photo by Patrick Fore

Prayers for Orlando and the United States in general

For the second morning in a row this weekend, I awoke to check my social media and email to find devastating news that ,once again, highlights the problem of gun violence in the United States. Yesterday, “The Voice” alum Christina Grimmie was shot after a concert in Orlando, FL. She was signing autographs for fans when she was killed. She was 22 years old. I didn’t know her or her music but she was a beautiful young woman with a bright future ahead of her. She was blessed with great talent. Watching the videos of her performances on the show brought me to tears. The scenes where they show her parents in the audience hit me hard knowing that she is gone.

When I read the news about Christina, it reminded me of Selena’s murder in 1995. Selena Quantanilla-Perez was also a beautiful young singer with an amazing voice whose life was abruptly ended by gun violence. She was shot and killed by a former employee. She was 23.

This morning, I opened my Facebook and the first post in my feed was from a friend who lives in Louisiana. He was sending prayers to Orlando. I read his post and at first, I thought it was about Christina. Then I saw that he mentioned “another tragedy.” I scrolled through Facebook for a bit and found no references to anything happening in Orlando. I took to Google to find out what was going on and that’s where I found out about the Pulse nightclub shooting. My heart sank again as I read that 20 people were dead and over 40 were injured. The violence in itself makes me angry and sad. The fact that this may have been a hate crime, turns my stomach. I pray for the victims and their loved ones.

How and why does this keep happening? How do some people not see that this is a problem? Why can’t government officials and lawmakers see past their egos enough to enact stiffer gun laws? I’m not saying that gun violence will magically disappear if the laws were more strict but it might decrease enough so that these tragedies are not so commonplace in our society.

I went to the page of another person I follow and saw him in tears speaking on the incident. I am sending love and prayers to Orlando.

*edit: the death toll at Pulse has been updated to 50 dead. 53 listed as injured. This makes it the largest mass shooting in US history.