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Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando

I don't have Facebook, don't use Twitter or Snapchat or any other form of social media. The only internet presence I have (barely) is through this very basic blog.
I am not one to present emotional quips through social media, and that's why I don't use and often find the platforms to be flat and unsatisfying. Nonetheless, I need to express my incredible sadness at this moment.
After learning about the mass shooting and murder of 50 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando,  which took place on June 12, my heart was doubly crushed at learning of the savage shooting of the up-and-coming singer Christina Grimmie, who was also murdered in Orlando, on Friday, June 10th at an unrelated event.  Christina was my personal favorite when she was on "The Voice" a couple years back. Her voice was gorgeous. When she died she was only 22 years old, and she didn't even have a chance to fight back because the coward who shot her did so at an autograph signing, strapped with 2 guns and a hunting knife and probably smiled all the up through the line until he got so close to her that the shot was surely fatal. Oh, and then he took his own life, not having to face the years racked with guilt and sorrow and despair that he caused.

My sorrow also radiates from a shocked, terrified state. Because, I am a queer person who could have easily been in that nightclub in Orlando and watched my friends taken hostage or being shot.  Anyone shivers at imaging having to hide in a bathroom stall while a gunman hunts down your friends, not knowing if you will make it out, texting your loved ones "goodbye".  Not only is it difficult enough for queer, gay, and transgendered folks to just simply live, there are awful, sick humans making it their business to wipe them out.

WHAT THE FUNK are we doing as a nation?

HOW THE FUNK are we continuing to let this happen? How long ago was Columbine? 1999! What year is it now? 17 years later... Even before Columbine there have been lunatics with automatic weapons poised to kill many, many people based upon their sexuality, their faith, their skin color. This article is a list of such sadness dating back to 1984: http://timelines.latimes.com/deadliest-shooting-rampages/ .

And while psychos like Donald Trump and his conservative minions double down on their pledge of banning Muslims, and while too many elected government officials continue to murmur, "No, now isn't the time to ban semi-automatic weapons", more people are going to die. More regular, fun-loving, hard-working, talented, intelligent, good people are going to get shot.  If elected President, Trump is going to use this as a way to pass terrible, bigoted, hateful, anti-every-faith-besides-Conservative-Christian laws - just as George W. Bush used 9/11 to pass the Patriot Act, the profoundly pervasive act that allowed government to intrude upon and essentially own United States citizens' privacy.  And even if not elected, Trump will use this shooting, among the others in most recent history, as fodder to help spread his poisonous theories and his "ideas" about every female, person of color, disabled persons, and persons of different opinion and faiths than him.

And the general population will eat it up and become terrified and hide their heads in the sand with a rifle in both arms, ready to shoot, to kill, whichever unlucky soul passes their way first.

WHAT ARE WE DOING AS A COLLECTIVE GROUP OF PEOPLE TO CHANGE THIS?

I am angry. No, livid. I am stupefied that, my god, here we are again.  And what will change because of this?  Why are so many parents losing their children? In the name of what?  Are the guns laws going to finally change to reflect the sanity of sensible United States citizens? Or are we going to continue pandering to the lunacy and extreme hatefulness of a handful of folks who believe it is their right to erase groups of people simply because they are DIFFERENT than themselves.

I am sick thinking of what this culture has brought upon itself by cultivating a nation of virtual reality killers, detached children, 9-5 slaves to a flawed system; a culture of sad, sickened youth who will pledge their allegiance to an extremist cult because it is the only thing that makes them feel loved, protected, and understood. Even worse, what this nation is effectively choosing to keep bringing upon itself will be magnified in exponential ways if we don't interrupt the cycle with SERIOUS, COMPASSIONATE, CARING, gun reform, mental health services, and a slew of social and psychological reformations and repairs. We need gun reform. We need mental illness to be taken seriously.

What more has to happen for this to become clear?



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