It’s been nearly two weeks since the mass shooting in Orlando, FL at Pulse, a club that was a supposed to be a safe-zone for members of the LGBT community, their friends, family, and allies. A dance club was turned into a slaughter room when an armed man entered the club and began shooting the patrons that were there just to have a good time. In all fifty lives were lost, including the shooter, in a shocking event that served to remind America that we have two very serious and potentially deadly problems.
The first problem that we suffer from as a nation is the rampant hatred that seems to consume far too many people in this country. It all to often manifests itself in ways such as homophobia, transphobia, racist and sexism. In the case of the shooting in Orlando, Florida the hatred caused by homophobia reared its ugly little head in the form of twitter users when they began to congratulate the shooter, praising the slaughter of the people in the club and even claiming their “God” allowed it to happen.
“Florida Pulse gay club attacked I’m so happy someone decided to start shooting perverts instead of innocent people.” Twitter user @Jhowell1214
“50 gay people died in a nightclub thats what you call an effective shooting good shit gays dont deserve to live” Twitter user @Wontage
“The only good thing about the Orlando Shooting is that is was a gay club. So less gays in the world today.” Twitter @peterkaweesi
“I wake up to some dude shooting up a gay nightclub. Isn’t that weird. Homosexuality is condemned by God so that’s why he let that happen ppl” Twitter user @AhchNach
“I as an individual would congratulate and give thump up to the brother who killed filthy gays at #orlando shooting” Twitter user @VoiceofMuslims2
The popular idea among people like this is that everyone must conform to the idea that this is a “Christian” country, and therefore the constantly cherry-picked bible should be law. It’s a lie, it’s bullshit, and it’s a fear tactic that people use to try to control the masses and discriminate against those different from themselves. Along with this ideology comes the notion that “gay” people are subhuman, somehow less worthy of living than everyone else. If you don’t think this is true, just read the responses to the shooting . There are preachers that are actually happy that fifty people lost their lives because they (49 of them actually) were in the wrong place at the wrong time, while another fifty-three were wounded.
The second issue we face as a country is our obsessive need to own and stockpile weapons to the extent that civilian homes look like military storage rooms, (except less secure) and to use those weapons on people we don’t agree with or worse, total strangers that have done nothing. The United States is among the top four countries in the world with the most firearms owned by civilians, and has the most lax gun laws of those nations. The last mass shooter had been under investigation by the FBI and was still able to purchase the firearms used to gun down forty-nine innocent people and wound another fifty-three.
A mass shooting is defined as a shooting that leaves four or more people wounded or dead. In the United States there is a mass shooting nearly every single day, and sometimes more than one a day.
In 2015 we saw more than 209 days of the year with a mass shooting taking place and this year has brought us one of the most deadliest mass shootings in the history of the United States in the form of a hate crime that is claimed to be driven by religious zeal.
Since the Columbine shooting in 1999 the frequency at which renegade shooters destroy or ended the lives of innocent bystanders has increased at an alarming rate with no end in sight.
How many more innocent lives have to be taken by people with a god-complex and a hard on for assault rifles before something is done about these problems we face?
How many more graves have to be filled with children, teens and young adults that had their entire lives in front of them cut short by a bit of metal, black powder and someone with nothing to lose?
How many more?