I’m sure you’ve all seen the news this weekend.
This weekend, Orlando has been home to the worst terrorist attack in modern US history, and it’s devastating. In case you are still unaware, a LGBT nightclub in Orlando was attacked by a single gunman, who brutally and mercilessly murdered AT LEAST 49 innocent individuals, each of which had no other intention than to have a good night out. Dozens more were injured, and the gunman was eventually killed in an exchange of gunfire just after 5am local time.
Not only is this a hard blow to America [although i’m sure that it is], but it’s a blow to the worldwide LGBT+ community, and to a majority of people across the globe, regardless of their sexual orientation, regardless of their beliefs, regardless of their nationality. One man has killed innocent party-goers on a Saturday night in Orlando, florida, for no other reason than his personal beliefs, and however much we can convince ourselves that this won’t happen again, that we’re better prepared now, we remain powerless.
Without trying to induce fear, what’s to say that a similar attac won’t happen in New York, or London, or any other city across the globe today, or tomorrow, or next week? as demonstrated in Orlando, it takes just one individual to ruin hundreds of lives: the lives of their direct victims, but also their indirect victims – the families, friends and loved ones of those who’s lives they needlessly took.
No amount of words will ever be enough to satisfy the burning feeling in my stomach: the feeling that makes me violently ill, sickened and disgusted. Besides, how can any number of words, however sincere they may be, compensate for 49 lost lives, 49 lost beautiful individuals who will never get to finish their stories? Their books were slammed closed, tossed into a burning inferno of cruel flames, the pages incinerated into nothing.
Sure, there are memories. There are photos, and letters, and memories. There are videos, and achievements, and memories. But not even that will ever come near to the value of the hundreds of lost years that, collectively, these innocent victims still had to live.
And one man did that.
Honestly, with as little menace as is possible, I don’t give a shit what you think of gays, or foreign people, or any group of people, for that matter. I don’t care if you disagree with homosexuality, for example, even though I personally do agree with it – I’m bisexual, after all. So long as your views aren’t harming me, I have no issue with them, and would even take time to discuss them with you, in a friendly conversational debate.
What I do give a shit about, however, is when those views and opinions transform themselves into acts of terror. When these views begin to bring harm to others, I really, really give a shit. Your views should never hurt others emotionally, let alone physically. They’re your views, your thoughts, your opinions. The idea of a free world is that we can all believe what we like, and I’m a huge believer in that. If you don’t agree with someone, feel free to talk it over with them, to get their side of things – I like to do that, to get others’ views. Don’t, however, go and attack them, murdering them for their views, their lifestyle choices, which in no way affect your life.
I’ve lost faith in humanity, somewhat. Each terrorist attac, each needless act of hate, just pushes me further and further towards the conclusion that humanity is no more. It makes me hate the society that I myself am a part of, because not only can we prevent these attacks, this vast loss of life, but it is our own kind – human flesh, human blood – who are causing them in the first place.
If we cannot respect our own kind, our own species, our own people, then what hope do we have?