Orlando Is My City. And I'm Sick Of This Sh*t

Law enforcement agencies and local city representatves give a news conference on Sunday, June 12, 2016, in the wake of a mass
Law enforcement agencies and local city representatves give a news conference on Sunday, June 12, 2016, in the wake of a mass-casualty shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. (Jacob Langston/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)

This weekend, two senseless tragedies occurred within the bounds of the city I call home. On Saturday, The Voice singer Christina Grimmie was fatally shot by a man armed with two guns and then on Sunday morning, authorities announced a mass shooting at a downtown Orlando gay nightclub.

I woke up to a Facebook feed and Twitter timeline riddled with posts about the shooting on Sunday and several text messages from out-of-town relatives and friends asking me if I was okay. I was lucky enough to write back and tell my family and friends I was unharmed -- but the same can't be said for the (so far) approximately 50 people pronounced dead in Orlando.

In the days following this tragedy, we're going to see outpourings of love and support from cities outside Orlando. We're going to see more Facebook posts from people expressing their anger, or sadness, or prayers. We're going to see Twitter hashtags supporting the people of Orlando. We're going to see memes being made of pride flags. We're going to talk about how we can change the all the hate. We're going to see a speech from the president, and likely the presidential nominees, and we are going to share those speeches across our social media. We're going to get in heated debates in the comment sections of articles like this one where some of us believe guns are the problem and some of us believe a good guy with a gun could solve the problem. We're going to argue with our co-workers over lunch about the mental health crisis in America and what "terrorism" really means. We're going to talk about religion and extremism and violence.

Then, we're going to forget.

All of our social media "activism" makes us feel like we're doing something, like we're making clear that we won't stand for this violence anymore.

But we're not doing anything. We are standing for this violence time and time again.

Enough is enough.

Less than two weeks ago, I shared a video on my personal Facebook feed from President Obama's town hall. In it, he addressed a question from an audience member about why the government wanted to take away people's guns. President Obama's response, thoughtful and well-reasoned, made clear that he did not want to take away anyone's guns, he just wanted a better regulatory system for guns -- just like there is for anything else related to our safety.

I praised the president for this logical speech. And now, I'm ashamed I did.

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Why do we keep forgetting the first part of the Second Amendment in order to get straight to the last part?

Enough is enough.

We're all too scared to publicly put forth the idea that the answer to our gun problem in the States might not be to "regulate" -- it might be to ban every single gun within U.S. borders until we get our fucking problems figured out.

Enough is enough kowtowing to the Americans who cling to their weapons for dear life. Enough is enough social media activism without any real calls to action. Enough is enough pretending like we can solve this problem through regulation.

Enough is enough.

My congresspeople are Representative John Mica (R) and Senators Bill Nelson (D) and Marco Rubio (R). Out of those three, two -- John Mica and Marco Rubio -- have strong positive ratings by the NRA and have held a consistent record of not being tougher on gun control. Marco Rubio, in fact, has already tweeted this morning that his "prayers" are with those harmed in Orlando. And that is, likely, all he will do.

Enough is fucking enough.

It's no longer a radical idea to propose the ban of weapons when the news plays a continuous loop of mass killing after mass killing.

Enough is enough.

So today, while you change your Facebook profile pictures and tweet about your heartbreak, please also realize we need to stop walking the line of gun regulation. We need to stop being scared to propose the idea that all guns need to go. We need to stand up to violence and bigotry when we see it in action. We need to practice what we preach and we need to do it now.

This post is part of my activism and even this isn't good enough.

Today, as you pray and send positive thoughts to the victims and their familes, please also use this tool to find out who your representatives are and use this tool to find out where they stand on the gun issue. Then write to them, call them, tweet at them, Facebook message them, to let them know that as a resident of the United States of America, you will no longer stand for this shit and you believe that it's time we all say is enough is enough.

Follow Anjali Sareen on her blog The LITMO Life and her YouTube Channel.


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