Sometimes I think all I have are words. And then I realize, on days like today, that I don’t even have that. I look at what has been said and will be said about the horror in Orlando. I hear the same politicians offering “thoughts and prayers” but who will never, ever, use their elected positions to do a damn thing to prevent another horror. I hear the same politicians trying their best not to gloat too openly, because they not-very-secretly side with the shooter and are used to pushing discriminatory laws while trying to make them sound, you know, about something else. I hear the ones who latch onto the fact that the guy was a Muslim, conveniently ignoring that he was first and foremost an unstable homophobe who had no trouble at all buying all the guns and ammo he wanted, and also ignoring the unstable Christian homophobe who—thank goodness—was caught with a carload of ordinance on his way to shoot up a Pride parade and so one horror did not happen. If one is a terrorist, then so was the other.
Mostly I hear the hopeful voices of those who believe maybe, just maybe, this time will be different, and people will put enough pressure on their “representatives” to overcome the NRA’s money and get some sensible regulations passed. Make it, you know, a little bit harder to kill fifty people you don’t know for reasons that are beyond reason. I want to join them in that hope, but the politicians have long learned that there are no real consequences to inaction and big consequences if they take a stand. We send the same ones back to office time and after time, but they no longer represent us, if they ever did. They work for someone else, and if you doubt that, just note that a vast majority of the American electorate favor some sensible regulation, such as background checks, mandatory safety training, and waiting periods, and yet it never seems to happen. Why? Follow the money. Thoughts and prayers from a politician? Sure. They’re free. They don’t hurt. Doing something? Sorry. Not happening.
I try to avoid politics here. No one is persuaded and everyone just ends up mad. Today I did not succeed. Today I started out mad. Sorry about that, but until we curb money in politics and start kicking people out of office for not doing their jobs, nothing is going to change. Everything else is just thoughts and prayers.