Monday, June 13, 2016


Orlando. There are so many ways to respond to this latest mass killing, an "attack of terror, attack of hate." 

We can use it as a platform to discuss which candidate/party's stance on gun control might have prevented the attacks. Guns kill people? People kill people? The Second Amendment. City versus rural. Hunting animals versus hunting people. 

Or employ the Orlando killings to shine an ever-more vivid light on the self-promoting, racist, and dangerous Trump, who responds to horror with a self-congratulatory tweet.

We can point out the role that the abysmal care of individuals with serious mental health issues is a direct and horrible contributor to these mass killings, and argue about how we should/could change address that. Have slippery slope arguments galore about protecting rights as opposed to protecting people. 

Or we can debate the very existence of religion and whether it is used as a weapon of terror and hate by the extreme few or whether it is hateful and evil by its very Word and existence. Religion, bad? Religion, good? People, bad? People, good? 

We can note with bitterness that the continued outrageous killings of people of color in Chicago bring no prolonged national outcry, and explore the innate racism in that lack of outcry. Debate nature or nurture, spend more money or less, bring in Governor Rauner's decimation of social services in Illinois and how THAT will certainly help stem the epidemic of violence in Chicago.

Or we can use it as a prism to see the rainbow: people of LGBTQ orientation that are continually threatened merely because of who they are. We can discuss to death whether or not religious texts direct us to admonish, exclude, or eliminate that rainbow.  

Tomorrow, I'm going to discuss the issues that led to Orlando's massacre (yes, at least 49 people dead makes a massacre.) Tomorrow, I'm going to put my rage to work: 

  • rattling cages for better gun control
  • working to defeat Trump
  • supporting activism for better mental health care
  • promoting tolerance of all religious while rejecting extremism, fighting racism
  • advocating for a safe, inclusive US for all those people of the rainbow. 
Tomorrow, I'm going to tweet the hell out of all of these issues, write Congress, give money, maybe even protest. Or blog more. 

But today? Today, I'm not going to use Orlando as a platform to discuss any of those things at length. 

Today, I'm going to redirect my thoughts each and every time they turn to the issue. I'm going to mourn the people. The people who were injured and killed.  Not issues. People. Each one of them deserve that. They deserve to be remembered and mourned as individuals, not as steps for politicians, pundits, and the rest of us to use to advance our causes. One day for them, and for all of the others who have been killed: 9/11, Columbine, Sandy Hook, the streets of Chicago.  

I'm going to make sure I remember the people.