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Rep. Beyer Releases Statement on Orlando Nightclub Shooting

Rep. Don Beyer in his Capitol Hill office (file photo)Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) has released a statement about Sunday’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

The shooting left 50 dead, including the gunman, who pledged allegiance with ISIS.

In his statement, Beyer said “we must make progress on gun safety” while also remaining “committed to the long term fight against Islamic extremism.”

Our hearts are broken. Forty-nine Americans, in the primes of their lives, murdered in the name of an evil ideology, targeted for their sexual orientation. I don’t want to believe the death toll.  As with so many tragedies in our nation’s and the world’s history, we cannot fathom the cruelty and raw evil of man’s inhumanity to man.

But it seems essential that we figure out how to stop these slaughters.

Number one, we must make progress on gun safety. When the Founding Fathers wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights to our Constitution, the right for a “well-regulated militia to keep and bear arms” certainly did not anticipate military grade automatic weapons capable of killing huddled school children and dancing young people by the dozens in seconds. Banning assault weapons must be a meaningful first step.

Number two, we must be committed to the long term fight against Islamic extremism.  Yes, we have our own share of psychopathic, sociopathic young men who kill for ideology or joy. But the ISIS and al-Qaeda inspired missions to kill infidels and to proclaim an Islamic caliphate have created an ideological terror center for the most unbalanced people within a massive, historic, peaceful religion. While respecting the millions of Muslims who live, work, and build communities with us, contributing to our American society and culture – still, we must be relentless in detecting, disrupting, and destroying the extremist cells and their acolytes, here and abroad.

Number three, we must recognize that homophobia cannot be contained. Hatred breeds hatred. We are horrified that one man targeted LGBT victims at two a.m. on an Orlando Sunday morning. But we are not blameless, when we tell government contractors it is okay to discriminate against someone because they are gay or lesbian – or tell transgender school children that we will not respect their gender identity.

Our sincere, sustained message of inclusion will create a powerful wall against LGBT hate.

We live in an imperfect world. But let’s do what we can – ban assault weapons, destroy ISIS, and celebrate our LGBT friends and family. Perhaps this is how we best honor the fallen of Orlando.

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The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.

The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

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Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.

Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.

About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.

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Submit your own Announcement here.

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