It is almost a week since the slaughter of 49 people in a nightclub in Orlando. If the media is any indication of what is true, our nation is sad, angry, confused and shaken. At the very least those are good descriptors of where I am.
Sad, intensely, that 49 lives have been taken. They were mercilessly killed by a man wielding guns who in my humble opinion had no right obtaining or owning. Somewhere on line I read that it is easier to buy an assault rifle than Sudafed. (Probably an exaggeration but you get the point. We choose what we regulate and guns seem to be too sacred for the Feds to touch.)
We are angry at each other and we are angry at our elected officials who refuse to do anything about this plague of violence. I think J.J. Goldberg’s editorial in The Forward is right on target. He asks, “Why the Orlando Massacre has America so angry at itself”. We are so angry we can’t hear each other talk; we are so angry we can’t even agree on the causes of the attack. Is it the easy access to assault weapons? Is it Radical Islam and the actual or emotional ties that the killer had to ISIS? Is it homophobia or even self-loathing? Is it mental instability? Is it one of the above, some of the above or all of the above.
I don’t mean to be cute or make light of the tragedy. My answer is it is all of the above. It is too easy to get assault weapons in this country and if someone is on the no fly list and they are too dangerous to be sitting on a plane next to me it feels too obvious that they are too dangerous to have a semi-automatic rifle. And that is on Congress. And that is on our public representatives who are supposed to insure that “government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” Well who cares for “the people” in Washington? Not those who think guns are more sacred than human lives, or the gun lobby is too powerful to go up against.
I can feel my anger rising as I write. I am not afraid to say the words “radical Islam”. I am also not afraid to say the words “Jewish extremists and Christian crusaders”. My point being that every religion and culture has those who pervert their fundamental message and use them for their own political purposes. I feel for my gay friends. This hit their community extra hard. All the pride and progress of the last few years diminished. It is a terrible reminder that we have a long way to go for GLBT equality and acceptance. And how young? But I guess that’s no criteria – they were younger still at Sandy Hook.
No, I don’t care what you say: It is not about ISIS; it is not about Homophobia: It is not about mental instability; it is about guns. It is about easy access. Someone will always find a cause worth killing for. It is about the cowardice of congress. It is about the failure of our representatives to protect us. It is about their interest, not ours. It is disgusting.