The Orlando night club massacre leaves us breathless. Above are just of a few of the victims mowed down by the shooter, whose name I won’t use.
Reports first said the shooter had pledged allegiance to ISIL (which was the impetus of a uniquely awful tweet from Donald Drumpf), then reports said he was disturbed, then said he was a frequenter of the very club he’d shot up.
We held prayer vigils. We changed our Facebook profile photos (or, at least, I did). We had a moment of silence that ended in shouting. Connecticut’s own Nelba Márquez-Greene wrote a blisteringly beautiful piece on Facebook that was snatched up and run in The Guardian.The President is planning a trip there tomorrow.
We phoned and emailed and texted one another. Are we ok? We’re good? All here?
But we’re not, all here. We’re missing some people. So will this be what makes us get serious about banning assault rifles? Will this do the trick? Sandy Hook didn’t, but might this?
I have nothing more to add, except my deep disgust that these horrors have become so ritualized, but each one hurts and each one hurts in a new way. While the news was breaking about this, I was hunched over my computer trying to meet a book deadline, but I couldn’t not-check as the number of dead rose. Kids. Dancing. And then this.
I play Words With Friends, the online Scrabble game. I mostly play with people I know, and you’d be surprised how bad I am at it, given that I like words and stuff. Yesterday, a woman I’m playing whom I don’t now messaged me that she liked my profile picture (the afore-mentioned changed one). I said thank you, and then she messaged that she’s an RN and had been glued to CNN, crying. I don’t know where she lives. I don’t know if she knew any one personally who died, but I messaged her back and I’d been at Home Depot and had to compose myself. I don’t know why. No. I do know why. Kids. Dancing. And then this.
We can do so much better than we’re doing. I believe that we can and I believe that we will.