The deadliest mass shooting in American history took place Sunday morning when a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others. Police fatally shot the suspect.
Orlando Police have so far identified 48 victims and notified the next of kin of 33 of them, they said at a press conference Monday morning.
Their mission throughout Monday is to continue briefing all next of kin, said Danny Banks of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
I keep thinking back to when I lived in Chicago. My friends were diverse, free-spirited, some gay, some straight, some bi, some queer, and some were still figuring it all out. We were young and Boystown in Chicago was a common place for everyone to meet, dance, drink and be ourselves. I can't even count how many times we were in a gay club or bar. It was part of our circle and for my LGBT friends, they felt safe to be themselves.
I kept replaying those days in my head last night and I wept. I'm still having trouble keeping it together this morning. The idea that someone could shoot up any of those places never popped in our head once. The victims 53 dead, 50 others still in the hospital, didn't either. This monster took away their lives and all because of "two men kissing." This was an act of hate so blinded that it couldn't see love.
It's infuriating. It's maddening. It's a tragedy. Everyone of these victims deserved better. We as a nation need to do better. If Sandy Hook wasn't enough, I'm not sure this will be either. And that is even more infuriating. There are people in our nation who choose guns over lives. They choose a weapon fetish over children. And the NRA keeps feeding them with faux-macho propaganda. Gun control, gun laws aren't snatching up guns, and they certainly aren't impinging on your fucking freedom. Common sense would've solved this years ago. America can solve this.
I leave you with Lin Manuel-Miranda and the victims, What We Know About Them So Far. "Love is all we need."
I am Frank Chow and I approved this message