Orlando, Guns, and Love: I’ve had wine so here we go

FYI: If you think it’s totally okay for private citizens to be able to purchase semi-automatic assault rifles easily in the United States, you might as well go find another blog post to read because you will not like this one. Have fun!

Okay.

So here we are again. The worst mass shooting in modern American history. At least 50 dead, dozens more injured, countless families destroyed, law enforcement in Orlando stretched so thin they can barely handle it, endless twitter and facebook posts with prayers for the dead and injured, Presidential speeches and political rants.

Prayers and thoughts are nice, but they aren’t keeping AR-15s out of the hands of evil assholes, misogynists, terrorists, and homophobes like this asshole who did this today. They aren’t teaching our children to resolve feelings of anger and hatred in therapy instead of with violence, or to see all humans as worthy of respect and life even if they are different from them.

Here’s some shit I am doing now in light of this and other mass shootings. If you think that human life is more important than some asshole’s need to carry his AR-15 to the Chipotle or some douchebag’s discomfort at possibly having to pee in a shitty Target bathroom next to someone whose birth certificate says a different gender than the one they currently identify with or some religious fanatic’s fear of the power and value inherent in women and LGBT individuals’ existences, I hope you’ll do some of it, too.

  • Donate: I’ve just donated a small amount each to these two organizations:
    • Fund for Victims of Pulse Shooting via Equality Florida (
      GoFundMe): https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund. Equality is the official LGBT civil rights org in Florida and they’ll be working with their attorneys and other organizations to distribute these funds to the victims and their families.
    • The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence: a decades-old organization dedicated to common sense gun control and ending gun violence! http://csgv.org/
    • Obviously there are other organizations as well, but these are just a couple, so if you have a spare $1 or $10 or $100 give to groups who are fighting common-sense gun control.
  • Read/get informed: 
    • I followed @igorvolsky on Twitter; he is the Deputy Director for the Center for American Progess action fund. He is tweeting the names of members of Congress who have accepted money from the NRA so you know who NOT to vote for in November or future elections if you care about stopping these mass shootings regardless of motivation.
    • This article also details the members of Congress (mostly Republicans, but some Dems in there too!) who voted AGAINST the act to include perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disabilities as protected classes under existing federal hate crimes law. The law passed, but not easily. If your Senator or Representative is on this list, and you give a shit about LGBT and disabled people, do not vote for these asshats in the future, and call them up and tell them why!
  • Vote based on this information: 
    • This Fall, I’m voting for Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton for President of the United States, not only because she is NOT a giant sentient Cheeto with a yellow wig who spews racist bullshit on Twitter every 3.5 hours and wants to have sex with its daughter, but because I strongly agree with her on many issues- especially women’s reproductive rights and gun control. She has an F rating from the NRA, which is the best failing grade someone can get if you ask me!
    • I’m a California voter, and so will also be voting in the Fall for Democrat Kamala D. Harris for US Senator to replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer. Her opponent in the race is also a Democrat, Loretta Sanchez, but Sanchez voted in 2005 FOR a bill that would shield gun manufacturers from responsibility in some lawsuits when gun sales result in tragedy. Sorry, Sanchez, that was one mistake you’re not gonna live down with this voter!
    • That’s just me; whatever state or district you live in, use the information in the section above and your own research to vote for candidates who support making and enforcing laws that will keep assault rifles, which are, you know, for ASSAULTING PEOPLE and not to hunt quails or whatever because COME ON, out of the hands of dangerous people. Also vote for candidates who speak of all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender/gender orientation, sexual preference, age, etc. with respect. People don’t pick up an assault rifle, a pistol, a knife, or even their fists in a vacuum. The Planned Parenthood Shooter spoke of “baby parts” after storming a Colorado PP and killing three people, including a police officer; according to some reports, the piece of shit who murdered fifty people this morning was angered by seeing two men kiss in Miami months ago and had a history of domestic violence. That kind of homophobia and misogyny and anger isn’t all innate; these messages are reinforced by both private figures in our lives and, yes, public figures, too. What our elected officials say matters. When someone insinuates that all gay people are evil sinners, or all abortion providers are murderers, or all Mexicans are rapists, or all black people are thugs, or all Muslims are terrorists–people listen to this shit, and it poisons them. We can’t control what a given individual learns in their home growing up or from their friends or their place of worship, but we can control, to a certain extent, what our elected officials say to their constituents and their children. Vote for people who don’t say racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or other terrible shit.

So that’s what I’m doing and thinking. What are you doing? Seriously, if there are major things I’m missing, please tell me, because I want to do more. I’m sort of tipsy from drinking anger-wine tonight to dull the pain of this shitty world, but I’m fired up and want to do things because I am sick of this. I don’t even know if I’m going to have kids, but if I do, I want them to grow up in a better country and world. I also know there’s a huge mental health angle to all this, but it’s something that’s hard for me to tackle because I HAVE a mental illness and there’s so much to unpack with that all I can say for now is that the vast majority of people with mental illness do not hurt anyone and are non-violent (the same way that the vast majority of Muslims or white guys or anti-abortion people do not ever hurt anyone). That being said, it’s still something to discuss–I just don’t know how to do it tonight. If anyone has any resources, I would love to read them.

Finally, I’m just so, so, so sorry for the victims in Orlando and their families and friends, and for the global LGBT community. I love you. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

 

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