• People and members of the gay community gather in Sao Paulo, Brazil to mourn the victims of the mass shootingin Orlando, Florida, at the Pulse gay nightclub. (Getty Images, NurPhoto)Source: Getty Images, NurPhoto
Practical things Australians can do to help the victims of the Orlando shooting.
By
Alyssa Braithwaite

13 Jun 2016 - 11:35 AM  UPDATED 15 Jun 2016 - 9:39 AM

As the world reacts to the worst mass shooting in US history at Pulse nightclub, the people of Orlando, Florida, are being urged to give blood, attend vigils set up by the LGBTQIA+ community, and help provide services for counselling hotlines that have been set up for victims, family and friends.

But there are things you can do from the other side of the world. Here are four ways Australians can help the victims of the Orlando shooting.

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Donate money

Equality Florida, the state's LGBT+ civil rights organisation, has set up a donation page on GoFundMe to support the families of the victims and the survivors. The aim is to raise $1 million and so far more than $US860,000 has been donated by more than 21,000 people, and it's rising quickly.  

The Center in Orlando, which is organising resources on the ground including counselling to support victims and their families, is also collecting donations on a GoFundMe page. It has raised almost $US126,000 so far. 

A "We Stand With Pulse" victims fund has been established on Crowdrise to collect money for medical costs and funeral bills incurred by victims.  They are hoping to raise $100,000 and have collected over $US12,000 so far. 

First response and relief organisations, such as the Central Florida chapter of the American Red Cross, can also use extra resources and support.

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Check in with loved ones in the area

The Orlando Police have set up a hotline at 0011-1-407-246-4357 you can call if you think someone you know might have been at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Facebook has activated its safety check feature for people living in the Orlando area, and concerned people around the world. Facebook users who survived or were injured can confirm they are ok, and alert their friends of their status. It also allows users to monitor their own friends list, and mark friends and loved ones as safe if they’ve been in touch.

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Support gun control in Australia

The gun used in the Pulse nightclub massacre was an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the same weapon used to kill 14 in the San Bernadino shootings in 2015, and in the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. It has been called the "gun of choice for mass shootings".

In Australia it is classified a category D firearm, meaning it is restricted to military, police, and professional vertebrate pest controllers. A company in Melbourne makes and sells AR-15 rifles legally and they can be purchased by licensed buyers for almost $9,000.

Remember the victims, not the murderer

Remember the victims who lost their lives, not the person who ended them. Flood social media with their faces, names and stories, and honour their lives.