Orlando, Gun Control, and LGBT

Before I say anything else, I want to say how incredibly horrible this news is and how much it saddens me. I’m sure as more details emerge, it will only get worse. Even still, the thought of 50 dead people in a single shooting is absolutely mind boggling. 50 souls torn from this earth and the lives of loved ones. I’m certain they were all wonderful people and I’m heartbroken that yet another mass shooting has occurred. It disgusts me that anybody thinks that kind of behavior is okay for any reason at all. Let me just say this: it’s not. Ever. It’s that simple. You’d think that’s an easy concept. “Don’t shoot or kill people,” isn’t exactly a difficult or radical task. But nonetheless, here we are.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. Now of course I’m not condoning the actions of this despicable man, but I believe that the reason tragedy occurs is to bring good in the long run. Never has it been more clear that there is a problem with this country and the ideologies herein. Several in fact. This country is jacked up royally, but that’s not anything new. We all know there are issues facing this country and this is only the latest one. Columbine, Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon, the hundreds and countless other murders, shootings, and other acts of terror are only escalating, and hopefully this one finally drives the nail in. We have to do something. This isn’t a passive “we,” this is an invitation. All of us are in a fashion responsible; it’s our responsibility to take care of those we love and care for. Regardless of whether we know them or not, it’s our duty as fellow Americans and human beings to stand vigilant against these criminals and try to be better. We do this nationally through our votes, locally through our actions, and personally through our hearts. Change is needed.

Now, I’m not going to pretend that I’m a guru who knows the foolproof way to end violence in America or that I’m fully educated on the situation, gun control, the Constitution, or anything else for that matter. But one thing is clear to me: we need tighter gun control restrictions. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the second amendment. That’s not true, but the second amendment isn’t designed to put guns in the hands of criminals, it’s intended to put guns in the hands of American citizens. Might I include lawful citizens. That’s not written there, but that is just common sense to me. I watched a video of a man asking President Obama a question about gun control. The asker of the question was clearly anti-Obama, but he was respectful and got a respectful answer. Here’s the video:

I don’t care if you loathe Obama or worship him; he’s the president and it’s critical to know what he says and believes. In this, he makes a strong argument that I support about why gun control is needed. No, confiscating guns is not the answer, but that’s not the answer he’s proposing. He’s proposing common sense gun control, like licensing and background checks. We need to be licensed to drive a car, why can we go buy a gun without being licensed? The CDC is forbidden by Congress to study gun violence because it’s considered gun control. He uses the analogy of seat belts in cars. It used to be that seat belts didn’t need to be included and car accidents were far more deadly. Once legislation was passed demanding they be included and used, traffic fatalities dropped drastically. Honestly, where is the problem in having a background check when purchasing a gun? I need a background check to participate in my church’s VBS, a license to drive a car, and certification to perform CPR, but when it comes to purchasing a lethal weapon, I can stroll in without a care in the world. That isn’t right. We have to be stricter with our guns, and that doesn’t mean we need to eliminate them.

And lets finally get to the fact of the matter that this shooting happened at a gay club. Instantly, this enrages people. It should; crimes are dreadful. The man who opened fire, from what I’ve read (though who can tell how accurate the internet’s information is), was an American Muslim who pledged himself to ISIL. I’ve seen countless people speaking up for Orlando, and a smaller portion who are looking to blame people outside the gunman. I won’t say he represents Islam, because I know Islam doesn’t preach violence, but he is an example of domestic “Islamic” terror. Personally, I don’t think there should be a difference between Islamic terror and any other kind of terror. Throw whatever adjective you want in front of it, but it’s still terror. I’ve witnessed many people saying that prayer isn’t helpful and it leads to complacency. That’s bending the truth. Yes, if prayer is the only thing done then it is complacent, but for the families of the victims, I can only offer prayer at this time. Gun legislation will not heal their wounds, but I believe prayer can. Both prayer and action are needed, so don’t discount prayer.

I’ve also seen to many people tying this man to Christianity. This one man, who identifies as Muslim, shouldn’t be sparking hatred towards Christians. The only person who should be receiving blame for this is the man who did it. I get that there’s this idea that all Christians are anti-LGBT, but nobody seems to consider that those Christians aren’t the norm, just like violent Muslims aren’t the norm. I’m sick of seeing the hypocrisy of people saying that radical Islam isn’t Islam at all, but then point fingers at Christianity for the actions of a few radical Christians. It’s insane to me. For a brief second, let’s talk about Christina Grimmie, the Voice contestant who was shot last week. Another tragedy.

The ignorance in this post is startling. I read a little bit of this users Twitter page and found more of the same ignorance and hatred while masquerading as love. Tons of posts about love wins, love gays, love blacks, and all that junk, but it’s in the same environment as this kind of bull. How is it someone can claim to represent love and stand for loving everyone and then post something so hateful? I know that this isn’t necessarily hateful, but look at the others on his wall. It’s clear to me this comes from a place of hatred. People like this are, of course, not the norm. But it sickens me that people use the shooting and murder(s) of people to spread hatred against someone else. Christians aren’t involved in this shooting at all! The shooter is Muslim, and the victims are more than likely all gay or “gay supporters,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. Even if any of them were Christian, it’s obvious that it played no part in this crime. The players here are Islam and homosexuality. But even those are sort of just scapegoats. The only players here are the criminal and the victims. I’m very confused about how this single example in any way reflects on Christianity. It shouldn’t, but people are trying to use this tragedy as a way of sparking the ongoing “battle” between Christians and LGBT individuals. Yes, I know LGBT people have been abused since forever, frequently at the hands of “Christians.” But lets leave that conflict out of this situation because it has no place here. The conflict is rapidly being politicized beyond what it should be, which is to say that Christians are somehow receiving blame from this.

Let me be clear. As a Christian, I don’t tolerate intolerance. I believe I can exist with my beliefs in the same country as LGBT people. Same goes for Muslims, atheists, or any other arbitrary line of division. We’ll never truly be able to unify as people if we keep dividing ourselves into camps like those. If we identify as anything other than human first, then that shows where our priorities lie. If you identify as a Christian before being a person, then chances are you’ll put the needs of a Christian over the need of a person, and the same goes for every other label. Enough is enough. I am Christian, and I love all people regardless of orientation, religion, race, ethnicity, or whatever. People are people. That goes for the shooter too. Love doesn’t mean like or approval, but I love the shooter. What he did was malicious and evil, but he is still a person. Either way, we’ve got to start being open and honest without seeking to destroy. I see a lot of people saying things that “need to be said,” without any intention of building others up. All anyone seems to want to do is tear each other down. It’s an easy trap to fall into, but we have to try anyway. “If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do.” ~Angel



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