SIG Sauer MCX – One of the two guns that Omar Mateen used to murder or maim over 100 people. 

I am a gay man who is a survivor of gun violence. I suppose that I am obligated to offer some meaningful prose about the second anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre.

The bright side to our national problem is that the Parkland kids, through their enthusiasm and energy accomplished something that I never thought possible. They engineered a gun safety measure in Florida. It is just a start and, to my displeasure, it arms some school personnel but they beat the NRA. Nevertheless the bill would not have prevented Omar Mateen from purchasing or using his WMD. Yet Rick Scott signed a gun safety measure into law. Hell must have frozen over.

Nationally we are participants in a debate that is staggeringly stupid. The manufactured dopey controversy is the result of the pay-to-play corruption of the Republican Party (and some Democrats) by the National Rifle Association. The NRA owns Congress. The GOPers have created a nation of agreeable cynics.

In spite of the carnage, the NRA opposes every proposal to make us safer. Their solution to every shooting is more guns. Every 100 citizens in our country own 101 guns. The next highest is Serbia at 58 guns per 100 residents. We own almost double the guns of the next highest country. We have the expected bloodshed:

This data excludes suicides and accidental deaths.

The debate is staggeringly stupid because nobody wants to confiscate anyone’s WMD. We have allowed the NRA to posture as the defenders of the Second Amendment when, in fact, they are defenders of gun industry revenues. We have permitted the NRA to use every mass shooting as a way of boosting gun sales by inciting fear. We have allowed the NRA to shape the debate around non-existent confiscation when no one wants to restrict the gun ownership of law abiding citizens.

There are steps that we can take to prevent criminals from obtaining guns. We can prevent the flow of guns to Chicago street gangs but the NRA says no.t

There are steps that we can take to prevent crazy people from purchasing guns. I have acute PTSD. I spent a few weeks in Columbia Presbyterian’s psych ward (the food was really quite good by the way). Nevertheless, I can walk into any Florida gun store and lawfully purchase a weapon — with my volcanic temper. I have owned guns in the past and I was a pretty good shot. Now I have a tremor and could never hit an intended target, particularly under stress. The NRA says no to anything that might prevent me from purchasing a gun.

As a society we are collectively responsible for the butchery. The only solution to our self-inflicted idiocy is to vote them all out. The only way to do that is to get our people registered and then get them to the polls in November.  Those Parkland kids are working on that too. Fox News is vilifying a group of teens and that’s a good sign. Nevertheless, the more Fox that people watch, the stupider they get. We have a large group of citizens who don’t use common sense because Fox tells them what they want to hear. The gun nuts vote. Will we?

I have been at this ever since I was shot. I accomplished nothing. 49 people died at Pulse. Another 53 were injured; some critically. Those were and are our people. We accomplished nothing! A group of teens has put us all to shame. My humiliation is extremely satisfying. Meanwhile, the only thing profound is my profound sadness over the dead, mostly young people:

  1. Stanley Almodovar III, age 23 
  2. Amanda Alvear, 25 
  3. Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26 
  4. Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 
  5. Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 
  6. Martin Benitez Torres, 33 
  7. Antonio D. Brown, 30 
  8. Darryl R. Burt II, 29 
  9. Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24 
  10. Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 
  11. Simon A. Carrillo Fernandez, 31 
  12. Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 
  13. Luis D. Conde, 39 
  14. Cory J. Connell, 21 
  15. Tevin E. Crosby, 25 
  16. Franky J. Dejesus Velazquez, 50 
  17. Deonka D. Drayton, 32 
  18. Mercedez M. Flores, 26 
  19. Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 
  20. Juan R. Guerrero, 22 
  21. Paul T. Henry, 41 
  22. Frank Hernandez, 27 
  23. Miguel A. Honorato, 30 
  24. Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 
  25. Jason B. Josaphat, 19 
  26. Eddie J. Justice, 30 
  27. Anthony L. Laureano Disla, 25 
  28. Christopher A. Leinonen, 32 
  29. Brenda L. Marquez McCool, 49 
  30. Jean C. Mendez Perez, 35 
  31. Akyra Monet Murray, 18 
  32. Kimberly Morris, 37 
  33. Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, 27 
  34. Luis O. Ocasio-Capo, 20 
  35. Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 
  36. Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 
  37. Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 
  38. Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25 
  39. Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 
  40. Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 
  41. Christopher J. Sanfeliz, 24 
  42. Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 
  43. Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 
  44. Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 
  45. Shane E. Tomlinson, 33 
  46. Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 
  47. Luis S. Vielma, 22 
  48. Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 
  49. Jerald A. Wright, 31

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.