Terror in the Sunshine State

Credit: Max Guiliani @maximusupinNYC

This is a bit different than our other posts, but necessary to share…

Ever since my phone started buzzing with alerts at 2:15am, I have gone through a range of emotions from shock to fear to sadness to worry.  Now, I’m just angry. I have heard more theories on what caused the mass casualties at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Today was not an example of mental illness, nor was it an example of the Muslim religion or gun control.  We need to put aside our niceties and our blaming of “liberals and conservative,” immigration policies and politics, and call a spade, a spade.  The horror that unfolded in the middle of the night was an act of hate caused by a wife-beating, homophobic, anti-American terrorist. Period! This animal hit the jackpot of the worst character traits in existence.

I’m sorry, but you don’t get to call yourself an American if you viciously attack and slaughter innocent people and claim your allegiance to a gang of Islamic extremists.  You don’t get to call yourself an American if you kill in the name of people who don’t share your “ideals.” It doesn’t matter if you were born in New York or in Abraham Lincoln’s log cabin.  You are not American!

This is a FREE country and we are FREE to agree and disagree with anyone we want.  BUT we are not free to kill, maim, and attack someone because we don’t like the same things they do.  Don’t blame this on religion.  No religion condones killing.

Fact: There are millions are Muslims who live peacefully in this world and would never consider killing someone.  Fact: There are millions of gun-owners living in America who have never murdered or attacked anyone.  Fact: There are millions of people managing 450+ different types of mental health disorders and would never harm someone.

We have lost wonderful members of the LGBT community who were out enjoying a night of dancing and music.  We have lost loving members of the Puerto Rican community who were celebrating the ending festivities of Puerto Rican pride last night.  We have lost good citizens of the State of Florida.  We have lost Americans who had dreams, families, and their entire lives ahead of them. Orlando, FL is the home of many incredible memories for so many families from all around the world.  Now it’s the place of the worst mass shooting by an individual in US history.

After feeling absolutely miserable today, I couldn’t help but wonder what’s next? Restaurants? Zoos? Museums? Where are we, our children, our friends and loved ones, safe?

I am pissed.  I am hurt.  I feel lost.  I know many of you feel the same way too. I was raised to love others.  To respect others.  To acknowledge the differences between people and know that while that may not be my belief, choice or decision, everyone has the right to do as is best for them as long as they are loving, kind, law-abiding people.

This has to stop.  Something needs to be done.  Love is more powerful than hate.  Hope is more effective than fear.  Kindness is the goal but we still need to be realistic.  Let’s stop blaming everything that it “could” be and face the actual problems.  There are people in this world who are power-hungry, obsessed, full of hate and bigotry and simply dangerous.

I pray that the injured heal, the first responders and club goers who had to endure such a trauma find solace, and the families of the victims find peace.  This is a tragedy for all of America.

Spread some sunshine!

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