Shooting Reported at Gay Club in Orlando
www.nytimes.com

Who Are They?

Who Are We?


Image by Invisible Orchid on Deviant Art

As many as 50 killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida today. And another 50 injured. My feelings are chaotic and I find it hard to put them into words. On the one hand, I maintain my inherent objectivity and dispassionately and cynically view the murders as all of a piece with what seems to be wrong with current society. On another, I despise myself for using phrases like ‘current society’. People have died in a terrible way. Their lives should not be reduced to numbers. But how else are we to view them? The majority of us do not — did not –know them. To us, they are statistics, symbols of the aftermath of a mental health crisis, or the power of the gun lobby, or embodiment of irrational hate. And their murders, their injuries, opportunities for once again publicizing our own agendas. They should be more than this. They are more than this to those who knew them as individuals, who loved them as persons. We should be able to see them as people who had the same dreams, desires, strengths, and shortcomings as we do. That we may not be able to because of the circumstances of their deaths and the incredible number of them, all in one place, is a finger pointing at our lack of ability to come together to protect one another, to cherish one another, to see past the motes in our own eyes.

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