Whenever tragedy like this hits, we sorrow, we rage, we blame, we saturate the media with it until we are so heartily sick of the spectacle that we hide it away until the next time, and then, once again, we wear our sackcloth and ashes and our outrage.
I’m all for better background checks, but our problem is deeper than merely guns. Guns are too easy, and there’s more to it. It’s a society, a way of thinking, a judgement that told the young man, the killer, that having the feelings he was having was wrong. And in his mental instability, he clutched at what he obviously thought was the means to eradicate that. And horror ensued. It’s a mindset that believes that violence and weapons are the only answer when faced with an unanswerable question. It’s the labels that divide into us and them, into religions and politics and ways of thinking that allow the unthinkable to become commonplace. When hate is the first response, violence will, inevitably, follow. And it is so very easy to hate, isn’t it? I have seen people, that I would call friends of mine, rabidly, mindlessly hating, letting it consume them, every waking moment, tarnishing their lives and never really knowing what havoc they’re wreaking on themselves, their families.
In our anger and our fire for vengeance, we forget what’s important. And what’s important is that every one of these bright, funny, lovely human beings was someone’s son, daughter, lover, friend, and that these families have had their very hearts torn out. Perhaps, if we come together to weep, to mourn the loss of those bright flames, we will realize that what unites us is more than what divides us. Though we are straight and LGBTQ, Republican and Democrat, Jew and Christian and Muslim and Pagan, and a million other things, one thing, one thread weaves us all together. We are all human, and we all bleed the same.
So, as the days roll on, hug your family, your friends tightly, because there is no promise of tomorrow. And work for change, for a brighter day when we will not be defined by the labels of who we love or how we worship. But remember to stretch out a hand to those that need it, that might be “different”. The only answer to hate, to fear, is love. And I know that sounds simplistic, but in the face of fear, of hate, to love, to look beyond the differences and see the humanity shining through, that bright thread of blood, is the bravest thing you will ever do. #LoveIsLoveIsLoveIsLoveIsLove