It’s been seventeen days since the Pulse shooting and I still do not know what to say about it. I have much to say. I have many thoughts. I have many opinions. I have much anger, rage, bitterness, and sadness. Most people have a vision of “us” as a very passive, accepting, non-judging, easy-going lot. Anyone that knows me, knows that (try as I might) I do not truly fall into any of those categories nor naturally possess any of those characteristics. I’m certainly not passive. Nor am I a very accepting person. I am judgmental as fuck, and I’m not a laid back person. I have spent a lot of time thinking about this in the last couple of years and I have tried to tone down some of my bullshit. I’ve made a lot of progress, I think.
That Sunday brought a great deal of that progress to a very abrupt halt. I know there are stories of love and acceptance within the aftermath of this. Some people’s minds have been changed. People have found common ground with each other and begun to heal, together, despite ideological differences. A few people have opened their eyes to their own thoughts and actions and acknowledged their own judgements, bigotry, and prejudices. The tragedy has brought some families back together. It has begun a healing process among some people that has nothing to do with injuries sustained in this shooting.
And that is all super.
I’m still pissed. I’m still bitter. I’m sorry but the thoughts and prayers do not mean shit to me. They carry absolutely zero weight with me. I appreciate the sentiment, I suppose. I think that is what I am supposed to say. I think I am supposed to be grateful to God’s people and the followers of Jesus for their “sincere condolences”. I am supposed to believe that politicians who on the Saturday night prior to the shooter’s rampage, were fully supportive of over 150 pending anti-LGBTQ Bills within various State Legislatures, are now standing strong with us in the wake of this tragedy. Standing beside their fellow Americans in solitude. I am supposed to believe that their political agendas have never been prejudiced nor bigoted. I am supposed to believe and accept that they care about what happened to those 49 dead, and 54 wounded people. That they GAF about this event, the “worst” mass shooting in modern American history. I say modern because I want to acknowledge that a case can be made for both Gettysburg as well as Wounded Knee on that “worst” tag.
To even label any of the ”mass” shootings we’ve had in this country as a “worst” seems a bit peculiar to me. As if there is a “best” one. In fact, they’ve all been pretty fucking horrible. Jonesboro AR, Springfield OR, Columbine CO, Atlanta GA, Wakefield MA, Red Lake MN, Brookfield WI, Seattle WA, Nickel Mines PA, Salt Lake City UT, Blacksburg VA, Crandon WI, Omaha NE, DeKalb IL, Covina CA, Geneva County AL, Binghamton NY, Brunswick GA, Tucson AR, Aurora CO, Sandy Hook CT, the list goes on and on and on.
In fact, most of those don’t even ring a bell as only 5 to 13 people were killed. We’ve moved onto much higher body counts. The higher the body count, the more likely an assault rifle was part of the shooter’s armament. But, a .22 rifle and/or a 9mm can take out several people in a few short seconds as well. Dead is dead. Does it really matter how they became dead? Which weapon was used? But, that is really neither here nor there as far as I am concerned. Until Congress limits Second Amendment Rights as it did the First Amendment in regards to hate speech, we are stuck with the legality of some pussy carrying his AR-15 into the Hartfield-Jackson International Airport if he pleases.
What I can’t wrap my head around, is how a group of people can honestly expect another group of people to suddenly believe that they care about their well-being when every single action they’ve taken, every single speech given, every single tweet, Facebook post, snapchat, editorial, or press release made public concerning said group of people, has been to condemn, damn, censure, denounce, disparage, and pass judgement on their lives, and their lifestyle. Pardon me if I’m a little bit skeptical of the sincerity that is now heard in those voices.
The way I see it, those voices helped lay the foundation for what happened at Pulse. Those voices laid the framework for what happened in Charleston S.C. last year as well. Those voices have stirred up a faction of our society that had been, because of limitations on the First Amendment and until part-black POTUS and Gay Marriage, kept at bay with their bullshit hate, xenophobic ways, and supremacy. Those voices are the reason the RNC is going to be the best drama on network television in years.
The political divide has never been like this since I can recall. And when our politics are this divided, our society is as well. Which does nothing but fuel the unpredictable rage in the weak minded, the bitter, the disturbed.
We’ve created this mess. We’ve created this by allowing the extremes to gain control. Control of our media, our politics, our homes, our lifestyles. We have become a society of black or white, this or that, one way, or the other. We are no longer a society where common sense has a role.
Because common sense would mean that a person who had been on an FBI watch list twice in the recent past wouldn’t be allowed to purchase a pellet gun, much less an AR-15. Common Sense would mean that a person could choose a spouse and marry them legally without a religious approval. (or a fucking SCOTUS ruling). Common sense dictates that shooting a cop just for being a cop, should be a hate crime. That ALL of our lives matter. That we should be able to piss where we need to piss. Drink where we want to drink. Dance where we want to dance. That building the Great Wall was really cool of the Chinese to do, but we don’t really need that here. Not in this Century.
But those voices. All of those damned voices. The rage, anger, and hatred. They have brought us to this. This is not JUST about Radical Islam. It’s not JUST about Homophobia, Xenophobia, or Racism. It’s not ONLY about assault rifles. It’s about all of that and so much more. We are lost right now. Our Country is a bit lost. Our rhetoric is coming around to bite us. Our past, our history, our actions, are having some dire consequences.
And I don’t mean that as in “our actions” = “our sins”. Nope. Not at all. Far from it. I can’t be objective about what happened in Orlando. Not one bit. Because from MY perspective, this blood is on many hands. Even on the hands of those praying the loudest. The direction we have been taken in, especially in the Confederate States of America (so to speak), has landed blow after blow after blow to not only “my” people, but people of color as well as people who don’t worship the way others do. It’s lit a fire under a caldron full of rage.
And now people want to be shocked? Really? This monster was created in part, by those people that fought the hardest against gay marriage, against integration in the 60’s, against so much other shit I don’t have the patience to delve into. That made it feel acceptable to openly discriminate because Jesus. They think just because their asses aren’t setting any of us on fire or throwing us off of buildings, that their actions are any less deplorable? Seriously?
Omar Mateen was a homegrown, domestic terrorist, fueled by radical religious beliefs.
Wade Michael Page was a homegrown, domestic terrorist, fueled by radical religious beliefs.
Jim David Adkisson was a homegrown, domestic terrorist, fueled by radical religious beliefs.
Don’t even let me get started on Eric Rudolph and the Army of God.
So, you’ll just have to excuse me if I don’t buy it. If I don’t believe it is sincere. If I am not at a place where I want to sit around a campfire and tell grand tales, and talk about loving one another. Because until you can clean up your own house, don’t fucking expect me to side with you over a common enemy. Not as long as you’re harboring them in your house as well.