It’s hard to put into words, the kind of heightened tensions, anger and sorrow surrounding the recent tragedies. I’ve been thinking about it for days, reading through various perspectives on the Orlando shooting and looking at differing reactions on social media, but still have no words for it. I have, but only, emotions to offer. I am sad, because terrorism or not, it is still a hate crime committed against people who the society is intolerable towards, and religion is conveniently used as a scapegoat. Dismissing mass shootings as terrorism, especially propelled by Islam-phobia, is dangerous in the sense that it is not only dividing society, but also unwarrantedly imputing the entire race and religion. What about conversations regarding gun law protection? As much as I am disagreeable towards gun ownership, I am respectful of its place in America’s constitution. But like any other products that impose danger, such as cars before they had seatbelts and airbags, why should every conversation regarding gun laws and regulation be opposed to simply because, I quote, “it is against the constitution”? Elimination of the right to bear firearms is vastly different from setting up regulations to prevent innocent deaths.
For the first time ever, I cried over the loss of a celebrity’s life. Christina Grimme was only 22 when she died, one year younger than me. Perhaps because of our closeness in age and her constant presence on youtube that makes her feel like one of us rather than a distant image, her death became more difficult to accept. I watched her for years, and I saw her growth and success that was to be truncated. It is frightening, that your life can be taken away by someone simply because they don’t like you, they can, they want to, and they have the means to. It is frightening, because it could have been anyone. I rewatched one of her famous music videos, “Just a Dream” a couple of times, and every time, I’m still in awe of her amazing vocals and in disbelief that she was really gone. There are still so many tangible things to be done, policies to amend, to make the world a more accepting place. For myself, I can only heed the words of Ellen Degeneres, “be kind to one another”. I realized, the arguments between my family and the disagreements between my friends over disparity in views mean nothing at the end of the day. What matters the most is treasuring our time together and keeping them close, because I cannot imagine my world without them. For those whose lives are sacrificed, and others mourning for their loss, I wish that lights will guide you home.