Nunca mas. Never again. That was the motto after horrific mass killings after the holocaust , after the genocides in Rwanda and Cambodia and after the brutality of the right wing military regimes in Latin America. But those words are not spoken after massacres in the United States. Not after Columbine,or Virginia Tech, not after Newtown or Planned Parenthood, or Mother Emanuel San Bernardino or Orlando. Because we, in the United States, we know it's not the last time. We know it will happen again. It will happen again because here, in our divided country, those who believe we should not allow assault weapons to be sold to civilians can barely hear the half who believe the problem is not an abundance of armaments, but a lack of them -- that if more people had been armed in any of those places, the killer himself would have been killed.
How to react to the horror? First, my heart goes out to the survivors, to the loved ones of the victims, to the communities of people whose lives will be forever marred by the horror, who will grapple with a cascade of heart ache and mental health that will wound their families in ways they cannot foresee, for generations. We all need to reach out, in a special way, to sexual minorities both in our own country and around the world, to be more aware of the obstacles they face just because of who they are or who they love, and to get to do all we can to break down those walls of oppression.
Most of the people ran from the slaughter, But the police and the journalists ran toward it. Let's take a moment to consider the heroes, and what they have to teach us about overcoming fear in order to serve the common good.
Then we must address terror. This was a terrorist attack. Our country must protect ourselves better, and we need to ask why so many young men are seduced by these forces of violence.
And hate. The reaction of the presumptive Republican nominee for president, 24 hours after Muhammad Ali was laid to rest, was to renew his call to ban Muslims from entering the USA, as though the 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide were responsible for this massacre, when in fact, we all know that the actual culprit had nothing to do with Islam, just as the Ku Klux Klan had nothing to do with Christianity-- this was pure and simple hate. Hate is a learned reaction, and it can be unlearned.
Here is a concrete step we can take on stopping the violence. Let's ban people on the terrorism watch list from being able to purchase guns. The vast majority of Americans agree with that simple step. But Republicans in Congress voted down this bill last fall. We need to hold them accountable next November.
And what else can we do? Try this -- Tell someone you love, that you love them.