Goodnight & Good Luck | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Goodnight & Good Luck

Early Sunday morning a man whose name I won't type here gunned down fifty people in Pulse, the hottest gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 50 people plus the shooter were pronounced dead, making it the deadliest shooting ever in the United States. 53 people were also wounded. 

According to CNN, the shooter had been interviewed by the FBI twice, in 2013 and 2014 but was "not found to be a threat." He also apparently called 911 during the shooting to pledge allegiance to ISIS. The shooter's parents said they knew he was disgusted by homosexuals he saw kissing, but had no idea he was connected to ISIS or was even religious. 

Those last two paragraphs were just facts. They don't really mean anything. The Republican party that have been actively fighting against LGBTQ rights for years are spinning this into a terrorism debate while completely ignoring the hate crime aspect. Democrats now have another event to point at as they beg and plead for gun control. I say good to that. Let's politicize the shit out of this. Let's make it so political that the next 50 dead bodies pulled out of a bloody and steaming building will be answered for. Maybe they'll be the last. Or the ones after that. Or the ones after that.  

Obama has now given his eighteenth speech in less than eight years following a mass shooting. Meanwhile, an ugly, despicable and cowardly segment of our country has taken to Facebook and Twitter to celebrate the death of dozens of our queer brothers and sisters. Donald Trump has jumped on social media to proclaim himself the all-seeing, all-knowing, gaping dumpster fire of our country.

All just facts. But none of it means anything because we as a country won't let it. The LGBTQ community has been hit today harder than any segment of our society has since the children that were gunned down in Sandy Hook. But they will be ignored and forgotten as politicians and the media spin this to suit temporary needs. 

The shooter had legally purchased his .223 caliber AR-type rifle and Glock handgun, even though he was previously flagged by the FBI. Even die-hard pro-gun lobbyists, NRA apologists and Charleton Heston's corpse must finally agree that it's too easy to get a gun? Sure, hide in your bunkers when they come to take your guns, but can you at least agree that it was too easy, in this ONE INSTANCE, and that maybe our gun laws might be a little bit antiquated? Just asking for a friend. 

(Stupid) people complain about being afraid of finding a transgender person in their bathroom, but LGBTQ people have to be afraid of straight folk all the damn time. But these are just emotions. Not quantifiable facts that I can submit a pie chart for everyone's best interests. 

Instead, I just have to be mad, horrified and appalled. For a community that I love deeply. For 50 people who just wanted to drink, dance and be merry. For how absolutely, undeniably filled with hate so many Americans are. For the innocent Muslims that will be blamed. For us. I'm mad, horrified and appalled at us because we won't do anything. Nothing will change. The news cycle will move on to the next Kardashian misadventure or how icky the girls in Ghostbusters are, and we will forget. Because we must. If we didn't, then we would certainly have to do something about it.  

About The Author

Jared Rasic

Film critic and author of food, arts and culture stories for the Source Weekly since 2010.
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