How will elected officials respond to the horrific Orlando shooting?

There has been another mass shooting, this time at gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

It’s the deadliest in U.S. history, not to mention the worst terrorist attack since 9/11. But what are the next steps for President Obama and political leaders who want to actually tackle the issue of gun violence?

What can be done to deal with the carnage?

The gunman, Omar Mateen, went on a rampage at the Pulse nightclub, armed with leaving 50 dead and 53 wounded. Mateen, 29 — who was born in New York and a resident of Florida — reportedly professed his allegiance to ISIS, and his father supports the Afghan Taliban and also harbors homophobic views.

To get the ball rolling, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) unveiled legislation today that would make it a crime for people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from owning firearms. “We must take every step to keep America safe, which means targeting and taking out terrorists while keeping guns out of the wrong hands,” Casey said in a statement, calling the shooting “an act of terror” and “an attack on the LGBT community.”

“It’s time for Congress to finally act on gun violence and ban military-style weapons, put limits on clips and magazine sizes, ban those on the terrorist watchlist from purchasing firearms and require background checks on all gun sales. We know that the shooter in Orlando used a high-powered weapon that allowed him to fire a large number of bullets in rapid succession,” Casey added. A law is currently in place prohibiting gun ownership to those with a felony record.

Certainly, Casey’s measure is something President Obama and the Democrats can get behind. The president, who has demonstrated leadership on the issue of firearms proliferation, has made far too many speeches and has comforted far too many family members of fallen victims.

Further, he has issued executive orders on background checks, mental health, gun safety technology, law enforcement training, research on gun prevention and other related matters. With Republicans controlling Congress — and the full ownership of their bodies and souls by the NRA — this is the route that Obama was forced to take, as any gun control legislation in a GOP-dominated Congress is a tough sell. The statements of the unhinged Republican standard-bearer Donald Trump, who suggested Obama was somehow involved in the Orlando massacre, gives you a taste of what is coming from that side of the aisle. And surely those rightwing Republicans who are both Islamophobic and homophobic will not prove helpful in the post-Orlando debate.

Although the president has but a little over half a year in office, and despite the limits of presidential actions and a nonresponsive opposition party, this does not mean nothing can be accomplished. Speaking in political terms, though an issue such as murder should be nonpartisan, Orlando could serve as a rallying point for people who want to end this gun madness. Further, this tragic and senseless event could help bring the gun debate front and center in this election season.

Obama can use the bully pulpit to shame lawmakers who refuse to take action on stemming the bloodshed and who also stir the pot of division, fear and intolerance against minority groups. The Orlando massacre is being compared to the Charleston massacre, which took place a year ago this week.

Last June, Dylann Roof, a white supremacist, killed nine black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church, sparking debate over guns and the Confederate flag. One year later, in the wake of Orlando, there is an opportunity to examine the link between hate and violence, and the consequences when a harsh environment is created for those who are perceived to be the “other.”

Moreover, domestic violence is a big factor that must be tackled as well. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, American women are 11 times more likely to be shot to death than in other advanced nations. More than half of women gunned down in recent years were killed by intimate partners, and in 57 percent of mass shootings, the perpetrator killed an intimate partner. Further, people with a history of domestic violence are five times more likely to shoot their partner to death.

This is a conversation we must have, and political candidates for president all the way down to dog catcher who care about this must speak out, hold town hall meetings and write policy proposals. We need to revisit the way we look at the Second Amendment and treat this as a public health crisis. But more importantly, we need a movement to change America’s gun culture and love for violence.

Democrats, awakened from their slumber on gun control and no longer afraid to talk about such matters, have been handed a perfect issue.

Follow David A. Love on Twitter @davidalove