BOSTON (CBS) — During a press conference at the State House Monday morning regarding public safety after the massacre that killed 49 and wounded more than 50 at an Orlando gay club, Gov. Charlie Baker said the mass shooting hit especially close to home for him, as his brother and several of his friends are gay.
“This one was particularly close to home for me,” said Gov. Baker. “I actually spent some time last night talking to my brother, who is gay, as well as several other friends I have who are gay, and just said to them, “how are you feeling?'”READ MORE: Omicron COVID Variant Detected In Massachusetts Woman
“The answer I got, which I think is pretty consistent with the response you get from anybody in the LGBT community at the moment was, ‘I spend a lot of time thinking that things are getting better and that things are improving, and then we all discover that there are some people who hate because of who we are’,” Baker said. “And there’s no room for that, here in the Commonwealth or anywhere in society.”
He offered his condolences to the victims, and said the shooting hit especially close to home for him.
“I think I speak for everybody in the Commonwealth when I say that our hearts go out to every family and all the friends that were affected by the horrible tragedy and act of terror that took place in Orlando on Saturday night,” said Gov. Baker.
Baker said that state security and transportation officials had an all-hands-on-deck call Sunday night with federal safety officials to discuss transportation safety. He said there was increased security at Logan Airport and on the MBTA over the weekend, which would continue throughout the week. In addition, he said Secretary of Public Safety & Security Daniel Bennett has been in constant contact with the Joint Fusion Center and the Joint Terrorism Task Force since the mass shooting happened.
He said his administration had reached out to organizers of Pride activities to offer them assistance and security at any events this month.
The governor said there was no belief that there is any connection between the gunman and the Tsarnaev brothers, despite the fact that the shooter mentioned them in a call to 911 from the Pulse nightclub during which he also pledged allegiance to ISIS.
“It does not appear that he has any direct connection to that at all,” said Baker, adding that all leads were being pursued.READ MORE: Wind Gusts Across Eastern Mass. Projected To Be 50 MPH Or Higher On Monday Night
Baker was also asked about GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s comments in response to the shooting.
“I think folks who are trying to use this horrible act, which is having enormously tragic consequences for dozens and dozens of people, as a tool in any kind of political fight, from any side, are not thinking straight about this at all,” said Baker. “Let’s have somebody take his laptop apart and a few other things and see what they can find out before we start drawing conclusions.”
“I said before that I don’t think Donald Trump has the temperament to be president,” Baker added. “I stand by that comment.”
He cautioned against laying blame on the Muslim community or any religious group in general.
“I think anybody who talked to anybody in the Muslim community yesterday would have found the same sense of profound sorrow sadness about what happened that you found talking to anybody who had been paying attention to it at all,” said Baker.
“There are literally millions and millions of Muslims in the United States,” he added. “There are millions of Catholics, millions of Protestants. I don’t think there’s any evidence that we should be applying a broad brush to any big religious organization or big religious community based on the acts of any one, two, three, four, five individuals from that community.
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