The music thumped, the sun shone, and my hubby and I were in full vacation mode. Bright colors decorated every possible surface; flags and banners waved from tent poles and participant’s bodies. We strolled from booth to booth, soaking up the fun, having a grand old time after stumbling into the festival on our way to visit the Newseum in Washington D.C.
Later, watching President Obama address the nation, I turned from the Newseum’s big screen to gaze out the windows at the joyous event on Pennsylvania Avenue. The news had been so fresh we hadn’t previously made the connection between those horrific wee morning hours in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub and the activity below. With sick dread, I thought, “Dear God, please, please, please let there be no trouble here.”
How Bad Must an American Massacre Be Before Change?
Almost one year ago to the very day, I published my post “Charleston: Hate and Terrorism in America.” Yes, one year ago, a shocking mass killing of everyday Americans going about their everyday lives was in the news.
I’m sick and tired of thinking, “Surely, THIS
will bring us together to demand change.”
It’s why I understand Rep. Jim Himes’ (D-Connecticut) walkout during Congress’s moment of prayer for the Orlando victims. I want to scream at the weird tragedy compliance that kicks into effect when these horrific episodes of domestic terrorism occur. Everybody, it seems, is willing to do the easy work of honoring the dead with roll calls and candlelight vigils and impromptu memorials and respectful hashtags. But where is the hard work to honor the living, the relatives who wail “why my child?” Where is the hard work of fruitful action that spares others from ever knowing this tragedy? Where is the hard work that denies haters—of any nationality, race, gender, religion—easy access to weapons designed to efficiently and effectively kill people?
Why is there such reluctance to curtail American terrorists’ access to weapons?
I can only guess that average citizens, like me, aren’t screaming loudly enough.
On that sunny Sunday afternoon in D.C., the best I could do was return to the festival. It was important to physically assert that we stand together as one America, that hate doesn’t win, and we won’t be cowed.
Now if only we average citizens could actually stand together and demand governmental action that prevents further unnecessary loss of more American’s lives.
Do you want to take a stand? Here are a few ways to make your views heard: “7 Actions You Can Take to End Gun Violence After the Orlando Shooting”