It has been a few days since the horrific and catastrophic events that took place during the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12th. As most of the world knows by now, a deranged (as how could he be anything but..) gunman walked coolly into a very popular and busy gay nightclub and opened fire – killing 49 people and leaving 53 others injured. 5 of those injured are reported to still be in critical condition today and the world waits to see if the death toll rises.
The gunman, whom I refused to name – we all know it now and I refuse to provide any more memorial to him than what the media has already allowed – reportedly laughed while he was shooting in addition to being ‘calm and collected’ while speaking with various negotiators through out the ensuing 3 hour stand-off.
As details emerge these past few days reports include that the gunman had visited the club regularly and that he has also scouted out Walt Disney World parks as a potential target. Now, the information pertaining to the parks hits rather close to home with me as they are areas that I regularly visit, and indeed was on Disney property that weekend. Worse yet, to hear that the information was being provided to authorities from the gunman’s wife means that this event quite possibly COULD have been avoided if only she had told authorities sooner. Thankfully, at least, Disney has a rather strong and vigilant security presence, both in their own personal security force (which does include trained K-9 units) as well as uniformed Sheriff’s County Deputies that work the parks as off-duty details. Disney security was, notable, even more prevalent and dutiful Sunday morning and I suspect moving forward will continue to be.
Regardless, however, innocent people lost their lives for what amounts only to one person’s misguided, wicked and arguably unbalanced beliefs. Whether they were truly religion based or solely the thought processed of someone who was truly unbalanced I doubt we will ever know. But yet again, a senseless tragedy has occurred taking with it not only the lives of those lost, but the safety and well-being of their families and the trust and innocence of our nation, which still repeatedly attempts to heal itself.
This event will also polarize our nation, sending it into a spiral of debate, rhetoric and division. I’ll be addressing some of my viewpoints on those things in other upcoming posts because I have remained silent and feel the need, after this which happened so close to home (indeed, I have many friend who thankfully were NOT in the club that night, but could have been).
But here, in this space and in this time while you read this, I wish to honor those who are no longer with us. I want to show those within the LGBTQ community as well as the families directly affected that you are not alone. We voice your anguish and carry your sorrow. We stand with you, your families and your loved ones in this loss, as with all things. As we stand together, than inequality and terrorism can not, WILL not win.
We are #OneVoice, We are #OnePeople, We are #OnePulse.