Sunday, 12 June 2016

A Guy Walks Into a Bar...

I had no words for a very long time.  I call myself a writer, and yet today I found myself unable to write anything appropriate.

On Saturday night, rising star Christina Grimmie was shot and killed as she signed autographs for her fans.

Early Sunday morning a man walked into a gay bar that was packed with over 300 people celebrating Pride.  Within half an hour, 50 people were dead, more than 50 wounded, and a community was in shock.

Mere hours later, a heavily-armed man who supposedly was on his way to the Los Angeles Pride Parade was arrested.  Quick thinking by people on the street could very well have stopped a similar occurrence.

Again.  And again.  The violence seems to be never-ending.  It's happening so often that many people can't even react any more.

Naturally the media is tearing apart the suspects in any way possible - their names, their heritage, their affiliations - looking for anything to lay blame on.  Few people are addressing the elephant in the room.  Few people want to because pro-gun organizations will most likely shout them down if they do.

I will lay the blame on hatred.  Hatred of that which is different: women, gays, members of a specific religion, whatever you can think of.  And I blame the coincidence of living in a place where access to high-powered firearms is easy enough so that the avenue to act on that hatred is there.

Twenty children lost their lives to a mentally ill gunman in 2012.  Every shooting since then has been followed by platitudes and calls for action but nothing has changed.  The United States has become a country where "others" - children, gays, women, people of colour - have become acceptable losses for a culture that insists on having an armed population.

That is no longer a "well-regulated militia".  That is anarchy.  And a disturbingly high percentage of people want to vote in a leader who wants more of the same.

It's not going to get any better.

Not unless enough people care about what happens to their fellow humans.

1 comment:

  1. I too feel speechless. Such atrocities!

    The things that are committed in the name of God or Allah. The crimes that people refuse to accept are crimes. The otherwise warm and supportive, intelligent people who stoop to bullying over a political candidate.

    I'm tired. Overwhelmed. Out of both patience and steam.