JUNE : 13

I have to write something. I have to say something.

I’ve been sad all weekend because of the tragedies occurring in Orlando, Florida. I think I’ll mostly ramble in this post but I need to let it out.

I am the kind of person that needs to read about things to digest them. I need to feel the emotions, become sad and then heal. I can’t ignore the tragedy. Or one day it will come back to bite me. With 9/11 I was too young to understand. In 2012, I finally started reading about it and it ruined me. 11 years later. And rather than healing and grieving with the rest of the world, I was pretty alone. So with this, I’ve been reading and reading and reading.

It began with Christina Grimmie. My friend text me to tell me and I claimed I didn’t know who she was. When I got home that night, I googled her. Of course I knew her. She was ‘zeldaxlove64’. The scene girl who played piano while wearing black fingerless gloves and had a huge fringe. I watched her ALL the time in my younger days. In fact, she was one of the influences as to why I began learning chords on the piano and singing.

When I started reading about this at 12am on Saturday, I was devestated. She was a year older than I am. She was shot 3 times while doing something she loved. She apparently welcomed her killer with open arms and instead was murdered. How can someone do that?

The one thing that I find a comfort during this is that she had a faith. She is in Heaven, now. She is with God. There are a lot of comments on social media reiterating this fact and a lot of comments saying ‘But it wasn’t her time.’

Here is something we need to understand – it was not in God’s plan for her to be shot. He gave humans free will and Kevin Loibl (the killer) used his to destroy thousands, maybe millions, of lives. God would have been screaming from above when he witnessed that but instead of abandoning the situation because he had different plans for Grimmie, he changed his plans and welcomed her Home. There is evil in the world but God did not put it there. Instead, he has plans that can protect our souls from it. And that is what we need to remember.

Grimmie was a beautiful and talented woman that led to many fearful people becoming brave. For example, Dodie Clark and Lauren Aquilina are two people that started uploading videos because of Grimmie.

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Shortly after the death of Christina Grimmie, I heard about the shooting in Orlando. And the motives. And the reasons. And the suspect. And the victims. The 49 lovely people that died and the 53 that are currently injured. It makes me physically sick. I cried over strangers today. I cried because this is not humanity. This is not fair.

It broke my heart when a mother read out text messages she got from her son moments before he was shot and killed. How she had to sit at home and endure the fact that this was the last time she would ever hear from him. “I’m gonna die”

The fact that communities are targeted is revolting. People are people no matter what community they belong to. They are no less or no more because of what they believe in, how they live and who they love. Why has this been made into such a big deal? The point of life is to love, not to condemn. 

I am sick.

Also, I want to briefly talk about gun control. ‘Enough is enough.’ I lived in America. I understand the culture. I am not naive when I say that gun control laws are absolutely ludicrous. When I was 5 years old, I went to my friends house and his dad showed me a cabinet full of guns. Full of them. There were almost a dozen guns. In any moment of rage, there could have been such a temptation to grab one of those guns.

There have been 133 mass shootings in America in 2016. We are barely six months in and already there have been 133 MASS SHOOTINGS.

In the UK, there have been three mass shootings since 1987. 46 people have been shot in killed in the UK within nearly 30 years. In America, 207 people have been shot and killed this year. And that’s only from mass shootings; that doesn’t include single shootings. When will enough be enough? Yes, there are other ways to kill but getting rid of this one weapon that is so easily accessible is a great start. 207 deaths could have been prevented.

America, you lost 27 people to the Sandyhook shootings. You lost 33 people to the Virginia Tech shooting. You lost 10 people at the Red Lake shootings. You lost 15 people to the Columbine shooting. Are these not important to you? Are these deaths indifferent? Did these people not matter?

I know that it takes a lot to ban guns, change the laws and recieve guns that people already own. I understand it would be a big job. But it’s not a bigger job than the grief these families are bearing. I’m not asking for it to happen over night. But I truly think that Americans should give up the pride they have in the ‘right to bear arms‘. No one wants to live in a world where they must carry a gun to a nightclub, a movie theatre, a school just in case they start getting shot at.

One quick fact: there is a 0 days’ wait needed to obtain a AR-15 semi automatic rifle in Florida – this is the gun used at Pulse nightclub and Sandyhook Elementary. It can shoot roughly 45-60 rounds per minute. And there is a 0 days wait for this monstrosity.

America, do not let these Orlando deaths be in vain. Fight for a change. Let this be the final straw. Be able to say one day that the loss of your brother, son, cousin, friend, soulmate actually contributed to a change in your country that saved millions of lives in the years to come.

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Song for today: Beautiful Things by Grungor.

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

I pray that all the victims of the Orlando shootings are being made new by God. I really pray that.

Read about the victims here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemcneal/orlando-shooting-victims

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