49 people are dead in Orlando because a religious fanatic with a gun and a mental illness had access to a legal firearm.
There are three aspects to this.
I’m not qualified to talk about gun control, and instead of being another idiot on the internet talking about things that I don’t fully understand I’ll leave that issue, in my view, as hopeless. We invented these machines designed only to kill and the fact that they exist makes a total solution hopeless. I will call the police if I see someone with a gun in a public space and encourage other people to do the same. Cops have time on their hands and something is scaring these people to the point that they need “self defense” so let the police handle them.
I am somewhat qualified to talk about mental illness, and bipolar disorder in particular, so I’ll say that between stigma, lack of treatment, and general misinformation about the disorder, it’s a difficult thing to live with. But I think giving a person with certain mental illnesses a gun, especially if they aren’t being treated properly, is one of the most terrible ideas that our congress has ever supported.
But the issue that I’m most qualified, in the case of this shooting, dozens of other shootings, parents killing their children, children killing their parents, the fight for civil rights, gay bashings, and the general killing of innocent people an alarmingly large percentage of the time, is religion.
What struck me the most when I heard about the shooting was just how easily I could have been the victim. And also, just how easily I could have been the shooter.
I was raised religious. I was raised homophobic. There was a time in my life when I was in as much danger as this shooter of becoming a monster. I thought people in general were evil and homosexuality was something I viewed as disgusting.
So to the people praying for Orlando. You are presenting the problem as a solution.
No one wants to hear this. I understand that. I no longer care.
I’ve spent so much of my life either adhering to or respecting religion. In my view, those two are equally reprehensible and I’m sorry for every moment that I spent doing either one.
I care about people who are trapped in the Muslim faith. If you’re a refugee, an immigrant, an American experiencing Islamophobia, I care about you and I will defend you.
But I won’t defend your POS prophet and I won’t defend disgusting dogma that says that I should be killed. Your religion is not a religion of peace because such a thing just doesn’t exist. You’re a better person than Mohammad and you should be proud of that instead of worshipping a monster.
It’s not that I haven’t declared myself an anti-theist. It’s that I haven’t stood up against liars and killers in the name of tolerance. I didn’t fully understand that tolerating people means helping them instead of allowing them to hurt themselves.
If you read this, and you’re religious, please just stop, for your own sake and for the sake of the rest of the world. We need a world that’s ready to move forward and care about each other. Your dogma prevents you from doing that if you follow it (and I know that the good people in religions don’t follow them).
It’s not my job to aid in delusion. If this offends you, then learn, or if you have a (preferably justified) point to make, then make it.
“Not all religious people” I don’t care
“Interpret it this way” I don’t care
“But my holy guy said” I don’t. Fucking. Care.
I care that 49 people are dead. Well, never mind. 49 people are dead in one night club in one city. More would have been killed in California if that gunman had his way. People died in Syria over the weekend. People died in Israel and in Palestine over the weekend. Someone was probably killed for apostasy over the weekend. People died from AIDS in Africa since condoms are discouraged by religious leaders there. Saudi Arabia almost certainly executed someone for writing or saying something that wasn’t in line with fundamentalism. A child was probably taught to become the next killer on Sunday morning.
And the next time this happens, we’ll be trying to solve the two parts of the problem that we’re comfortable talking about while yet again, another person is being taught to hurt and to hate.