I have not posted anything as of yet because I wanted time to think and process and to cry. But all I found myself becoming was more and more angry. I am angry because of this horrible act of hate. I am angry because in the face of the murder of 50 people we immediately turn on each other. People are passionately proposing solutions and rather than have intelligent discussions, anyone who posts something others disagree with, they are demonized. I am angry because we turn on each other for expressing words of sorrow and grief. I am also angry because there is an immediate urge to put the perpetrator in a little box and label him. As the story comes out we are discovering this was far more of a disturbed individual and not so easily fit into a single description.
Was this a terrorist act? Absolutely, but so much more. Was this a hate crime? Absolutely, but so much more. Was this a vindication of those who question why individuals need access to military style weapons. Absolutely, but so much more. Was this a response to those who are concerned about the radicalization of unstable individuals? Absolutely, but so much more. Was this the culmination of years of hate spewed by communities and politicians against the gay, lesbian, transgender, and transsexual communities? You bet your ass it is. Was this an attack on those of Hispanic and Latin heritage? Absolutely, but where does that fit into the narrative?
I am angry because to battle this silent but deadly enemy will take a multi-faceted approach. But instead all we do is point fingers, and do nothing. But this doesn't have to be the end of the conversation. Reasonable people can argue and disagree, but they can also come to consensus and actually act.
The solution demands a willingness to take a good hard look at our gun laws, and requires sensible limitations. It demands we take a good hard look at our own ignorance of Islam. How many people know the difference between a Sunni and a Shia, let alone a liberal Muslim versus a radical Jihadist. And yes, Muslims come in all stripes, just like Christians and Jews. It demands that we change our individual and political discourse and stop demonizing minorities thus justifying the anger of deranged individuals. It demands that we not only strive to stop ISIS access to our citizens. And to work with our allies to build stability in the Middle East. Easier said than done. Lest we forget, ISIS arose in a political and military vacuum. This is not the result of one president, but of many failed policies of multiple administrations.
It also demands that we recognize that the vast majority of mass shootings and mass murders in this country have not been committed by radicalized Islamists, even if it feels that way. Lest we forget Virginia Tech, New Town, and Aurora and only focus on Boston, San Bernardino, New York, DC, Pennsylvania, and Orlando. We have a violence problem in this country, and we are far too good at giving easy access to weapons of mass murder to determined individuals.
And these proposals are just the tip of the iceberg.