Orlando

How’s your Monday?

I spent mine talking about the final text messages a young man sent his mother from inside Pulse night club in Orlando. He typed out ‘Mommy’ in his pleas for help. I wanted to walk off the set, get in my car and drive far away.

We can’t talk about it. That’s the conclusion I’ve come to, and I came to it long before this latest horrific tragedy in Orlando.

sandy hookSandy Hook did me in. When 20 first graders are slaughtered in their classroom and nothing is done about it, you know we’ve lost our minds.

‘Arm everyone. Confiscate guns. It’s the democrats/republicans/his/her/their fault. It’s mental illness. It’s religious extremism.’ 

You know what? At this point, it’s our fault. It’s our fault for listening to hollow promises made by people who have no intention of doing anything. It’s our fault for believing the spin from this side or that side. It’s our fault for becoming desensitized to mass shootings.

Be honest, were you shocked when you heard a gunman had entered somewhere and started shooting? I wasn’t. I’m ashamed it took the number 50 to stagger me. This kind of desensitization goes against my beliefs, against who I am as a human being.

Can you hear it? The machine is revving up. The candidates and pundits and paid hacks will slam the right and left-muslims-Obama-anything slammable. Devastated families will bury their dead and unlike the rest of us who will shake it off and move on, their grief and loss will be without end.pulse

We are like my 9 year old who plugs her ears and sings “La la la la la la la la,” to drown out what her big brother is trying to say to her. Where has that gotten us? I’ll tell you where, because I’m exceptionally adept at directions. It’s gotten us to the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Where do we go from here? I have no clue. Should we try to turn around or take a detour or a short cut, or keep going? The problem is that all roads to sanity are blocked by people so busy running their mouths and pointing their fingers that others have plenty of time to pull the trigger and take more innocent lives.

I don’t care if you love guns or hate guns, if you own a hundred or wouldn’t let one in your house — I think we all agree that we don’t want our children and mothers and fathers murdered at school (Sandy Hook) or at the work Christmas party (San Bernardino) or in class at college (Virginia Tech) or at a night club (Orlando).

It’s Groundhog Day, with a body count.

I’m not going to urge that ‘love must win over hate’ or that we need to ‘put aside our differences and work together.’ Those incredibly important and true words ring hollow in my jaded ears.

mommyThat poor mother in Orlando was forced to read the final terrifying moments of her son’s life.  ‘He’s coming. I’m gonna die. Mommy I love you….’

You good with that? Yeah, me either.

 

 

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26 comments on “Orlando
  1. Susan DeCrescenzo says:

    Enough is enough. Get assault weapons off the streets. And if you see something, say something.

    • Andre cone says:

      These people are freaking crazy it blows my f—ing mind. sorry for my language. you’re a good writer. I’m in Walmart parking lot waiting for my girlfriend, reading the news and stumbled across your writing. the craziest shit in the freaking world ever. it’s just insane. f— these f—ing people — excuse my language.

  2. beautifully written my friend. Amen and please people, stop plugging your ears and saying lalalalalala.

  3. Wrey says:

    God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
    Psalm 46:1-3
    **
    I’ve read the end of the book. God prevails, the good guys win and no one hurts anymore.
    **
    Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
    Philippians 4:8

  4. Marsha says:

    The sadness, shock and disappointment in these senseless acts never stops.

  5. Doc Eldridge says:

    I could not agree more. We are too busy trying to prove that we or our side is right. We are full of rhetoric with little behind it. What about the 80% of us that hang out in the middle, politically and philosophically? There is no place for or view from the middle. How can we not address the whole gun issue with a sense that the biggest mistake is to do nothing. It makes me sick … and sad.

  6. Carol Shirley says:

    well said Jaye. 100% agree …. I only wish I had the answers.

  7. America doesn’t have a gun problem, we have a sin problem.

  8. Richard Crabbe says:

    I’m not sure how you managed to write this. Some friends and neighbors sat around at a gathering here yesterday afternoon hashing this out. Some of our Washington friends are pretty conservative, but they are appalled that these weapons are so common and easily available. And the Orlando massacre should put to rest the “good-guy-with-a-gun” argument, where even a brave, armed and trained officer was unable to prevent the violence that night.

  9. Susie Rhatigan says:

    EVERY POLITICIAN WHO CAN DO SOMETHING HAS TO STEP UP…. N O W

  10. Carey says:

    The NRA needs to be banned from DC. Had gun control passed this guy might not have had access to a “long gun.” But short or long, legal or not, what you say is truth. I don’t know how we act on it –
    If all the guns were taken away, some people would still have them. More and more toothpaste goes out of tube daily. And how do we get it back in? Now there will be a run to stores to buy this kind of gun, for fear it will be banned. It is insanity and self destruction and it will take a setting aside of egos to find a solution. Though there is no solution for those already slain, their families, their loved ones. Yes, they want to see gun control. And God bless them for fighting for it. Thank you for writing, for sharing, for being there. Godspeed, Jaye.

  11. Arnold says:

    Hi Jaye, On Nov. 11, 1938 the third reich started confiscating all firearms from Jewish German citizens. I think we all know what Hitler did next. If just one patron of the bar in Orlando had been armed maybe 50 people would not have died. Yes I am for the 2nd amendment but I’m also for common sense. If you put a ban on guns do people actually think that the criminals and the crazies will turn theirs in? I’m not sure what the answer is. Maybe tighter background checks? Maybe stricter guidelines if you want to own an assault weapon? I’m in agreement with what Doc said above: what about us 80% who are in the middle who think both sides have some validity to their arguments? But there has to be someplace for both sides to meet in the middle.

  12. Lynn Johnson says:

    The answer is simple. Someone introduce legislation calling for the immediate ban on the sale of automatic weapons. They are no longer legal and those who own them must turn them in. That’s it. Enough phone calls to our individual congressmen can make it happen. As the President says, staying silent is part of the problem.

    • Arnold says:

      You realize that the majority of assault weapons here in the U.S. are semi-automatic right? I’ve been around guns for over 50 years and have never even had a chance to shoot a fully automatic weapon. The average American “Joe” can’t just buy one off of eBay. There are very strict regulations.

  13. Doc Eldridge says:

    An old saying… If you are so far to the right, or so far to the left, that you can’t see the middle, then you are dangerous. The left wants no guns, the right want guns everywhere. Both are wrong on so many levels. Let’s take obvious steps. If you are on a “no fly” list or have been questioned by the authorities and were under consideration for going on a terrorist watch list, then you can’t buy a gun… period, end of sentence. The NRA can go to hell. It won’t stop violence, but it is a start. It is time for DC to get off their duff and do something. If you are going to make a mistake, make it trying. The biggest mistake is to not do a damn thing, which is what we have been doing and look where we are.

  14. LLD says:

    Yes I totally agree about “love will conquer all”. Not so much right now sadly…..

  15. Julie Pinto says:

    Thank you for writing this. Thank you

  16. Chuk Byington says:

    I couldn’t have said it better dear citizen…….we are at a crossroads as a civilization. I say citizen because civil education is the most important educational tool to use now. Please lets make this a revolution of love……I’m a 62 year old gay man in St’Louis Mo. I am disabled ….I have been hiv+ for over 25yrs……I have had 4 heart attacks….and come close to death many times……and I am a proud old hippie….who smokes good weed……..) Lets educate all Americans…………. I believe in GOD….(dog back words?) Lets get involved…..I call on all of my many stoner hippie friends and family to get your pruning sheers out and play your 60s music (suggest Peace Train…)it’s time for WILDFLOWERPOWER… lets join the younger citizens with Bernie. The revolution is well over 11 milion strong and growing rapidly.This is the time to clean our gov. out……..it stinks….money and greed are its lifeblood. Our future really is at dyer risk of collapse. peace2u.

  17. tina says:

    Here’s the question that needs to be answered, how did the mad man get the assault rifle into the club in the first place? Who the hell was policing the door to the club? An assault RIFLE.!!! REALLY? We’re not talking about a small weapon that’s easily concealed, we’re talking about a rifle!

  18. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for your article. Its very true & insightful. It’s horrible that we’re at this place in our lives together.

  19. Sue says:

    Once again you have reached inside my head and heart, sorted through the jumbled mess, and perfectly expressed my own thoughts and feelings. Once again, thank you. Keep using your platform for this. Exactly this.

  20. Alvarita says:

    I couldn’t agree more. We’re on the road to self-destruction and our elected leaders are like sheep being led to the slaughter. Don’t any of them have any courage? I was so relieved today to hear of the senator from Connection who started th filibuster in the Senate. We need more of them to stand up and say, “we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore, NRA!”

  21. Dana says:

    Evil is real and has been here since the beginning of time. We always want to make sense of evil and it doesn’t make sense. I’m not making excuses for it just saying that we need to realize that evil is not rational so we can’t rationalize it away. How do we explain the holocaust, the killing fields and so many, many things before and after that where there were either mass killings or single killings? If someone has evil in their heart and wants to kill they will kill. We need to worry more about changing hearts and minds rather than the method used to kill.

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