The list of safe places is growing smaller and smaller each day. Or maybe the reality is that there was never any actual safe place, it was all a facade we built and imagined because we know we so desperately need that element of hope to make it through our days.
Either way in the last four years alone we’ve discovered that schools, churches, movie theaters, workplaces and now gay clubs are not safe places despite what they stand for. Places for us to grow and receive educations. Places of worship. Places of entertainment. Places where we work to afford living. Places we go to celebrate and to be accepted.
There are no words to make these things hurt less, to ease the pain so many people are experiencing, to soften the fear that begins to creep in and linger. There are not words, but there is definitely action. We need to take action to change something so that events like these stop happening. I know a lot of people will freeze up, have a quip about “we have a right to defend ourselves!”, roll their eyes, or just huff at me when I say that. But it’s true. Something needs to change if we expect anything else too.
My goal is not to take away all the guns, but if it was necessary to stop this stuff I’d consider backing that, but to keep them out of the hands of people who intend to murder others with them. Let’s make it incredibly difficult for people who have no reason to be owning a gun to acquire one legally. If you are already a law-abiding gun owner who goes through all the correct steps to obtain and own a gun than you’re still going to get your gun. Yes it might mean more steps, more background checks, more effort, but if you’re as disgusted by these mass shootings and murder as you should be then I don’t see why you won’t willingly take the steps seeing as they could potentially save multiple lives. Laws and regulations and what is available to civilians need to be regulated better. No one needs an assault weapon for personal use.
This might feel like an attack on pro-guns, which maybe it is, maybe I’ve lost my ability to be more objective on this topic. I’m just tired of waking up to hearing about another shooting, hearing about how people are losing family and friends because someone decided to play God and determine who gets to live and who doesn’t. About hearing how bigotry and hate have given someone the idea that killing people is okay.
What happened in Orlando was a hate crime against LGBT people that was carried out by a homophobic radical man with access to guns despite being on a no-fly list. If we forget why he did this and how easy it was for him to do so than we are doing a disservice to the 49 people he murdered and the 53 he seriously injured, not to mention all the people who love those individuals.
There has to be a world in which things like this don’t happen. We know it’s not the world of generations past, and it clearly is not the world we live in now, so our only hope is that it’s the world of future generations. But it can’t possibly be a reality if we do not do something now. We have to change gun laws. We have to change the way talk about hate and bigotry. We have to change how often we speak of love and put more trust in the idea that love always wins.