I’ve refrained from mentioning anything on social media after this past weekend because I needed some time to gather my thoughts before doing so. Even still, it’s hard to put my feelings into words…I’ve already rewritten this post three times.
Let me start by posting here what a good friend of mine, who happens to be gay, posted on Facebook this morning. I could not have said it better myself:
“To even try and share my feelings on this past weekend tears me apart. I am beyond horrified with the events that have taken place in Orlando. How the hell did we get here? When did it become the norm to allow your beliefs to change the lives of others? I am appalled at the comments like “Finally someone is shooting perverts instead of innocent people”. How did we become a country that allows ourselves to persecute others!? I truly don’t give a shit that this guy was Muslim. …I care that he felt it was ok to murder innocent people because of who they love! Hatred, bigotry, intolerance…THESE ARE THE ISSUES!! The man who I quoted above is a WHITE AMERICAN! Given the right tools- he is just as capable of committing a horrendous hate crime! So maybe ISIS would like to take credit for this mass shooting. But in the comments that A LOT of Americans have been making- they too are taking some sort of credit. Anyone who is not speaking out against this horrible crime is taking credit. How? Because it is them who opens the door for this kind of hatred to take over. Whether you have an issue with Muslims, LGBT people, Jews, Immigrants, people on welfare, etc.- spreading hate and disgust fuels the fire in people to rationalize their own hate. When it is normal for a person to persecute another based on differences- it becomes normal for these radical few to plan these acts of pure violence. There will always be people and things we have to be careful of… but this shit has got to stop!! It has become all too common for people to lose their lives over BULLSHIT!
I see story after story about all of the amazing people who have helped one way or another for these victims from the Pulse shooting. And I am trying my hardest to focus on those… because in my heart- I want to believe that is what the majority of our country is made of! A country full of loving, decent, kind human beings who truly want what’s best for our citizens as a whole… no matter your race, sexuality, religion, or beliefs. But in order to change the world- we have to change! We have to spread more love and acceptance to EVERYONE! Instead of trying to build walls- lets shatter them! Let us prove that this hatred and persecution will not bring us down… it will build us up! It will allow us to come together and make a stand. WE DESERVE BETTER, AMERICA!! Our children deserve better!! As far as our ancestors have brought us in this world… we are shitting on their graves with how we not only treat each other- but our planet as a whole. Be good to one another… love and accept all! That alone will make our world a better place!”
Now let me say that I am a straight woman who fully supports the LGBT community. I also support the security used at venues in order to keep our favorite musicians safe from harm. The past few years have been riddled with school shootings, movie theater shootings, mall shootings, concert shootings, club shootings, etc. Keyword being “shootings.” Orlando will no longer be known solely as the happiest place on Earth because of Disney World…it will be known as the city where the worst mass shooting in U.S. history occurred. It will be known as the place where a deranged fan walked in heavily armed and shot an incredibly talented musician, Christina Grimmie, as she signed autographs for fans after her set.
Our “Land of the Free” is no longer free. Our kids are no longer completely safe wherever they go. We live in a country where hardworking people pay $200 a month for insurance that barely covers anything anymore. Pharmaceutical companies no longer want to cover medications regardless of whether or not they’re prescribed. My father died a month after discovering he had liver cancer because the doctors are so busy expanding their practices to include Botox and Cool Sculpting rather than detecting cancer in their current patients. Those who are not working, don’t have the money to afford private insurance. Therein lies the issue of undiagnosed mental disorders. Those with psychological issues are not being treated properly or in a timely manner. Pair that with the ease of attaining assault weapons and firearms and you have a recipe for disaster. Why is it so difficult to attain health insurance, but it’s so easy for someone on the FBI watch list for the past 2 years to purchase an assault weapon?? Why is so easy for ANYONE to purchase a gun, period??
I spent all of Sunday in a state of disbelief. Thinking about the 100+ families that were waiting to hear if their child or sibling were one of the casualties, injured or survivors of the horrific shooting at Pulse nightclub. Imagining what those inside of the club experienced when they heard shots being fired. Wondering how this group of people could be targeted simply because of who they love. We’re talking LOVE here. They weren’t gathering to conspire against anyone. They were celebrating being proud of who they are as HUMAN BEINGS.
It’s a scary world we live in at the moment. Kids are being brought up in a world where you don’t need to work hard, you just need to participate. They’re being ostracized for being different rather than being taught to embrace their uniqueness. They’re abusing the luxury of being able to communicate with their favorite actors/musicians/athletes on social media and using it to hurt them instead. Everything these days is fueled by hatred and ignorance. You don’t have to understand why a person is gay, you just have to accept that they are. It doesn’t make them a bad person, it makes YOU a bad person for thinking they deserve to be punished because of who they love.
I could go on and on about this issue for days, but I’ll end it here. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Christina Grimmie, and also to the numerous families of the victims at Pulse nightclub. Most of all…RIP to all of the lives lost this weekend. Let us remain hopeful that gun laws will be amended, that healthcare will improve and be made more affordable so that those who do suffer from metal disorders can seek the help they need in order to help prevent things like this from continuing to happen.
As my friend said so perfectly…”We deserve better, America! Our children deserve better!”
***If you’re not in the Orlando area and are unable to donate blood, please visit the following link set up to help support the families of the victims