I appreciate those who reached out. I am safe. I am heartbroken and horrified but safe.
But I have a lot to say about two of the most dangerous and toxic pillars of American society. This weekend, religion and guns combined to rip out the heart of a community. People who so often needed a safe place were murdered in their sanctuary. I know another emotional Facebook rant won't budge the needle but it is cathartic nonetheless.
In a world without religion, bigots lack an echo chamber which reinforces and legitimizes their hate. So long as we continue treating religion with undue respect, we protect the bigots it produces, we provide shelter for the abusers it produces, and we allow it to continue poisoning the reason and critical thinking our society so desperately needs. We don't need any more fucking useless prayers. We need to mock the religious for what they are: truth-hating cowards who would rather cling to fantasy than face the universe regardless of what that means for everyone else.
Regarding handheld, efficient killing machines, I don't know what more I can add. There is a reason we're not allowed to have nukes in our personal arsenals. As a society, we've decided that the efficiency with which some weapons could kill is too great to be granted to just anyone. Now is the time to add guns to that list. You know who is allowed to have nukes in their arsenal? The military. The argument that the right to bear arms is a protection against government tyranny is a joke and anyone who clings to it is delusional or an idiot. The argument that criminals won't give up their guns is equally stupid. We don't make laws to prevent all crime. We make laws so we have a foundation on which to prosecute criminals. The fact that existing laws haven't stopped all crimes doesn't mean we should abandon them. There is the argument that criminals will find other methods of killing. Should we ban knives and hammers? This really goes back to efficiency. Guns have one purpose and they are efficient at it. Read the mass shooting headlines over the years and imagine they say “hammer-wielding man” instead of “gunman” and you'll understand. And what about hunting and home protection? If you think knives and hammers are just as bad as guns, try using those instead. Or, you know, join the 21st century where we've learned to farm and call law enforcement. If you're worried about law enforcement response times, get your lawmakers to raise taxes and spend some fucking money on the greater good. Lastly, you are surrounded by people with mental illnesses. The World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 4 people will be affected by mental illness in their lifetimes. Stop stigmatizing those of us who suffer from these real diseases by using loaded language every time something horrible happens. Even beloved Saint Bernie fell into using mental health as a scapegoat in response to this attack. You can't filter us out at the point of sale and, even if you could, you can't predict that someone won't develop a mental illness after a sale. Besides, who do you think would become the favorite, easy targets of gunmen if the mentally ill where known to definitely not have guns? The solution is the removal of guns for everyone.
Don't even get me started on how fucking pissed I am that I can't even donate blood. I'm O+. I could be doing something at least a little more useful than screaming inside my social bubble but people are paranoid idiots.