My heart aches for the families of those murdered in Orlando, Fla.
I can’t imagine the terror that encompassed them in those early hours of Sunday morning.
Surely none of the injured or murdered thought it likely to be their last night on earth when they were getting ready to go out.
It’s never on my mind when I’m getting ready to meet up with friends and plan to have a great time.
We are amazingly lucky in this country to be free, for the most part, of such thoughts.
To not have to wonder if the restaurant we’re going to for brunch will be bombed or our place of worship, our shopping center, our parks shot up by someone hellbent on making a point through murder.
Few of us wake up wondering if today will be our last.
Good heavens, what a lousy way to start the day wondering, “Will I die today?”
The incomprehensible tragedy, the largest mass shooting in the United States, is horribly sad, but once again, like those that came before – the tragedy becomes the impetus for the division of this nation as we question and wonder what to do so that this never happens again?
How do we protect our future?
And, of course, our very favorite game – who do we blame?
We blame the shooter, a man whose name I will never use, and we blame his allegiance to radical Islam or ISIS. We blame his ability to get a gun, not just any gun, but a weapon capable of incredible destruction in less time than it takes for the authorities to arrive.
We blame the F.B.I. who interviewed the murderer more than once. We wonder how could they let him go?
We blame social media and how easy it is to espouse terrorism and not be held accountable for those words.
The problem is that we are blaming the very freedoms we hold most dear.
The F.B.I. did not have enough evidence to hold him. In this country, you can’t be arrested for having murderous, hateful thoughts in your heart. That is part of our freedom.
As is the right to own weapons.
Freedom of speech allows us to say things that the majority of reasonable thinkers know is wrong or stupid or dangerous. But you don’t get thrown in jail in this country for merely supporting radical terrorism.
Are we ready to give up some of our freedoms? I can honestly say I begin thinking that way after every, single, horrifying massacre in this country.
I wonder who else is on the internet espousing the warped views of ISIS and I want them deleted. But then I remember there are all sorts of people on the internet espousing views that I feel deep in my soul are wrong – racist, sexist, dangerous.
I find myself leaning toward monitors of social media. Currently most social media forms are quick to erase anything remotely associated with child pornography or the like, why not remove all comments related to the support of radical terrorist activities?
Do I get to be the arbiter? Who will make these rules?
Heaven knows, after listening to numerous debates and discussions between the two main parties of our political system, I don’t believe I can trust authorities to not abuse that sort of power.
I support gun rights and gun ownership – but I also believe that it should be very difficult to purchase and/or own an AR-15 or weapons of similar power. This the same weapon that was used to murder 20 children in Newton, Conn. The same weapon used in Aurora, Colo. to kill 12 people at a movie theater.
I don’t know how to fix the world we live in today without compromising on the freedoms that make this country great. But something has to change.