Thoughts On Orlando
What an absolutely horrible day for me to debut this website. I had hoped to begin with something closer to my standard fruit bearing, but the tragedy in Orlando needs to be acknowledged. I begin with my deepest condolences to the friends, and families of the many victims; and to the LGBT community that lives in this type of fear daily. We heteros have a luxury we take for granted, even more so if we’re white, and Christian; all of which are applicable to me. Yes, we have our own challenges; but in general, I know I can walk into any business, any organization, and not pick up the vibe that I’m being judged, and I will be treated fairly. It is a reality of our society, and although it might seem heartless to gloss over it, it’s not the focus of what this post needs to be today.
We watched once again, a horror pour itself out on our fellow humans. An unspeakable horror. My husband and I spent the day in the mountains hiking yesterday, but I did see the headlines before we left, and I knew exactly what I would be returning to later on in the day, predictable, knee jerk commentary. “Ban the guns!” “Ban the Muslims!” “God’s punishment for those queers!” “Build the wall!” Those are the thoughts of the intellectually lazy. Yes, that seems like quite the swipe at what appears to be a decent portion of the populace, and inappropriate given the actions of a lone gunman in Orlando; but allow me the opportunity to expand.
See, we’ve all been here before. And not just our generations currently breathing, but all generations, in all times, since the dawn of man. Ascribing blame is human nature, and unfortunately I’ve touched upon this same mindset before, addressing James Holmes, here in Colorado, and the theater shootings.
As a people, we have the innate desire to rationalize, it’s who we are. We need to be able to “wrap our minds” around the construct of human nature, and the environment that that nature resides in. It’s why man, as a species, has propelled forward. I also tend to believe that man is inherently good, setting aside the idea, and origin of Original Sin. The Golden Rule tends to be a prevailing thought in both major religions, and spiritual practices. The consequence of rationalizing however, can lead us to the wrong conclusion. I watch that wrong conclusion daily, mostly coming from the ideological duopoly. (If you’re unfamiliar with that term, it means Republicans, and Democrats.)
We live in a world with a harsh reality of human nature. That nature includes the exceptions to the general, the people who have a severe mental illness, and/or are evil. It’s that evil that scares us. It’s that evil we cannot comprehend. Stop any person on the street and ask them about Nazi Germany. Ask them about the Holocaust. Who of us can comprehend an evil so severe, that 6 million people were killed because of it? “Well, the guns. The guns are bad, and they need to be banned.” Genghis Khan killed 11% of the world’s population, all without the use of a firearm. Jim Jones convinced his congregation of a great lie, and brainwashed them into taking their own lives; without the use of a firearm. The sarin gas attack in Tokyo . . . Countries that have banned firearms, still have bloodshed. Bloodshed caused by other means, or despite an existing ban. The tool used to carry out acts of evil is irrelevant, only the evil is. An evil person, a mentally ill person, that means to cause harm, will do so despite any restrictions that have been placed upon them. We need to attach a reason, a motive, as to why a person would do something so horrific. We do this because of our need to feel safe. If we rationalize the why, we feel as if we’ve made progress in our own personal safety. We haven’t. What we have done instead, is create a lie that makes us feel better about our surroundings, and the examples I can cite are seemingly infinite.
I ran across this statement from a pro-gun LGBT group, that reflects where my own thoughts lie.
“Gwendolyn Patton, First Speaker of the Pink Pistols, an international GLBT self-defense organization, warns people not to jump immediately to the assailant’s guns as the object of blame, but to concentrate instead on Mateen’s violent acts. “The Pink Pistols gives condolences to all family and friends of those killed and injured at Pulse,” began Patton. “This is exactly the kind of heinous act that justifies our existence. At such a time of tragedy, let us not reach for the low-hanging fruit of blaming the killer’s guns. Let us stay focused on the fact that someone hated gay people so much they were ready to kill or injure so many. A human being did this. The human being’s tools are unimportant when compared to the bleakness of that person’s soul. I say again, GUNS did not do this. A human being did this, a dead human being. Our job now is not to demonize the man’s tools, but to condemn his acts and work to prevent such acts in the future.”
I do not deny that there is an existing danger, internationally, in regards to Islamic terrorism. It is real. But I also choose not to discriminate against all Muslims, just as I chose not discriminate against all veterans after Timothy McVeigh carried out a horrific act of domestic terrorism. The voices inside the head of Tim McVeigh were the problem. It was not the fault of fertilizer, or a rental truck. The voices in the head of Jim Jones were the problem. It was not the fault of cyanide mixed into Flavor Aid. What happened in Orlando, was not the fault of guns, it was a man, mentally unstable, and full of evil. We can’t run from that evil. We can’t legislate around that evil. The fact that once again, this type of shooting happened in a “gun free zone” was not lost on me, and it should make one acknowledge that evil does not care for man’s laws; and the flip side of the irresponsibility of painting with broad brushes.
I saw on Facebook yesterday among my Libertarian peeps, a statement I can easily stand behind.
“If today you find yourself simultaneously defending the rights of gun owners, gays, and Muslims, you just might be a libertarian.”
It’s too easy to allow emotions to dictate policy. We have founding principles in place that need to be our guiding light. It’s my intent to promote that idea on this site. It’s unfortunate, and when it comes down to it, insensitive that I have to mention it in this context, when we as a nation, must once again, mourn innocent lives.
I welcome you to this page, and again, I hate that I have to start this website with a tragedy.