Do somethingAround the Nation, Editorial, Top Highlights Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
What is there left to say about the tragedy in Orlando? The hope is that the senseless mass shooting will finally wake up America about gun control. I can tell you the answer, no. The American electorate who believes in sensible gun control are not those who are angry this year. It’s the people with guns.
The gun lobby and the NRA know that the vast majority of their support comes from those in small cities or rural areas. Those who are least likely to experience gun violence. These gun rights supporters contribute to the National Rifle Association to the tune of $350 million on an annual basis. But gun violence only matters when it happens to you.
I always looked with interest about Category 5 hurricanes but it really did not touch me until I was in Hurricane Odile in Cabo San Lucas in 2014. My perspective completely changed as I worried for my life for six hours, something that television or the commentary from victims can never really convey. Gun violence is no different. The Orlando tragedy seems to have awakened the LGBT community. Why were we not awakened with the shooting deaths of members of the trans community? Why was San Diego not awakened during the Andrew Cunanan killing spree that ended with the death of Gianni Versace? Television desensitizes.
I watched the recent OJ series on ESPN that actually showed the bodies of Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman. The gruesome images seemed unreal. Almost like actors in a Law and Order episode. And that is exactly the problem.
Sure you can try to imagine the Orlando tragedy happening in a city where you live but it is impossible to understand the loss of the families and friends. So as opposed to putting up a hashtag or a pic on your Facebook page showing solidarity with Orlando, do something – actually do something. That means write your congressmember and support gun control. In California, that’s all you need to do. Our two U.S. senators, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, are already on board. But many of us live in Republican Congressional Districts, your representative needs to hear your voice.
All four gun control measures failed in Congress earlier this week. Would you rather take the time to write your congressional representative or wait until your life is touched by gun violence?
It might be a horrible thing to say but I have experienced the feeling of helplessness during the AIDS crisis. I don’t want to have to experience the same feeling with respect to gun violence in our community. Please do something.
San Diego LGBT Weekly
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=71588