Intolerant of gay rights and tolerant of gun violence has been the way of the Florida Legislature. Advancements in human rights have been, at best, barely incremental and only after courts forced the issue. With guns, it’s the opposite. No matter the parade of horrors the legislature has done not a single thing to reduce gun violence, abdicating its leadership role entirely to the NRA.
But there is an election upcoming. Maybe this tragedy will force those who seek to serve in elected office to answer questions about what they will do differently. Whether the 49 souls lost to senseless hate-filled violence means something to them.
We have a right to know whether they will they continue to dehumanize an entire class of our neighbors, friends and loved ones knowing that it only emboldens homophobic hate?
Will they recognize that the Second Amendment and commonsense gun control are not incompatible? That just because you can’t stop all gun violence doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to prevent some of it.
Our State will never heal from this tragedy. It’s not the type of loss that you can, or should, forget.
And I don’t believe any death becomes less painful by making it a teachable moment. But I do believe in action. If you want to do something, ask those running for office where they stand and what they believe, but more importantly what they will do.