A Reaction to the Orlando Shootings

Horror … Sympathy … Frustration

The realm of emotions we face as a nation coming to grips with one of the greatest gun-related tragedies in our history.

Horror over the immense loss of life and the extreme anti-life ideology of the person who pulled it off.

Sympathy for the victims, their families and friends that must now endure what will be a seemingly endless nightmare of reliving the events of such a frightful night.

Frustration for the national climate that will see the authoritarian left demand more gun control while the authoritarian right demands religious discrimination when neither is anything more than a Band-Aid for a gaping wound.

My heart breaks for the unity of our great nation.

We Americans are as diverse as snowflakes and my fear is that this event will do nothing more than further the wedge that drives us apart.

This is a deeply saddening event for relations between our society and two collectives within. Unless we find a way to live love, we will see the gap of trust widen between the LGBT community and American society at-large. We will also see that same distance put between our society and the Muslim community.

However, this is our chance to prove with every fiber of our beings that love wins. Our thoughts, prayers and support will show the LGBT community our love and acceptance.

Our continued efforts to hold the individual responsible for the action can help extend the olive branch to the Muslim community in our midst with the same love. We are a nation of the First Amendment which protects their religious freedom, just as it protects our own faith or those who choose no faith at all.

Finally, we need to resist the desire to snap to judgement and restrict the rights of gun owners as well. The First Amendment is protected by the Second Amendment.

So in this time of national tragedy and introspection let’s choose the opposite of what the fear-mongering mass media and the authoritarians in the Republican and Democrat Parties will call us to do and let’s come together.

Restricting gun ownership, religious or relational freedom will do nothing to solve this problem and will not prevent other events like this from happening in the days to come.

The facts of this case are that the man who committed this atrocity at a night club frequented by people, real people, in the LGBT community was born in America. He is an American citizen, gun-owner and Muslim. Yet, he doesn’t represent all gun-owners and all Muslims any more than he represents all Americans.

He committed this act for his own reasons.

Let’s overcome this act of hate with millions of acts of love toward the victims and their families and send a statement to the entire world that in America, love wins.

– Mark West

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Mark West is the Libertarian Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, District 1
Clear Difference, Clear Direction, Clear Decision…Vote Mark West 2016

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