As well as the expected blame of the NRA, Donald Trump and republicans, there are A LOT of people he’s going to blame. I’m on the list and I’m pretty sure you are as well as.About the author Andrew Sotomayor: He is a celebrity makeup artist, Mexican American, tall vegan gay guy, with two adopted chihuahuas. The grandson of rancher and a contractor, the son of two journalists, Andrew Sotomayor is one of the “artsy” kids in his family. His earliest creative memories involve his childhood hands regularly stained by Crayola markers. The frequent lipstick swatches of today were inevitable.
From Huffington Post: This past weekend, a man was stopped on his way to the Los Angeles Pride event with a car full of assault rifles and ingredients to make pipe bombs. Thankfully, he was caught, but on Saturday night in Orlando, there was the largest mass murder of LGBT people, their friends, and family. It is the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. Two friends of my best friend who grew up in Florida were killed. Grieving, sadness and vigils are appropriate and necessary as we join together to begin healing, and we cope with a horrific reminder that while this month marks the one year anniversary of marriage equality in America, we have not yet achieved complete legal equality or freedom from discrimination and hate. If we want to honor the 49 people who were killed and the dozens more who were injured, we need to remember that those are only the first steps.
The gunman was an American citizen who had been identified by the FBI as a known ISIL sympathizer, and according to his father had become enraged a few months ago when he saw gay people kissing in public. He beat his wife before they divorced. He had been reported to his boss as unstable. None of these things prevented him from being able to buy an assault rifle that shoots off forty five rounds a minute. While the person who pulled the trigger is dead, the people who made this possible are still alive. Horrific tragedies like this flourish after being nurtured in an environment where hatred is perpetuated in subtler ways on a daily basis.
Everyone who’s ever gone on FOX News and said gay people don’t deserve equal rights contributed to this murder. Every politician who voted for military intervention that contributed to the destabilization of a country that lead to the creation of more religious extremists abroad and strengthening of ISIL contributed to this murder. Every politician, or TV contributor who included all the 1.6 billion muslims in the world while calling out very distinct, small hateful group of people who’ve committed atrocities simply because it was easier to scapegoat than to tell the full story, contributed to this murder. Every politician who’s taken money from the NRA and later voted against gun control laws contributed to this murder. Every card carrying member of the NRA, whether they are shooting animals for sport or for food contributed to this murder, because even if you would never condone or commit such violence, by continuing to be a member of this organization that essentially legally bribes politicians and obstructs reasonable measures of gun safety, you’re contributing to the problem.
Every preacher, pastor, or priest who’s falsely claimed that LGBT people are “sinners”, “perverts”, or told someone to “pray the gay away” contributed to this murder. Everyone who’s ever heard the leader of their church say that gay people are going to Hell and didn’t speak out against their preacher contributed to this murder. Every pastor who went overseas to countries like Uganda and convinced people that gay people were “pedophiles” contributed to the murders in Orlando and the countless ones internationally. Everyone who watches Pat Robertson, Bill O’Reilly, FOX and Friends (or supports them with ad dollars) or bought books by Anne Coulter or Laura Schlessinger book contributed to this murder. Every school administrator who turned gay teen couples away at their prom, or made a trans student dress a certain way, or didn’t fairly punish a student for bullying an LGBT kid, contributed to this murder. Every “therapist” who pushed “gay conversion ‘therapy’” on a client contributed to this murder. Everyone who voted for a Republican candidate that supported Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” law contributed to this murder. Every baker or florist who refused to sell their goods for a gay wedding contributed to this murder.
Every American President or presidential candidate who ever said that “marriage is between a man and a woman”, or supported “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, or supported The Defense Of Marriage Act contributed to this murder. Donald Trump is a hate filled atrocity and his candidacy is the result of eight years of the Republican party saying that the LGBT community and the muslim community are “less than”. We must never let him take office, but in efforts to defeat his candidacy, we cannot allow ourselves to believe that Hillary Clinton or any other politician has been perfect. She failed the gay community on all three of the examples above. We need to demand that she do better as a leader, and make sure that she follows through.
I do not believe I have politicized this tragedy in any sort of negative way. It was politicized when Marco Rubio said this could have happened anywhere, but that it was “Orlando’s turn”. It was politicized when the Republican party on Twitter (@GOP) failed to make any mention of the murders in Orlando whatsoever. They did, however acknowledge George H. Bush’s birthday, who (it’s worth mentioning) said in the 90s that he believed no one needed an assault rifle. Ronald Reagan said the same thing too. In spite of this, when asked what Americans could do to help prevent this from happening again, Florida Governor Rick Scott would only tell reporters that they should pray.
I do not believe any of this is an overstatement. Ugliness and hatred grow and get out of control. EVERY DAY, we have opportunities in small and big moments to MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN, or allow goodness to decompose. We cannot just say how tragic this is. We need to demand change from our government, and we need to change ourselves. Demanding our government work better is the most patriotic thing we can do.
Read the whole diatribe here.