This reflection was originally posted on June 12, 2016.
I made a reference yesterday, off the cuff, to what is now the second worst mass shooting in US history. As these conversations do, there was a brief discussion of whether it was ever not going to be “too soon” to bring it up.
As a non-1 on the Kinsey scale POC who manages to pass under the guise of being straight, I might be expected to stress how this affects me personally with my connection to the movement for LGBTQ justice. I might be expected as a non-Christian to call out the Islamophobia of certain voices in our country that are calling for other kinds of change. I am willing to have these conversations, but these conversations do not have a clear and direct path to fixing our country’s gun problem.
I will instead stress the 33,000 firearm deaths per year that occur in this country, a comparable number to annual deaths from pneumonia. If you are against same-sex marriage or any other number of LGBTQ rights issues, or if someone’s religion or race makes you think less of them, we should talk about that. But we must consider the people who are directly affected by these acts of violence and what is in our immediate power to do moving forward.
Nothing will change unless we insist on difficult conversations without delay. If you do not agree with me that gun control measures are not only necessary but a moral imperative, then I would strongly, STRONGLY suggest that you reach out to me. I promise that I will consider your arguments on their own terms.
As one of the all-time great Orlando bands would say: “There’s nowhere left to fall/When you reach the bottom, it’s now or never.”