I’ve been trying to write a post about what’s been happening this past week in Orlando, but I kept having to stop after only a few sentences. Between Christina Grimmie on Friday, the attack at Pulse on Saturday and the alligator at Disney on Tuesday, it seemed to never stop. It’s been a sad week for Orlando and for the entire country, a sad day for anyone who believes we should have stricter gun laws and for anyone who believes in humanity.
It was yet another moment when we took a hard look at the reality around us and we said: “Never again!” Yet the saddest thing hasn’t even happened yet. The sad thing is that just as we forgot about Virginia Tech or Sandy Hook, just as something as big as 9/11 has slowly dissipated from our memory so much so that the people who had no direct connection to what happened during those events, don’t even take a moment to acknowledge the day; we will forget about this too. Or maybe not forget, but let it go silently into the background without making a change, without taking action.
While you may have your own opinion about whether as civilians we need assault weapons for defense, so far I haven’t seen an assault weapon in the hands of a civilian save lives, but I’ve seen it take a lot of lives, lives of innocent people that did nothing else but happen to be in a specific place at a specific time. For the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would need a machine gun for defense…what are we defending ourselves against that we need a weapon to fire hundreds of rounds a minute? A zombie attack?
This time around a man was able to walk into a dance club with an assault weapon and hundreds of rounds of ammunition and kill 49 people, injure another 53, before he was taken down. While I’ve never been to Pulse or to Orlando for that matter, while I didn’t know any of those people, I feel like I’ve been there and I know those people. If that had happened at a gay club in LA on a Saturday night, I could have easily been there with my friends, dancing, laughing and having fun.
Maybe I will never understand what goes on inside the mind of someone who chooses to create so much damage in this world or who has so much hate in their heart, but one thing I do understand, we have no need for assault weapons in the hands of untrained civilians who sometimes even have uncertain backgrounds; and we all need to take a little more time in our lives to tell the people we love, the people who matter to us how much they matter, how much we love them, how much they’ve changed our lives for the better, how treasured and valued they are.