You’ve likely already heard of the latest in America’s ever-growing list of mass shootings. If you haven’t, to summarize — on the night of the 19th, five people were killed and 24 injured at Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs. For many, myself included, this summons heartbreaking memories of Bryan Almonte’s murder, or the Pulse nightclub shooting, or the Ruby Deluxe attack, or any number of attacks against the LGBT community for the simple crime of existing. For President Biden to say there is ‘no clear motive’ for this horrific crime at a time when right-wing fearmongering is convincing millions of people that the LGBT community is grooming their children and politicians are building entire platforms off of hate feels like a slap in the face. More than ever, it seems like we’re sliding backwards rather than progressing — and that’s going to be a feeling that’s hard to shake as long as crimes like this are committed.
It feels like an old, tired play at this point — a gunman with mental health issues (this time, he’d been arrested once before for threats of violence) commits mass murder after the system fails him, the national debate against gun control sparks up for a few days, and then nothing happens until the cycle starts over. Have we become so desensitized? Is this our new normal? What is it going to take for us to wake the fuck up and do something?