BREAKING: 50 dead at gay club in Florida after worst mass shooting in US history

At least 50 people are dead, and 53 injured, after a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida last night.

CNN says this is the deadliest mass shooting in US history. President Obama will deliver a statement on the shooting at 130pm Eastern time.

Florida US Senator Bill Nelson says that officials have indicated there is “some connection to ISIS” with this shooting.

The Daily Beast reports that the shooter was known to the FBI, and had been investigated by them previously. As a reminder, Republican Senators killed a measure six months ago to prohibit suspected terrorists from buying guns.

UPDATE: Donald Trump is using this opportunity to blame the attack on a failure to say the words “radical Islam.” Because apparently Trump thinks 50 more people would be alive right now if we all simply clicked our heels three times and said the magic words. Pathetic.

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UPDATE: Man with arsenal reportedly arrested heading to Los Angels Pride festivities. Authorities are claiming this is “completely unrelated” to what happened in Florida. That is extremely difficult to believe.

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gay rainbow flag shutterstockThe shooting happened at 2am with a handgun and an AR-15 type automatic rifle. The gunman then took hostages and held them for three hours, until a SWAT team stormed the bar and shot him dead.

CNN identified the gunman as Omar Mateen, born in Florida, though his parents are from Afghanistan.

There is obvious speculation as to what motivated the shooting. There is already speculation by the FBI that Mateen may have had leanings towards radical Islam. Mateen’s father thinks religion wasn’t the motivation:

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The Republican lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, seemed to suggest this morning that gays brought this shooting on themselves. He has finally deleted the tweet, but has issued no clarification, nor any statement on the shooting.

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And just last night, the NRA’s social media director was lecturing people on Twitter about giving people “time to grieve” before lamenting how many people are killed by guns in our country. And then, more shootings only a few hours later:

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Queer Nation NY and others are planning a vigil at 6pm tonight (Sunday, June 12) in front of the Stonewall Inn, at Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village, NYC. Alan Klein, a cofounder of Queer Nation NY, told me that the vigil is “to mourn the victims, support the families, and to speak out against the hate, whether homespun or from around the world, has always led to violence against our community.”

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Nate Silver reports that terrorists are turning to guns in the US because they’re so readily available:

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Authorities are urging local to give blood, and if anyone attended the club before the shooting and left, they too are being asked to contact the police.

June is Pride month for the LGBT community.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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