As of late, it seems like there is one violent act after another. First, there was Christina Grimmie’s tragic death, where she was gunned down by a guy whom reports say she welcomed with open arms at a meet and greet after her concert in Orlando, Florida.
Then, there was the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub. This, I can’t even wrap my head around. I try not to get too political about things, but to every senseless social media post about how the United States needs gun control…I completely disagree. Had the security guards at that club been equipped to do more than push out a belligerant drunk, the shooting would not have lasted as long as it did, likely saving many, many lives. Yes, the use of guns can and does harm people…but there is almost always another person behind the trigger of that gun.
Be they deranged, mentally ill, crazy, whatever you want to call it…actions have consequences, and I really hate to think what would have become of either shooter in Orlando. Life in prison? Gee, like that does anything for the families who are irreparably torn apart by the loss of their loved one.
So good you say, that they’re dead. I’m not sure that’s a whole lot better. A lack of answers and reason and explanation can leave a person in pieces. While I have no personal connections to either incident, inexplicable violence and harm is something I personally struggle with having been on the receiving end of it countless times.
Much like having a disability others can’t readily see when I step out of my car and the little blue placard swings from my rearview mirror, mental demons are like no other. I’d hazard to guess no two are the same, but from my experience, mine keep me up at night. They literally strangle me to breathe at night…and sometimes, at my lowest moments, they make me think that in the wake of despair, life and the world would be better without me.
I don’t think gun control is the answer to what is shaping up to look like a world that is riddled with violence and hate. I don’t think you can spread love and peace when intolerance and inequality strikes so many people as their reason to hurt others. Christina Grimmie wrote a song called, “I Bet You Don’t Curse God,” and now, more than ever in the wake of her death, I think it’s so important to do more than “prayfororlando” or “prayforpeace.”
I so badly want to shake every nay-saying “friend” on social media to collaborate with others on developing ways to deal with such senseless acts of violence. Maybe it’s the negotiator in me talking, but I refuse to accept that this is a world I have to live in. I don’t think any group of people should feel unsafe, gay, straight, strong, weak…whatever you may identify with, more than anything, I think that the memory of these individuals should be embodied in change that could actually make a difference.
Sure, take away all the guns, but in Christina’s case, the shooter had a hunting knife with him as well. I know you can’t make everyone in the world see the good in it, but from where I stand, I think our world, our country, needs people to stand up for progressive change that can actually make a difference.
It’s wild to me that when I was little you could just step onto an airplane (provided you had a ticket), and now you get strip-searched to the point of discomfort sometimes.
From a place of endless confusion, I sincerely hope we as a generation of people considerate of generations to come after us, can figure out how to coexist with respect for the life of another.