UPDATE: I changed the image associated with this post after deciding the original was pretty low-res... This was the result of a little play around with photoshop. All components of the comp were gotten as a result of google searches for images "labeled for reuse with modification" - if any of these are your intellectual property and this is not the case please let me know and I will be happy to remove it.
It’s been a few days now since the tragic events in Orlando (both the shooting of Christina Grimmies and the Pulse Nightclub shooting); I’ve been thinking about whether I should write about this or not, and if so how to address it. With regards to the Pulse Nightclub shootings question arise: was this a hate crime, was this the act of terrorism directed by ISIS or was this a man simply acting on his own? It could be a combination of all of the above - the bottom line is that the result of this action cost almost 50 people their lives.
As a non-American looking in from the outside I have a hard time seeing how anyone can seriously believe that there isn’t a gun control problem in the United States. I don’t believe that guns make you any safer. Between 1983 and 2013 the United States had 78 mass shootings; the highest number of mass shootings outside that country during this thirty year period was Germany with seven.
From what I understand of the US Constitution they have very permissive gun licensing laws due to the second amendment. In contrast to most other developed countries which have restrictive laws. There is a direct correlation between the number of gun owners and the number of mass shootings according to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. It seems to me that the answer to mass shootings is more restrictive gun control.
In times like these though, as cliché as it might be, I think it’s important to remember that we need to preach and practice love and acceptance of everyone regardless of what colour their skin is, what god they do (or do not) believe in, or whom they choose to love. Love doesn’t discriminate and neither should we. Our most powerful weapons don’t fire bullets, they are the weapons of love and hope. To quote Stephen Colbert’s monologue on the matter “giving in to despair is a victory for hate”.
I’d like to leave you all with an excerpt from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony award speech (full transcript here): “And love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside”. So let’s work together as citizens of the earth to practice and practice hope and love, it’s what we need in times like these.