First and foremost, as the CEO of this company, I want any reader to know we value all of our clients’ business, regardless of any social, political, or economic disposition that might be different from ours. And I personally will always respect anyone who wants to engage in a civilized debate about important issues – I believe it’s what keeps our democracy alive and thriving.
This is honestly going to be more of a (passionately written) legal brief, because I’m just going to re-use this for one of my law classes. And there’s going to be a lot of information, because as a gay man, this is a cause that is very near and dear to me, and I’ve quite simply had enough. Be prepared, because if you are a conservative or Republican, the information I am about to present to you will change your position on a number of issues in America, if you can bring yourself to accept a series of readily verifiable facts that are in direct contradiction to your current beliefs. I encourage you to read all of the information I present, and not just throw your hands up.
I am not certain of how you feel toward homosexuals – but it stands to reason that my target audience might be homophobic, and in that case there are some things I need to say to you. You don’t get to say that LGBT+ people make you fear for your safety in a restroom, and that we should live our lives in private, and then murder us in our private places. You may not have pulled the trigger, but if you are openly homophobic, then you helped perpetuate the atmosphere of intolerance that motivated this maniac. We have spent decades waiting for you stubborn, irrational people to evolve, but you are taking too long, and we are losing too much. I’m sure this will be hard for you to hear, but our existence doesn’t need to be sanctioned by you. We do not need our rights handed down to us by a bunch of old, white, men. The same unalienable rights that are granted to you as a US citizen, are granted to US too. And you can be damn sure we’re about to demand Every. Single. One of them.
Moving on to the topic of guns… this is a first-hand account from a 20 year old with an expired ID who bought an AR-15 in 5 minutes: https://thetab.com/us/2016/06/14/i-was-able-to-buy-an-ar-15-in-five-minutes-19833
This is a video of a grown man hiding an AR-15, a pistol, and 264 rounds of ammunition in his pants. You cannot visibly distinguish him from an unarmed individual, even in a well-lit room: https://www.facebook.com/robert.buckles.1/videos/vb.507579239/10154880481564240/?type=2&theater. It would have taken him less than 5 minutes to expend his ammo and kill dozens of people. Also, if you think the shooting in Orlando could have been stopped by another individual with a gun, I’ll remind you that the Pulse Nightclub had an armed security guard present when the shooting began. The guard exchanged fire with the shooter, but was unable to stop him because the shooter was armed to the teeth – as they usually are. It took multiple SWAT officers to take down the gunman after they breached the wall in the rear of the club.
This is a data-driven analysis of gun violence in the United States, stripped of emotion and other distractions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX4qUsgHa4Y. Every slide they use is sourced with where they got the data from. The only conclusion that can be drawn from the data they present is that more guns DOES NOT equal more safety, in literally every circumstance. The fact is… people who are attracted to purchasing or owning guns are usually also more prone to violent or irrational behavior. Only 9% of attempted suicides in the US end up actually dying from suicide – they end up surviving. The problem is, suicide attempts with guns make it incredibly hard to get that second chance. Also – crime, depression, drunkenness, etc. with a gun are ALWAYS more dangerous than without a gun. It’s not that America has more crime – it’s that crime in the US is much more lethal, because we have so many guns. That being said, you might need different policies to keep guns away from potential mass shooters than you would to keep them out of inner city gangs, or people who are suicidal. This means that America doesn’t have a gun problem – it has several of them.
This is a video of an eye-witness of the shooting on CNN – one of the hostages – telling us that the gunman wanted us to “stop bombing his country,” before he pledged allegiance to ISIS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_GMyHoVPqk. However, if you believe the entire Muslim religion is made up of terrorists, that is not even remotely accurate. As with any faith, it all comes down to interpretation and how you practice – it’s about the individual: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/omar-alnatour/muslims-are-not-terrorist_b_8718000.html. As you can read in this report, the FBI tells us that there is simply NO evidence that the majority of terrorist attacks are carried out by Muslims. But we don’t hear about that, because it doesn’t fit the Republican chest-beating war machine agenda. We don’t hear the word “terrorist” when the shooter is white, we hear “lone wolf.” Something is wrong with this picture. And if you profess yourself to be a man or woman of God… I hope you have some really good ways to explain your part in all of this to God when you finally come face-to-face.
This is a video showing you who the 49 victims were – that they were human beings who loved, and were loved. It’s only 2 minutes and 30 seconds – hardly enough to capture 49 lives, but I do believe they deserve at least that much of your time: https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1083700128386777/
The bottom line is this:
- The Supreme Court has already established that the term “arms” in the Second Amendment has degrees – meaning there are types of firearms that this law does not grant civilians the right to possess (i.e. a rocket launcher).
- There is no reason this definition cannot and should not be expanded to include weapons that can kill dozens of people in a matter of minutes, especially since we have had an average of one mass shooting every 2 months for the past 5 years where the shooter used a weapon like this – and we have done nothing. Nothing. Clinging to the Second Amendment in the face of regular gun violence over a 5 year period (and beyond) is not patriotism. It’s stupidity on a scale that the rest of the world is really starting to get worried about. Nobody wants to take all of your guns. We DO want innocent people to stop getting senselessly murdered, and we don’t think it’s unreasonable to restrict these types of weapons. Otherwise, how much longer are these killing sprees going to have to continue? How many more lives have to be shattered? How many more hearts have to be broken? How much more blood has to spill before we finally stand up and say ENOUGH??
- Thomas Jefferson himself said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are LIFE, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…and that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it.” Your right to “keep and bear” arms of grossly destructive power does not supersede everybody else’s right to STAY ALIVE. The Second Amendment was created because in 1791 there were no organized police forces (or substantial military) in place to protect this brand new free country we had created, and it was of course very, very precious to us. So the People needed to have the right to defend themselves. But it is simply no longer necessary for the general population to be armed to the extent that they are considered to be the ones “protecting people.” If you want to protect people, become a police officer.
A closing thought – since no women, people of color, or LGBT citizens were consulted when the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were drafted and ratified, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that they might need to be edited just a little.
This gunman has awoken a sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve. He has single-handedly united the entire LGBT, Latino, and Democratic communities against the NRA, and against hatred and violence in general. From the Stonewall Riots in 1969, to the march on Washington for LGBT rights in 1979, to defeating Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, to repealing DOMA, and finally to marriage equality that we achieved just last year… it took us 47 years of literal blood, sweat, and tears to achieve our current status. If we have proven anything, it’s that we can endure unimaginable adversity, and we can get shit done. How much longer do you think this lethal and insidious gun fetish our country has is going to last, now that we’re on the case?
I realize I have thrown a lot of shocking information and also a measurement of anger at you (the reader)… but my people are dying, and they’ve been dying for a long time, and I quite simply refuse to be silent any longer. I intend to confront and bring to light anyone who ignores facts and presents a hindrance to my life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness.