Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando Nightclub Shooting

2016 Orlando nightclub shooting   Wikipedia

On June 12, 2016, a gunman killed at least 50 people and wounded 53 others in a mass shooting at Pulse, a gay bar and nightclub in Orlando, Florida - the worse mass shooting in US history. The gunman was identified as 29-year-old Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, an American citizen of Afghan descent. The Orlando Police Department are treating the case as an act of domestic terrorism. The shooter pledged allegiance to Islamic State during the attack. The incident is the deadliest mass shooting and the deadliest attack on LGBT people in United States history; and it is the deadliest attack in the U.S. since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

People from all walks of life - given any excuse - are going postal. The solution is not gun-control. It's not about the weapons. It's about the insanity of the people ... which is accelerating. Humans are programmed to blow things up especially now.

At 7:00 AM, I posted the link to the Florida nightclub mass shootings. My first reaction was "this is a hate crime" especially as this is Gay Pride Month and Gay Pride Week in Florida. Later I learned this was also an act of domestic terrorism.

The shooting comes on the heels of this story out of Orlando Saturday morning 'Voice' singer Christina Grimmie dies after shooting at Orlando concert

I was out and about early this morning meeting people who expressed their opinions on the Orlando shootings. Many people have become numb to this. Do you know mass shootings averaged one every day in 2015?

When I came home I called my friend MaryEllen (not gay) in Orlando. She and I had discussed me coming to Orlando to teach in November after the election - but I kept seeing violence there which I associated with the presidential election. I couldn't shake the images so MaryEllen and I never scheduled anything. Today she reported that she and her family are fine but it's chaotic there. She said the lines to donate blood are long but the community is uniting. She is waiting to hear from friends who may have been at the club last night and watching their Facebook pages to see what they post.

A gay male friend in Fort Lauderdale emailed: "This guy went in to kill as many gays as he could. He chose a club that would have hundreds of gay people dancing, easy targets, maximum impact/causalities. I think his "religion" just made it easier for him to rationalize."

Email from my friend Dean here in the city ...

Thank you, Ellie, for asking me to write about the episode. Funny ... I feel that I DO want to write about it. If nothing else, than just to process the event. How do we wrap our heads around more 'senseless' killing? How do we 'feel' anymore when yet more victims line a morgue? Are we as a nation having PTSD? I kind of feel I am. I vacillate between crying and numbness.

The pattern is always the same: crazy person uses weapons to kill in a shocking way. The aftermath is outrage and sadness. Then time passes. We go back to our lives. And then another event occurs.

My heart and prayers go out to the victims, their families and even the perpetrators. For as much sadness that happens, what goes on in the heart of a murderer? How did such darkness get there? As hard as I try, I cannot understand being in such an emotional state as to cause such destruction. I am not programmed for it. "It doesn't compute". I try to understand, but cannot, how an individual can come to a conclusion that "killing must be done"... for any reason. And, what part of the 'system' (and there are many) allowed this to happen?

Is "shock and awe" part of our reality now? George W. Bush introduced that into the minds of the country and the media hammers it home. But, why? I always look behind the curtain. I want to know what is behind the energy that occurs as a 3D action. And, the answer that I have so far is seen, is in the result -- We are being traumatized. We are being conditioned to be afraid. We are being made react to gun violence ("no guns"), to people who are different ("build a wall") ("kill the fags"), and to ultimately become suspicious of others. I find it so very very sad.

In the present attack on Pulse in Orlando, it may be the act of a lone person who's brain has been programed to hate gay people. But, it is interesting to observe how many times the word 'terrorist' is said in the news or the word "ISIS".

It is in our diversity as a human species that makes us stronger. "They" may try taking away the rainbow, but the light will always shine through ... yes ... even as we "fade to black".

Here's a pic from the vigil Sunday night at the Stonewall Inn.

I'm sure the gay pride parade in NYC, which happens on June 26th,
will be incredibly tight with security.

With love,

Hours later at the Tony Awards, where much of the Broadway community is gay,
James Corden delivered an emotional opening speech about the Orlando Nightclub Shooting.

Lin-Manuel Miranda created an original sonnet repeating the word "Love" over and over.
Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards.

50 Stars - 50 Souls crossed over

June 14, 2016 - US Flag Day