Hello to everyone reading this. I was going to do a #TopicTuesday this week but this is something I had to write.
While I was packing up my things to leave university last week, the eyes of the world turned to America. The first that my parents and I heard of was the death of a musician I admired greatly – Christina Grimmie. Day after day we were hearing about more shooting incidents ending the week with the tragic events in Orlando last Sunday. It has made me question my faith and shook me to the core.
Before, and including Orlando, there were 10 reported mass shooting incidents in America – a mass shooting is an incident in which at least four people are killed or wounded. That number is so small compared to the total number of gun violence incidents in the week. To put this figure in perspective, I researched how many massacres there had been in Great Britain and I realised truly how awful the situation in the US is when I found out there had been 10 massacres since 1980 and in 2015 there were 372 mass shootings in the U.S., killing 475 and wounding 1,870. After the death of Jo Cox this week, I didn’t know how to feel. Beautiful people – smart, talented, aspirational people being gunned down in the prime of their lives, so full of potential and then just gone. I am still spinning from it all.
Even sitting in church today and hearing the padre talk about all the hate and violence made a lump rise in my throat and make tears form in my eyes. Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:14) says: ‘Do everything in love’ so all this poisonous hatred is unfathomable for me and, when I thought about it, yes, I’m angry but this situation cannot be tackled with more hate. We must support each other in this painful time, do everything we can to protect our loved ones, push the US government to do more to stop gun violence, pray for the lost souls, the victims and their families. Storms pass and so will this.
What you can do in this time of grief and mourning:
GIVE BLOOD! If you are in Orlando this is the link: https://www.oneblood.org/?gclid=CIGez_DNtM0CFTMo0wodbhEIXQ and if you’re in the UK https://www.blood.co.uk/
To help Orlando and honour the victims:
- Give to the families of the victims: http://nationalcompassionfund.org/
- Give to the hospitals: http://www.orlandohealthfoundation.com/
- Show your support for the LGBTQ community! Show your pride and tell the people you love that you love them and support them for who they are.
- Support Pulse on Twitter or Facebook.
To honour Jo Cox, donate to her GoFundMe page for her chosen charities: https://www.gofundme.com/jocox
To honour Christina Grimmie, donate to the GoFundMe page to support her family: https://www.gofundme.com/christinagrimmie
Remember to love each other! I love you all, be safe! x