I'm still a bit numb and sad about the senseless shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. I'm angry too, but mostly at Donald Trump, who wasted no time in gloating about how this incident somehow justifies his racism.
I'm not surprised he did that.
I'm not surprised yet another mass shooting happened either.
I don't have the words to fully articulate what I'm feeling about this tragedy. Much of my commentary on social media has been limited to amplifying the sentiments of others who are better able to spell out why it's important never to forget that this was a targeted attack on LGBTQ people, how the "thoughts and prayers" offered by politicians are empty as long as they keep accepting donations from the NRA, and futile appeals to politicians to do something about it.
It's been said before, but if the dead children at Sandy Hook wasn't enough to counteract the bizarre fetishization of guns that pervades American culture, the murder of twice as many LGBTQ people certainly won't.
I don't want to generalize too broadly and tar all gun-owners and people of faith with the same brush as the people who ostentatiously claim either mantle, but I wonder how many of the same people both link their patriotism, piety and masculinity with owning a device explicitly designed to kill as many people as possible and support religious exemption laws that allow discrimination as long as they cite sincerely held religious beliefs? How many think that their right to easily kill someone should the need arise is more important than an LGBTQ person's access to employment, housing, medical care or their own personal safety?
Even expressions of love and solidarity sometimes come across as platitudes in the wake of horrifying reality.