Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Jun 14

Thoughts I’ve Had About the Mass Shooting in Orlando

This is kind of a stream-of-consciousness thing. I might stumble with words and thoughts that aren’t as clear or supportive as I’d like. It is not my intent to talk over any victims, their families or members, and I will continue to share their words via social media. But it’s impossible not to have thoughts, and I just wanted to get them all down.

50 people is the largest mass shooting the country has ever seen? C’mon, this is America. Surely, we’ve had worse than that.. which led to: I can’t believe how desensitized I am to violence like this as an American.

I am so relieved this was far away, that it doesn’t personally affect me, that I am not the target demographic for violence like this. I am reassured by my privilege. In the same token, I feel guilt at feeling these things, and I can only wonder how long it will be until those things are no longer true. The next bombing, shooting, hate crime or act of terrorism could hit much closer to home. And it’s awful even if I am not personally affected.

I can’t believe people are trying to erase the significance of it being a gay nightclub. This stuff matters. How can it not?

I also cannot believe that people will just paint him as a Muslim connected to any group. He was clearly mentally unstable, and professed his allegiance to multiple, mutually exclusive groups.

I do not want people to focus on that fact that the gunman was potentially closeted gay or bisexual because it minimizes the fact that most violence is done to the LGBT community by members of the straight community. But it’s clear he did have a preoccupation with the LGBT community.

And how can people say it’s not time to argue about gun control? Not only is it always time to argue for some sort of stricter regulation on firearms, but it makes sense to do it after a heinous crime is committed with a gun. In fact, I don’t understand any of the pro-gun rhetoric that’s being used right now.

I find it especially funny that people who say the gov can’t infringe on their second amendment rights even if it would deter some criminals and terrorists, which it would, are the same who say that men who have sex with men (and women who have sex with men who have sex with men) cannot donate blood. If you argue that the rights of the majority outweigh the risks of the minority, you cannot take both stances. Sorry.

Everyone has a theory how it could have been prevented or the violence lessened — never mind that there was an armed, off-duty police officer who fired at the shooter.. and he was overtaken and killed.

If more guns are the solution, then we’ll have to mandate firearm training and education for everyone, including those who never intend to be gun owners. I’m not sure how since we can’t even do this uniformly for gun owners.

I have no qualms about my stance on gun control. I could live comfortably in a country where citizens weren’t allowed to have them. I know these countries exist. I also know that countries such as Australia have successfully taken almost all guns off the streets. I realize the biggest hurdle here is the American culture surrounding the second amendment, and I’m not sure how we get to where other countries are from where we currently are. And, yes, it might mean that people are unable to protect themselves but people are going to die anyway. That’s so completely shitty but I’d rather see progress than this heel-digging-in we’ve got now.

I also understand that guns are just a tool but they’re a tool created specifically for destruction, even if that destruction is necessary or condoned. This one of the reasons why comparing guns to cars re: regulation is an imperfect analogy, but cars were not intended to do violence. They just happen to be capable of it, especially when used incorrectly.

Technology is both a blessing and a curse. That some people were able to call or text their loved ones even moments before their deaths is amazing. But to be on the receiving end of those calls? I can’t even imagine.

I am incredibly humbled and touched by the reports about the victims, their lives and the hole their deaths leaves in the world. From Anderson Cooper to BuzzFeed, the response has been tactful and compassionate.

It’s so difficult to process death. One moment, someone is alive and the next? Their machine has shut down. There’s a finiteness to that, which I just cannot grasp.

And, finally, I just wish I didn’t know that I would eventually come to peace with this.. until the next time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar