Monday, June 13, 2016


The events that occurred at Pulse are beyond heartbreaking. It saddens me, angers me, causes me to question, "Why?"

Why would someone do this?
Why don't I find myself shocked or scared?
Why are we focusing on guns?
Why are we letting this divide us?

Why would someone do this?
 I've been angry with people in my life. Extremely angry to the point where physically harming someone seemed like a reasonable idea. Obviously not killing, maybe like a punch or two.

But I didn't.

However, regarding the murderer from Sunday, I have a hard time softening my heart toward. Although the shooter's ties with ISIS is not necessarily confirmed, my gut reaction was for America to stop being so passive and take out every single confirmed ISIS member. Let's be real, we have the means to do so, we just won't because it is not "the right thing to do." But why should we do the right thing? They didn't. They didn't care about a single person in that club. They don't care about the 100+ they either harmed or killed.

This was victory to them, and a devastation to us.

I completely understand why someone would do this. They hate us.

Yet as much as my rage burns with malevolence, I could never do or celebrate such a thing. I could never take the life of someone.

I look to the murderer's story. He's not a victim, nor someone who deserves grace, but I see him. Somewhere along the road, someone told him this behavior was okay, acceptable. They told him it is okay to hurt Americans. It is okay to kill for your beliefs. Everything is permissible.

It's hard to do the "right thing" when your "right" is viewed as wrong. That's the thing with culture, when we don't understand it, we label it as wrong... deviant. Being as loud and powerful as we are as Americans, most of the time what we as a nation deem wrong, is seen that way by the masses. How troubling it must be to live in a world who tells you that you're wrong in everyday. It would be enough to snap.

All that being said, I don't remotely feel bad for this killer, but I understand his "why" a bit more.

Why don't I find myself shocked or scared?
When I was in 4th grade, Columbine happened. In 5th grade, Santana High shooting happened. In middle school, a student brought a gun to school to shoot a teacher. In high school, during a riot, it was rumored a gun was shot and we had to go on a several hour lock down. I've attended a funeral of loved ones who were shot. When I was 22, Sandy Hook happened. And just a few weeks ago, A Trump rally caused my college campus to go on lock down because of rioting and possible gun play.

I was an RA on campus this past year. During the lock down, a man knocked on my quad door. I did not recognize him as our campus police. Although our campus shares a parking lot with the police department, he was not in uniform. For the first time in my life, I was actually scared that I would be the victim of a shooting. Out of fear, I almost didn't open to the door, but figured if this man was going to hurt someone, I'd be willing to be the one sacrificed if it meant my floor, or others weren't.

I share that, not to toot my own horn, there's no way in hell I wanted to get shot. I share it because that was the first time I actually felt scared of a gun hurting me.

Up until that moment, I had not known how desensitized I'd become to guns and mass shootings. When students were freaking out during the lock down, I was annoyed by their fear. For some reason my mind was in a "This happens all the time." How have we gone from "I can't believe this happened" to "There was another shooting," as you talk over breakfast and go about your day.

Instead of being shocked and sad, I feel like I have to be on the defense and proactive. Readers, I'll admit to you, I've stereotyped people as looking like a "school shooter" and made sure to have familiarity with them. One, because, if my friendship could stop them from heading down that road, then so be it. But also because, if a shooting happened, maybe I'd survive because I was nice to them.

It's incredibly sad that I, and other students think this way.

This should not be the norm.

Why are we focusing on guns?
This is the question I keep hearing. "WHY ARE WE FOCUSING ON GUN CONTROL?"

The same reason parents blame the teacher for their children not doing well in school.

The same reason girls are told to change because their clothing is distracting.

The same reason people say "All Live Matter" whenever they hear "Black Lives Matter".

The same reason a female victim of rape is asked about the level of her intoxication while on trial against her attacker.

Because it's easy. Because it looks like we're addressing the issue. Because dealing with our demons is uncomfortable.

Guns did not kill and harm 100+ people, the shooter did. Gun control definitely needs to be addressed, but it shouldn't be our main focus.Our LGBT brothers and sisters were attacked and taken from us, BY ONE OF US.

We suffered an attack from within and we're focused on the weapon. Pathetic.

Why are we letting this divide us?
Somehow, the killing of our brothers and sisters has turned into a sexuality/religion debate.

Muslims are being verbally attacked because the shooter was of Middle Eastern decent.
LGBT are being told they deserved this because of their sexuality.
Christians are being attacked because of a few loud idiots that identify with us.

I could care less about any religion, sexual preference, or nationality. Innocent people were killed. How dare you say someone deserved this. How dare you say blame an entire group for a portion of it's followers. How dare you make this about you.

When Pulse was attacked, we were attacked.

The best way to take down an enemy is to cause division and make them turn on themselves.

Whoever, or whatever caused Saturday night's shooting will continue to win the longer we turn on each other.

Guys, we have to come together and stop. There seemed to be more unity and concern in the country over the loss of Harambe, a gorilla, than the lives of innocent people.

We literally have it so backwards.

Blacks in the streets.
Children in the schools.
Christians in the churches.
Gays in the gay clubs.
Women in clinics.

If you think for a second that these people groups and locations are coincidence, you need to wake up. We have to do better. Remove our labels, stereotypes, biases, judgements, and love. Love like it was your family or friends in any of those locations. Love like you'd want to receive love.

And I'm not talking about about just throwing money at the situation. We have to change culture.

Culture that says, "I can treat you differently, because you are different."

I don't know what that looks like yet, but we have to do it.

Obviously, me ranting won't change a things. I just needed to get it off my chest. But I'm serious guys, we need a change, and we need it soon.

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