He killed 49 people. More than 50 others were wounded. Why? First let me say that we may not ever know all of the reasons, unless the shooter left some kind of record, but it was Latino night at a gay club, and so the targets were gay Latinos. This happening in a year when we see an increase in anti-gay and anti-Latino remarks from a variety of people, including Presidential candidates.
Yesterday I wrote that we woke up to news of what is now the worst mass shooting in our country's history. I spoke of the gun violence that has taken so many lives in so many different places. Yesterday I heard some other people echo my thoughts, but at the same time I heard people saying "It's not the guns" and "Guns don't kill, people do." I heard a lot of finger pointing and name calling too. What a shame. Right now we should be honoring the dead and wounded. We should mourn the lives cut short. Our next step is, as I said here yesterday, to do something. We can't let this keep happening!
The lgbt community sees so many violent acts directed toward them that in some communities they are still closeted out of fear for their own safety. Gay bars, over the years, have become a haven for people wanting to opening be themselves. It's truly a sad day when the places in a community where individuals go to feel safe are made to be unsafe. This is not the first time too. There have been attacks on gay clubs before. Thirty two people were killed in an arson caused fire at The UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans back in the 70s. Smaller attacks have happened too. These attacks on our lgbt sisters and brothers cannot be allowed to continue.
On top of all of the loss of life in Orlando yesterday and will so many injured and so many worried about friends or family who might have been there, I was hearing more anti-gay talk. I heard politicians and clergy and others attempting to gain publicity for themselves out of this tragedy. I heard "I'm glad the perverts are finally getting attacked, instead of the normal people." The hate continues.
My hope is that some eyes were opened yesterday. My hope is that more and more people will stand up for what is right and will say no to violence and no to hate. Can this be the way? It can is we ALL take a stand against hate!