Thursday, June 16, 2016

Still shocked and recovering from Orlando

EXCUSE me for being so incoherent on this subject but it's hard to make sense of such a senseless act -- the mass shooting in Orlando in the early morning of June 12. I just have to get this out, as if writing will cleanse my mind of this horror.

America is No. 1. Are we on the way to being "Great Again?" No! The No. 1 I'm referring to is the number of mass shootings we have. Depending on how you loosely you define "mass shooting," we suffer almost one mass shooting a day this year or six to date in 2016. One per day or six in six months, both numbers are way too many. 

I thought when Sandy Hook happened and pictures of all those dead children were on the front pages of the world's newspapers, America would come up with some sensible gun laws.

That was four years ago. Nothing has been done. NOTHING!

When I was in the Army, the weapon the infantry used was the M16. That was during the Vietnam era. The M16 and the assault-style rifle Sig Sauer MCX used by the killer was designed for one thing and one thing only - to kill people. They are called assault weapons for a reason. 

You can get better rifles for target shooting and more appropriate weapons for hunting. There are better designed guns and rarer weapons, rifles that have a significant symbolism.  Owning an assault weapon is a macho thing, an extension of a guy's penis. Unless you really believe that there will be a zombie apocalypse, there is no reason to buy an assault gun except ... I repeat ... to kill other people, a lot of people.

The reason mass shooters prefer assault weapons is because you don't have to be an expert marksman to shoot someone. At full-automatic, you're bound to hit something ... I mean, someone - another human being.


Now we have Orlando. I don't care what religion or ethnicity the gunman was. Anybody who would do what he did had to be mentally ill and yet, he was able to buy his deadly weapon legally. No questions asked.

Forty-nine victims were killed (so far), 53 wounded, one dead shooter. That a record, of sorts: the most killed in a mass shooting in America's history. Ugly numbers. Nothing to be proud of. I fear the numbers may inspire others to try and break that record.

Asian/Americans have responded to the tragedy that occurred in Orlando earlier this week.

When she was chosen to become Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach said during her reign, she'd like to be an advocate for the LGBT community.


When the deadly shootings occurred in Orlando, Florida that claimed she used the Miss Universe Instagram account to send out this message. 


“And if you’re wondering why I chose this photo? Because I am Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach from a highly conservative Catholic country but I am not afraid. Celebrated but also sometimes criticized. And staying true to my word, the LGBT community is close to my heart,” said the 26-year-old beauty queen from the Philippine.

Other Asian/Americans were quick to respond to the horrible events in Pulse, an Orlando nightclub catering to the LGBTQ community. Here are some of the responses derived from numerous news sources.

Broadway star Lea Salonga tweeted out the following:



Actor George Takei sent out this message:


"We take this time to honor our partnership with LGBTQIA communities to take on hate violence and domestic terrorism directed at our communities," said the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) in a statement. "We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder to speak out, demand policy change, expect law enforcement to protect our communities, and lift up each other's humanity. We cannot allow tragedy to divide our communities when solidarity is more important than ever. And, for everyone who stands at the intersection of Muslim and LGBTQIA identities, we offer you extra love and support. We see you and we stand with you."





South Asian Americans Leading Together joined with the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance and South Asian Lesbian Gay Alliance-New York in issuing the following statement:
"We take this time to honor our partnership with LGBTQIA communities to take on hate violence and domestic terrorism directed at our communities. We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder to speak out, demand policy change, expect law enforcement to protect our communities, and lift up each other’s humanity. We cannot allow tragedy to divide our communities when solidarity is more important than ever. And, for everyone who stands at the intersection of Muslim and LGBTQIA identities, we offer you extra love and support. We see you and we stand with you."