Some candidates are emphasizing their positions on after the massacre Sunday at an Orlando LGBT night club. Missouri State University socio-political communication professor Elizabeth Dudash-Buskirk expects gun control issues to drive voters to the polls this election year.
“This may, in fact, impact the election because some people will see it as a reason to vote or not vote for one candidate over another,” said Dudash-Buskirk.
She says the Orlando attack will, at the very least, spur public discussion about guns and gun violence.
“I think that whether or not legislation gets pushed through will depend, unfortunately, on how the election falls and how fast people move on gun legislation in Congress,” said Dudash-Buskirk.
There were 49 people killed and more than 50 hurt in Sunday’s attack at Pulse Orlando. Police shot and killed the gunman, Omar Mateen. He called 911 just before the massacre and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Several vigils are taking place this week in Missouri to remember the victims. St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia have already held vigils. One will be held in Joplin at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Landreth Park and Springfield is organizing a vigil for Friday at 7 p.m. at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of the Ozarks.