A town which remained unremarkable in history until this week. Things changed dramatically for it residents and it would never be the same again.
Sometimes you draw a breath and you are stunned about how much a country and its people can take without inaction. The fact that news agencies are arguing over what has been classed as a school shooting is a testament to the fact that these incidents are happening far too often.
Seventeen people are dead at the hands of a teenager with a gun. If you ever experience a fraction of the hurt that this causes someone surely a person with a rational mind says ‘enough is enough’ and this cannot be allowed to continue.
It’s no longer about rights to protect someone’s ownership of a gun but the lives of those who are innocent and slaughtered.
I said in my blog post from last year when the horrific shooting took place in Las Vegas.
“If ISIS had carried out this attack, USA would have reacted. If North Korea had done the same they would have bombed their country. The utter madness and insanity in this that America cannot and will not police itself. Believing their second amendment right outweighs the rights of those who tragically lost their lives.”
The USA has to realise it has a serious problem. The problem is gun control. This problem isn’t just of mental health, which isn’t unique to America, it is all over the world. It is how we respond to it out children and their children will judge us.
There is always someone who will want to proportion blame other than the person who pulled the trigger on the guns. So far I have heard that the police at the nightclub were to blame, the lack of guns in the club and even the gay people who murdered should share the responsibility for their own deaths.
The appalling politicians and right-wing groups that latch on to what has happened and use if for their own gain. They proportion the blame to an entire religion which is wrong. Within most belief systems that there are the radical parts that will use this as an excuse to create mayhem and murder innocent victims. Many political parties have murdered in the name of their cause and under-pinned it with the belief that what they are doing is from god. It’s not. True religion does not kill.
The key to getting to grips with this sort of violence has to be education and understanding. The Islamic faith does and has to condemn these sorts of atrocities that are undertaken in its name. The Muslim Advocates which speaks on behalf of Muslims in American has rightly condemned the killings of innocent LGBT victims. Something that does not get reported in the wider press and beyond.
There has to be a working together of ordinary people who will speak for all sides to condemn this violence. ISIS and its ideology are evil and that message should be broadcast throughout the world. Allowing the lunatics of the far-right and the homophobic part of the Christian church to use it for their gain should be stopped right at the beginning.
The word ‘hate’ is often used in these circumstances. Sometimes we hear ‘ideology’ or ‘extremism.’ A lone gunman with ‘extremist tendencies’. Easy to hear but the actions are more difficult to understand. The actions of one man with a handgun and an assault rifle.
So far from what we have been told fifty people died in one place. Another 53 where injured caught up in the terrorist attack. Over a hundred lives affected and countless lives destroyed by the grief of losing someone in such a barbaric and senseless manner.
No religion teaches its followers to kill and destroy. Every established belief system would condemn and feel repulsed by the mass killing of any people.
The fact that the murderer chose the people from my community cuts deeper. The hatred he showed in destroying life in this way makes in more personal and more heartbreaking.
I don’t ask people to like gay people. I never expect people to even think that being gay is right. I do expect that others show the respect that they deserve by allowing them to be citizens that can go about their day without the hatred shown by this man. It takes a lot of courage to stand up and tell others who you are because we still live in a world where religions teach their followers that being gay isn’t just a sin but abnormal and a distortion of a human being. Because I will fall in love with a man instead of a woman I am somehow subnormal or something that can be cured.
Even now Christians still make a comment that it isn’t what god planned or what god intended and this same ignorance and hate permeates through into the minds of people like this terrorist. It is the same thread of hate that runs deep into the minds of people who want to destroy communities and make them hate each other. They want to see a divided country where people who are black, white, gay or straight are at war with each other. It will not happen.
The decent person sees beyond their differences and races and condemns all violence whether it is undertaken in the name of a warped belief or a political cause. I won’t pray but I will think before I sleep tonight the harm that hate causes and remember those people who have lost those that they hold dear. They should be comforting them not preparing for their funeral.