Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

#PrayforOrlando — My Thoughts

with 2 comments

Folks, it has taken me over a day to codify my thoughts, because I’m so enraged by what happened in Orlando, Florida last evening.

For those of you who don’t yet know, there was a horrific mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida during the wee hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016. So far, fifty people are confirmed dead, and there are fifty-three known to be wounded…but the death toll could still go up. Because the gunman — someone I shall refuse to name as I believe he forfeited his right to a name the moment he opened fire — was anti-gay and supposedly pledged allegiance to ISIS on a 911 call, and because Pulse was friendly to the LGBT community, this act was not only a hate crime, bad as that is.

No. It was even worse.

It was an act of domestic terrorism.

My heart is aching, as I write these words. I do not understand how anyone could do this, for any reason. I do not appreciate the fact that someone so hateful was an American citizen, and most of all I do not like it that I have no outlet whatsoever for my rage other than to post this flag — a gay pride rainbow flag at half-staff — in this post as a symbol of my solidarity with the LGBT community:

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I wish I could do much more than this, because I am enraged.

Enraged that this horrific, senseless act could happen in the United States.

Enraged that someone so twisted had been able to qualify as a security guard, for pity’s sake. Because the shooter was a security guard, he had weapons, and he used them brutally and callously to take life for no reason whatsoever except his own, obnoxious self-aggrandizement.

Enraged that my LGBT friends, gentle souls, all, now have to worry that they could be next, victims of copycats eager to get their repellent names and mugshots on television…because as usual, the media splashed the name and picture of the domestic terrorist in as many nooks and crannies as they could, as this is standard operating procedure.

Enraged that there isn’t more focus on the innocent and tragic victims who died or were wounded at the Pulse nightclub than there is on the excrescence that was the allegedly human being who decided that he knew better than God/dess as to who should live, who should die, and who should be irrevocably wounded, body and soul, for the rest of their days by this abhorrent attack.

Enraged that once again, on American soil, we’ve had a mass shooting.

Enraged that once again, our politicians will do nothing.

Enraged that once again, our hearts are broken, and no one seems to care about mending them.

So, because of that, because of all that, I urge everyone to think good thoughts, send positive energy, and/or pray for the people of Orlando right now. Somehow, some way, help love to win — the love of our fellow men and women of all genders, sexual preferences, colors, creeds, and religions. Somehow, some way, remember those bright souls who died, and help those who survived the massacre to heal as much as they possibly can…

In other words, make love stronger than hate. Please.

And give extra care to your friends and neighbors right now, most particularly to those in the LGBT community. They need to know their friends are with them, and that we will never forget this horrible day for as long as we live…much less that we will work for better days and brighter futures for us all.

That’s all I know how to say right now.

———

Edited to add: One of my Facebook acquaintances just pointed out that when he turned on CNN yesterday afternoon, they said, “We will only name the shooter once this hour.” After they named him, they took down his picture and said something to the effect of, “Now, let’s concentrate on the much more important people — the victims.”

Thank you, CNN! (Now can everyone else in the media get behind this idea? I was once a student journalist, and I know the people I worked with all felt the same way as I did. But standard operating procedure is to name the gunman over and over, it seems…we must change this, and start doing what CNN did yesterday.)

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2 Responses

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  1. I feel for the friends, relatives, etc of the murdered Americans at the club.

    I feel disgust for the people who are pointing fingers of blame elsewhere than the “religion” that motivated the murderer.

    I’d say more Barb but I’ll let you mourn.

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    June 13, 2016 at 6:58 am

    • Paul, I understand. There certainly was a motive for domestic terrorism here and the man seems to have been drawn to radical jihad…which bothers me very much as the man was an American citizen and should’ve _damned_ well known better.

      I just want to make sure, Paul, that we remember that most people of all faiths condemn these actions. It’s just that in some countries, where radical jihadists have gained control, the good people have been cowed into silence. 😦

      I am very glad I live in a country where I do not need to be cowed. And I will refuse to be cowed…this man was someone who I am ashamed of, who I wish devoutly had been devoured by a sinkhole whole before he’d ever done this terrible act, someone I wish had never been born, someone who, as Lois McMaster Bujold once described it in one of her books, was “a waste of time, energy, space, and air.” (My best paraphrase, and all apologies if I misstated it in any way.)

      All we can do as human beings now is mourn, and make damned sure that someone with these sorts of tendencies toward senseless violence — radical jihadist or severe mental illness, take your pick, as it seems to be either/or right now — NEVER is able to become a security guard again. Because this time, that’s probably what led to this, to my mind…people felt he was *safe*, and he was anything *but*.

      Barb Caffrey

      June 13, 2016 at 8:47 am


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