Northwest Native: Heartbroken.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Heartbroken.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to the news that there was a shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, and that twenty people had died. Later, that number had climbed to fifty, making it the worst mass shooting in the history of this country. I was (and am) deeply saddened. I can't wrap my head around how anyone could ever commit a horrific act like this. But I can't say that I was shocked, and that makes this even more heartbreaking.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may remember this post. I mentioned that I avoid talking about 'the issues' on this space, because I don't want to offend, I don't want backlash, and I don't want to lose any of this community. But I can't stay silent now.

I want to start by saying I am devastated over the loss of fifty innocent lives. I cried multiple times yesterday reading and watching coverage and thinking about the family members and friends that had someone special taken from them, and about all the things that were taken from the victims.

And now I have to break my silence on some things. It's more important to me to be totally honest than to care about who stops reading my blog because they disagree with me.

First of all, I have to say that I am one hundred percent for gay marriage. I was thrilled with the Supreme Court ruling that made it legal throughout the country. I remember the ruling came down on a Friday, and I had already posted my Friday Favorites, but I updated it to add that as my number one favorite. So, this isn't the first time I've publicly declared my support of LGBT rights on the blog, and I haven't shied away from publicly commenting in support on other blogs either. (This isn't actually a belief I ever purposely avoided blogging about, but I feel it should be mentioned.)

I absolutely do not condone violence of any kind. I feel like we are too war-hungry as a nation, and along with that, we are probably desensitized to violence to an extent. And yes, I know that there have been necessary battles fought, and that brave men and women have fought for our country and many have sacrificed their lives, and I am not discounting that.

I think we definitely need some reform in our gun control laws. I don't think it's okay that pretty much anyone can get their hands on an assault rifle. I honestly don't think anyone needs to be able to access an assault rifle, except maybe the military. Yes, I do know about the Second Amendment. No one is suggesting that we take all guns away and ban them for life. But we need a better system. For example, under our current system, an individual on the terror watch list can still buy whatever guns he damn well pleases. Does that seem right to anyone?

Speaking of terror, terrorists come from all sorts of backgrounds. Yes, we have seen Islamic extremists (extremist is the operative word here) carry out acts of terror. But these things happen at the hands of all sorts of races, religions, and backgrounds. When I see people making generalizations about an entire religion because of these things, it terrifies me. Saying we need to ban an entire religious group from our country (or worse, making threats against them) makes us as bad as extremists who do commit acts of terrorism. And I think about all of the Muslims who live in this country and are just as horrified by Islamic extremists as everyone else is and it makes me scared for them. Freedom of religion is also in the Constitution, for anyone who thinks we need to keep our assault rifles but get rid of Muslims. Just wanting to point out the double standard at play there.

I believe in equality for all. I don't care what color you are, what religion you are, who you love, what gender you identify with. Living in this country is supposed to mean "liberty and justice for all," not just for majorities.

I have had a pit in my stomach all day. I still can't imagine how someone could be filled with so much hatred for anyone to commit an atrocity like this. My heart breaks for the victims, their family and friends, the LGBT community, the city of Orlando and the first responders, and this country.

Comments turned off for obvious reasons. I know some people will agree, and some will disagree. Both sides are entitled to their opinions, and this is a statement, not a debate. Feel free to email me (my email address is in my about me section) or contact me otherwise if you wish, but if you're going to argue, I probably won't respond. If you're going to send me insults or hateful remarks, I'll probably just screenshot them and post them in a future blog post, if I'm being honest.

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