Global media label Orlando an 'American horror story'

Senator Schumer calls for more gun control after Orlando
Senator Schumer calls for more gun control after Orlando

The shock of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history has reverberated through media coverage around the globe.

The horrifying attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people has dominated headlines in many countries, prompting questions about American gun ownership laws and the U.S. presidential race.

"Orlando: Another gaping wound," lamented the headline on the front page of French newspaper Liberation. The Times of India called the shooting an "American horror story." Photos of mourning friends and family were splashed across front pages.

On a day when Japanese newspapers weren't due to publish print editions, top daily Yomiuri Shimbun rushed out a special edition on the attack.

Many news organizations around the world pondered what the consequences of the shooting would be for the U.S. presidential election, noting the differing responses from leading candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

"The tragedy is going to set off an impassioned debate over the vulnerability of American to terrorism," French daily Le Figaro predicted.

China's state-run news agency Xinhua cited unidentified U.S. analysts as suggesting Trump could gain support because of his stance on immigration and religion, which has included proposing a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

Related: Orlando shooter worked for global security firm

But the Guardian, a liberal British newspaper with a sizable presence in the U.S., warned in an editorial against "lurching from fear into fantasies of omnipotence" and turning to a "strong man" for answers.

Omar Mateen, the 29-year-old gunman who carried out the massacre, was a U.S. citizen born in New York whose parents are originally from Afghanistan. He pledged allegiance to the Islamic extremist group ISIS during the attack, according to a U.S. official. But his family told investigators Mateen wasn't particularly religious from what they observed. They expressed surprise about any connection to ISIS, according to two law enforcement officials.

Other media outlets focused on the issue of gun deaths in the U.S. and past failures to overhaul ownership laws.

"Over 40,000 Americans are dying each year partly because they live in a society in which it is more politically viable to propose banning Muslims than regulate gun sales," wrote Nick O'Malley in a commentary for the Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian newspaper.

In much of the coverage around the world, there was sympathy and solidarity with the victims and those close to them.

The Chronicle Herald in Canada carried an illustration evoking the iconic World War II image of U.S. service members raising the American flag on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima. But the troops are replaced by people in civilian dress, one of them wearing a t-shirt saying "Orlando." And the Stars and Stripes is replaced by the rainbow flag of the gay community.

-- Yoko Wakatsuki, Sean Zhong, Shen Lu and Charles Riley contributed to this report.

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