One random person's reaction to yet another tragedy

As everyone else right now, I am feeling immense pain and sadness and frustration and even hatred over what has happened to Orlando, to the LGBT community, to America. I am angry. Not only toward the kind of people who would take so many innocent lives in such a horrific way - but toward those in our country who are so selfish and inflexible and greedy and power hungry that they won't do what's right for the safety and security of the people of this country and pass laws to restrict access to guns. Guns like the ones used in Sandy Hook. And San Bernadino. And Aurora Colorado. And now Orlando. 

These are people who claim to love America. They wave the American flag and sing the American songs and drive the American made pick up trucks and have the 4th of July barbecues. But do they care about America - as a whole - or do they just care about themselves?

We are being duped. We really are. This isn't about protecting our individual rights. This is about money. About the NRA buying candidates. It's about ignorant, Trump supporting bigots who want to start their own uprising against the rest of the country (including but not limited to blacks, Jews, Muslims, liberals, Hispanics). It's about supposedly regular, decent Americans who claim they need protection being unwilling to sacrifice their ease of access to weapons for the greater good; for our neighbors and friends as well as for those we don't know but who are also Americans just trying to live their lives - whether they are straight, gay, religious, atheist, white, black, Hispanic or a combination of all of the above. It's about all of these groups speaking up and out louder than the rest of us.

It's also about being selfish. Like a lot of people in this country, they say they want to help - as long as it doesn't effect them.

It's disgusting; it's wrong; and it's devastating.

Is banning assault weapons really a sacrifice? Is it going to effect any rational, decent member of society who you know? Do you associate with anyone who would need or want a gun that was manufactured to mow down as many people at one time as possible?

No? 

Then why? Why can't we compromise? Put some sense to this.

Why? I don't understand it. 

I'm so tired of it all. And I don't want to be next. I don't want to die in a senseless way by a gun that I never agreed to being available in the first place. That would fuckin' piss me off! Does it make sense that a guy who can take so many lives probably bought his weapons next to a family at Wal-mart who was buying a bike for their kid? How fucked up is that?

I could ramble on and on but it's not helpful. I don't even know if anything I'm saying is making any sense. It's cathartic, sure - but not helpful. Everyone's writing and posting about it. We can't open Facebook or Twitter without being bombarded by the stories. The tragic stories. The ugly responses from Trump and others. The calls for change. The arguments about what the solution is. We've seen it all before. But what good does it do? It's exhausting.

Can we do something? I think it's time for all of us who are horrified and sick of it all to act. Those of us who may not be directly effected by loss (yet) to get involved and take responsibility. Because this is our fucking country too and our desire to restrict access to these weapons might just be as strong as those who don't.

I didn't start this blog to talk about shit like this: politics, death, sexual assault (the other issue that makes me apoplectic). I started this blog to make people laugh; to share stories and recipes and music. To put a smile on even just one person's face or to help someone be bolder or braver or bossier - even if just a little.

But I needed to say my peace. To say my peace and move on. Move on and try to do what I can as one person. 

And this is what I ask of you: if you care, do something. Anything.

  • Join a cause (some action steps you can take now here and here and here);
  • Reach out to someone who is in pain, even if they are a stranger;
  • Contribute to the victims;
  • Give blood;
  • Write to - or even just Tweet - your congress person;
  • Be more self-less. Think about others. Think about the greater good;
  • And for fuck's sake: VOTE. And not just for President. Vote for your state and local officials. For judges. These people all make and effect policy in our cities, states and in the country - just as much as the President and U.S. Congress.

Please - let's do something. Because this isn't a political issue; this is a human rights issue, a safety issue and a Homeland Security issue. Let's treat it like that.

#PeaceforOrlando #StoptheViolence