Of course, my thoughts and prayers are with those involved, but this tweet sums things up for me.
I will repeat what I've said before: The most major shift for me in moving back to the US after living in Europe for 18 or so years is feeling and fearing that getting shot is a real possibility. I feel nervous about the gun violence and know that at anytime I could get caught up in the crossfires of a situation gone off the rails. I do not want to "get a gun in order to make myself feel safer." I have no interest in killing another human being, even one who is threatening my well being. I would rather be shot than shoot but that's because I've actually considered what it might be like to have to live with perpetuating violence rather than trying to end it. I'm not a hero. I just know that I have no desire to carry a weapon with me at all times and I know that using it would be nearly impossible. I hate feeling this way. I never once in all of the time I lived in Sweden and even the year in London felt nervous about getting shot. And now, it crosses my mind whenever I'm in a crowded place, when the heat starts to get on people's nerves, when I'm stopped buying gas, etc. Sad state of affairs.
Finally, on Orlando in particular and to make clear my support for the LGTBQ community, I am horrified that a gay nightclub is the latest target. Again, the dehumanizing rhetoric around people who find themselves part of this community is very disheartening to me. Someone I love posted on Facebook a comic that showed a Dr. holding a new born and the commentary was, "Parent: What is it, a boy or a girl? Dr.: We'll have to wait a few years to let them decide." I found it so offensive and lacking in compassion and understanding for the folks for whom this is real. We have to stop dehumanizing people in order to truly value and embrace all of God's beloved creation. The pro life movement needs to move beyond the womb and into the living and begin to cultivate a whole life movement.
So to end, I feel it's important for me to state my position. I stand in full support of the LGTBQ community.
It's time to stop the rhetoric about gun violence, about gay rights, about what it means to create a more moral society and instead value human life, respect each person that inhabits the earth and make changes for the good of society instead of clinging to interpretations of laws that are no longer relevant for the society in which we live.
To my gay brothers and sisters...I love you dearly and am so sorry for the lack of safety, compassion, and care you are likely feeling in the aftermath of this violent incident.