On Sunday morning, I woke up and threw a load of laundry in the washing machine. I took my dog out for a walk. I met up with a friend and we adventured to East Atlanta for $9 bottomless mimosas. We talked about politics, relationships, and our weakness – planner supplies. We then leisurely strolled through Homegoods, willing ourselves not to buy anything – we bought stationery. We treated ourselves to Starbucks and doughnuts. We watched a few episodes of Young & Hungry. I meal prepped, snuggled with Sgt. Pepper and read a book. Overall, a great Sunday Funday.
But what I can’t get over is that Mercedez Marisol Flores,26; Oscar A. Aracena-Montero,26; Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21; Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 and the 45 other victims of the Orlando shooting will never get to have a Sunday Funday – or any other day for that matter – like I did ever again.
Because of hate.
Because of gun violence.
Thoughts on Orlando & Gun Violence
On, April 16, 2007, a gunman killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech. I was a senior in high school and worried about how safe I would be at the University of South Carolina when I started in the fall.
On December 14, 2012, I woke up super excited for my graduation from my master’s program at Florida State. I began making breakfast, but my appetite disappeared as the horrifying news of Sandy Hook began to emerge.
I knew then that something would be done. How could our country hear the story of those innocent children losing their lives and not want effect change? We grieved, we prayed for Newton and nothing happened.
Last year, on the evening of June 17, I texted family and friends and searched Facebook for posts about safety as I heard there had been a shooting in downtown Charleston.
A man, because of his hate for another race, took the lives of nine innocent people in a House of the Lord. Surely, I thought – this was it. Something will be done. We grieved. We called for the removal of the Confederate Flag. I wrote a blog post. We prayed for Charleston and nothing happened.
I could make a list of mass shootings, but you get the point. If you don’t Vox has an interactive map of all the mass shootings in the U.S. since Sandy Hook. It’s terrifying. To sum up their findings: there have been at least 1,000 mass shootings, with shooters killing at least 1,140 people and wounding 3,942 more.
We live in a world we we aren’t safe in elementary schools, high schools, colleges, churches, movie theaters, or clubs. We live in a world we we could be shot because we are black or because our love does not look like the love of the shooter.
I keep seeing tweets and statements from politicians that are also praying for Orlando and offering their condolences to the community. However, many of them are the same politicians voting against gun control reforms and voting against the rights of the LGBTQ community. I need action from these leaders. Until something is done, we’re stuck in a cycle. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the hashtag: #Prayfor(InsertCityHere).
I don’t have answers. I honestly don’t know what I wanted to get out of this post. I just knew that my original post (tips for relaxation in advance of International Panic Day) seemed trivial and stupid. I’m angry and sad. I know that I want to do something whether it’s writing to my lawmakers that change has to come or reminding people that hate never wins.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
P.S. remember love is love is love is love.
Love and light, y’all.