latest and most deadly attack has targeted a group that has spent the last few decades learning how to organize, fight for and protect its rights,” Takei wrote in a Daily Beast op-ed.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Perhaps, then, the next chapter of LGBT history might not be just about the struggle to gain equality for ourselves, but also how we might help lead this country towards a collective right to participate and live free of fear and terror, and ultimately toward a common-sense, permanent ban on weapons designed for mass slaughter.”

Forty-nine people were killed and 53 others were wounded when a gunman opened fire early Sunday morning on Pulse nightclub. Authorities have since identified the shooter as Omar Mateen, 29, following his death during a shootout with law enforcement.

Takei on Tuesday said Mateen’s targeting of a gay nightclub suggests animosity toward the LGBT world.

“There is little doubt, for instance, that the killer targeted his victims out of hate. He intended to strike not just at people, but at a closely knit community.”

Takei, who is gay, added tightening firearms regulations is essential for preventing future bloodshed elsewhere.

“Assuming the threat we face now comprises heavily armed, homegrown religious fanatics bent on inflicting massive casualties, the logical solution is to render them less armed and less fanatical,” he said.

“Like it or not, this history and this obligation have been thrust upon us, and we must now rise to its challenge," he added. "For if there is one group in this country with more will, more experience and more tenacity than the [National Rifle Association] NRA, it is the LGBT community. You don’t want to mess with us.”