‘This hatred has no place in America.’
‘This isn’t what America is about.’
These types of sentiments are on full display in the aftermath of the Pulse shooting. They sound nice, like we’re a country of love and acceptance and hope which will block out the hatred and violence of these lives lost. They’re also bullshit. This is what America is about these days. We are a violent country where you can get gunned down going to a bar, political rally, movie, your work, …or at school. This is a country where you can be deemed too dangerous to get on a plane, but can leave the airport and legally buy a semi-automatic weapon. This is a country where gun rights trump gun victims.
If we weren’t this violent of a place, the response to this carnage would be getting some sort of sensible laws in place. We’d try something, hell at this point we’d try ANYTHING. Instead, all too often, you hear a response of more violence. ‘Well, if the guys in the club had been armed….’ The answer might be many things, but adding one gun per every ten people would not have done anything. Take a crowded, dark club filled with people drinking and adding 35 weapons would not have helped. We can’t tackle violence with allowing for more violence. America owns a shitload of guns – if guns made us safe, we’d be safe already.
If we want to become a country where this doesn’t happen, I’m all for that. However, we have to do something to get there. Maybe it’s because there were so many victims, maybe because the gay community has dealt with so much marginalization over the years that they don’t need this shit too, maybe because this was just one mass shooting too many, but I’m done. I’m done offering my hopes and prayers. I don’t have any left. I think I had just so many allotted to me for the victims of mass shootings, and I ran out after the last one. What I do have, and seem to have in spades, is my anger and outrage. That, I offer willingly. I am pissed; pissed that this happened, pissed that we can’t even talk about ending gun violence without being accused of being anti-American. If keeping mass shootings from happening is anti-American, then I guess I guilty as charged. But I love Americans too much to want this America. We must be better, and to do that we have to be willing to admit that we could be. It’s time to face this problem, not hide our collective heads in the sand and hope that our asses don’t get shot out from under us.
We are America and we have a gun problem.