The Shot Heard ‘Round The World

In the wake of the Orlando Shooting, America is reminded just how far we have come and how much further we need to go. 

June 12. marks the date of the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL. It also marks the day that American people are forced to remember important decisions that have to be made.

I was one of many people who stared at my TV screen, watching as officers and news officials described the massacre that had happened at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL.

Like many of my friends, I was a visitor of the club during my trips to Orlando, and I couldn’t believe that something so tragic had hit so close to home. All I kept thinking was:

“This is insane…This isn’t real.”

But the longer I watched, the more I realized that as insane as the events were, this was real life.

President Obama soon appeared to give a  statement about the tragedy and as he walked out, I could tell he was over it. There was a man, a father, a husband, and an elected official who seemed tired of taking the stage to speak about death over and over. There was a man who was tired of fighting for change only to be met with tragedy.

Obama expressed his condolences in a brief statement and despite his strong words, one thing that stuck in my mind was when he said that American’s need to make a decision…and be reminded that actively doing nothing, is a decision of it’s own.

With all the shootings that are going on in the US, it’s truly time to look at some hot button issues that have been avoided – LGBT rights and gun control.

I know that not everyone stands for LGBT rights and not everyone stands on the side of gun control either but, it’s evident that a change has to be made. Despite other motives, the attack on Pulse was still a hate crime against the LGBT community in a place where they were free to feel safe and empowered. And despite the matter of how shooter Omar Mateen obtained his weapons, they were still obtained and were used to deal out mass destruction.

With all the mass shootings in the US in the past couple of years (Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, etc.)  it’s becoming harder to turn a blind-eye to the topic of gun control. Attacking children in an environment that was supposed to be safe was not enough to cause action. Attacking students in an environment that was supposed to be safe, was not enough to cause action. So will attacking a specific community cause action? Will it cause change?

Yes and No.

In a world where people are still confused about what it means to be a part of the LGBT community, and still ignorant to the basics of human rights, change will not come easy. The conversation about gun control, hate crimes, and more will continue but I hope that something is done to protect innocent people who are bystanders of events like these.

The shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando is one that people will remember forever and I hope that America is brave enough to take action to prevent this from happening again. Despite a person’s race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, the US needs to stand together as one and remember that an attack one of us is still an attack all of us.

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To read more about the massacre, check out these other articles: Orlando Shooting Proves The Fight For LGBT Equality Is Nowhere Near Over (Taylor Crehan/EagleNews)

50 Killed, 53 Injured At Orlando Nightclub In Worst Mass Shooting in US History (Georgette French/ EagleNews)

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