I spent this past weekend away, while my husband remained home with the kids. While away, yet another confusing, senseless mass shooting occurred at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. When I arrived home this evening, my husband and I traded stories and caught up on each other’s weekends. The shooting was near the bottom of the list of things we discussed. I noted our numbness, our easy acceptance, our lack of surprise and shock. We discussed it with banality. There was a deafening tone of acceptance that this was no longer a unique occurrence. It was discussed with such dullness that one would never have guessed that we were talking about what is now the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Something feels different this time. Something inside is not sitting right.
I haven’t shed a tear or watched hours of coverage into the night, something I have often done during past tragedies.
Following both Sandy Hook (Man AND Lady Vs Mommy. Written in Memory of Those Murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary) and Paris (Bombs of Kindness) I immediately wrote reaction pieces- my sadness and fears emptying from my heart and into posts. This time, my heart is silent.
I haven’t changed my FB profile picture, or posted any memes in memoriam.
I haven’t dedicated any posts containing heartfelt sentiments and prayers for the victims and their families. (Though I did share one post on my private page that I found summed up the impact of the tragedy on the LGBT community rather nicely.)
I haven’t read article after article soaking up any information that could possibly help it all make sense.
No calls to action or petitions have been signed or shared. I have barely even attempted to shoot down angry trolls with my witty and condescending rhetoric.
Nothing. Not. One. Damn. Thing.
Why, I ask myself? Why can’t I hop on the grieving bandwagon?
It’s because in doing so, I feel like a fraud.
With every passing tragedy, I talk the talk, but the truth is I have no idea how to walk the walk. I am so tired of absolutely nothing changing, nothing getting better. I cannot make my profile picture, a temporary, memorial meme; if that is the only thing I am willing to do to bring about change. Expressing outrage via FB and other social media outlets isn’t doing a damn thing, and I want to do something.
What more can I do? I have signed all of the petitions. I make phone calls to my congresswoman, whom already supports a ban on assault weapons. I vote in all of the elections for representatives who share my beliefs. But really, this does not seem like much.
I, like all of you, am outraged. I am disgusted that so many hundreds of adults and children have died, and likely hundreds more will have to die, for people to understand that guns ARE part of the problem. I am confused by how people think that hate and bigotry is not at the root of all of these mass shootings. I am exhausted of the finger pointing and the bickering among politicians and political parties shutting down any chance for change. I am sickened by the divide in this country that grows deeper with every tragedy.
These atrocities will continue to happen, and, unfortunately, I feel that part of the onus has fallen on us, the citizens of this country. I implore you, how can I help more? Please, share in the comments section any ideas on how we, as individual citizens, can do more then just share FB posts. It is up to every one of us to do something, or none of us have the right to express outrage and sadness when something like this occurs again.