Oak Lawn Businesses and Residents Respond to Orlando Shooting

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DALLAS -- “I’m angry. I’m mad. I’m starting to tear up, I’m so mad about this."

Those were the words, said many times over, by ES Collection manager Charles Vaughan Sunday in Dallas' Oak Lawn neighborhood. That's because it's not just the Orlando community feeling the effects of the biggest single shooter rampage killing in United States history.

“I have several friends in the Orlando area, all of which I have texted this morning to see how they’re doing," Vaughan said. "I’m still waiting to hear back from three or four people.”

It's a trying time for Vaughan as a retailer, as a friend, and as a gay man.

“It’s murder. It is taking away the life of someone else for no reason," he said. "There’s no reason. There’s no reason for any of this.”

The events at Orlando's Pulse Nightclub, where an estimated 50 people were killed and 53 more injured, fosters even more fear in Oak Lawn. It was once a safe spot for the LGBT community, but now it's becoming known as a haven of hate crimes against its inhabitants.

Bars and clubs in the area have picked up protection of their patrons.

“It’s high-quality camera systems that we’ve installed or the fact that we’ve added armed security,” Alexandre's owner Lee Daugherty said about recent steps made to keep people safe.

“I’ve never questioned my safety inside of the clubs until now," Vaughan said. "If they can bring an assault rifle into a club in Orlando, they can bring one into Dallas."

So will there be even more changes by Oak Lawn businesses in response to Orlando?

“We will have to review our plans for possible incidents and work through those, but there will be no change of vigilance because it’s remained high,” Daugherty said.

Heightened security and vigilance are necessary now, but for Vaughan at least, there's another important question.

“When are we going to hold hands with one another and embrace what makes us different?" he asked. "That’s what makes us the same."

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