People who have been reading my blog this spring know that we have been dealing with a number of deaths. My mother-in-law. A long-time retired pastor. My father’s last sibling. My friend K.
And now, the whole United States is mourning the deaths of dozens of people and sending thoughts and prayers to dozens more who were injured after being shot in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida in the early morning hours.
It isn’t known if the club was targeted because it serves the gay community or if it was just a random choice by the attacker, who was killed when police broke in about three hours after the shooting started in order to free hostages.
Given that the attack has instilled terror, I will call it terrorism.
Although this will be the worst mass shooting in United States history, in terms of the highest number of victims, I am sad to say that I doubt it will bring about any changes in law or public policy.
An assault rifle was used by the murderer. It’s why he was able to kill and injure so many people so quickly. Still, I don’t think Congress will pass an assault weapons ban. They will just trot out their old platitudes – “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” – overlooking the fact that a person with an assault rifle can kill and wound many people very quickly. “More people should be armed to deter or stop attackers.” – ignoring that a trained, armed off-duty police officer was on the scene, providing security for the club, but he could not stop the attack. “Any restriction on guns is unacceptable.” – which is probably believed in Florida because it doesn’t even require licenses or registration to buy firearms. “We shouldn’t deal with legislation when people are mourning.” – which is the excuse to not deal with it ever.
Orlando joins the long list of mass shootings in the United States. It will probably even join the short list of the shootings that get pulled out for comparison’s sake every time another egregious act occurs.
Living near Binghamton, New York, I have mixed feelings about how mass shootings get listed and compared. I have written about the ACA shooting here; an article from vocativ calls it “the deadliest mass shooting everyone forgot.”
Every mass shooting has its own hurts, sorrows, and repercussions which affect people for years.
So does any shooting.
But mass shootings affect not only people who are close to the victims or locality where they occur but also those of us who are far away.
This morning at church with T beside me, I couldn’t help but cry over so much death and injury.
So much to bear…