I’m assuming by now that most of you have heard about the Orlando shootings, but for some of you who haven’t, I’ll break it down for you. The general gist is that a gunman entered a gay nightclub in Orlando and shot dead 49 people, leaving 53 people injured. This obviously took the world by storm, made worldwide news and obviously got a lot of people talking about it.
I feel like this news like this should shock me, but it saddens me that it didn’t. When my friend looked up from her phone and told me how a number of people had been murdered for simply being who they are and going out and having fun, I feel like I should have been shocked by this. Overwhelmed with some sort of emotion about the whole situation but instead, I simply felt numb. Overwhelmed with no emotion whatsoever because it honestly didn’t surprise me. Oppression of people within the LGBT+ community is nothing new and as part of the community myself, it’s everyday life, but it shouldn’t be.
That same evening that the news broke of the mass shooting, my friend and I went for a walk along the beach, and whilst were strolling, I saw a lesbian couple, walking along the same path that we were, holding holds and I couldn’t help but think about how brave they were but it shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be ‘brave’ for someone to walk down the street holding hands with the person that they love.
These people were murdered for being in love. For being themselves. The American government had promised them that they are free to marry and now live their lives happily but this is most definitely a solid deception. People are still not free to express themselves because this is life threatening.
Something needs to be done about the gun laws. Great Britain has had 7 mass shootings since 1831. America has had 7 mass shootings, in only the past week. This could of perhaps been prevented had the Assault Weapons ban of 2013, introduced after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, had passed, however it was defeated in the US senate by a 60 to 40 vote. Every day there is gun violence in the US and everyday, politicians only offer ‘thoughts and prayers’ when they have the power to change things.
These people that were murdered, were someones son, daughter, wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend.. each and every one of these victims have a number of loved ones who are left with nothing but to mourn the person that they once were before they were cruelly taken away from them. Nothing can ever justify what this man has done and I can only hope that as a community, we stand together, come out of this stronger, and make sure that something is done so that nothing like this happens again.
We will not be silenced. We will come together. We will reflect as a community. We will tell our youth that we will overcome this adversity because we will. We will put on a brave face. We will not be afraid. We are proud of who we are and no one can take that from us.