, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Today marks the third anniversary of the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida -- a day I will never forget. I remember waking up on the morning of June 12, 2016 after a night at a not-so-different dance club in DC, where I was celebrating LGBTQ Pride with friends.
The night began at a friend’s annual Pride house party, the place overflowing with drinks & music. I recall a particularly memorable young gay man wearing a rainbow flag as a cape; he embodied the happiness & joy of someone who was experiencing his very first Pride celebration.
Before the day was over we found ourselves at a club, dancing and celebrating with our friends. It was one of those nights that made you forget the anxieties and stresses of daily life and allowed you to just live and celebrate the moment.
Eight hundred fifty miles away, Orlando’s LGBTQ community was taking part in a very similar celebration and feeling the same warmth, inclusion, and acceptance that many of us in the LGBT community struggle to find, and hold to tightly once we do.
Their celebration ended when a gunman walked into that party with a Sig Sauer MCX rifle, a weapon originally designed for U.S. Special Operations forces, opened fire, killed 49 people, and injured 53 others.
The first alert I read as I woke up that morning sent a jolt through my body -- the kind of jolt we all are too familiar with. It placed the number of people killed at twenty-four, but it was clear from the report that the casualty count would climb higher.
I scrolled further through the alerts and found several messages sent to me from some of my followers on Twitter highlighting examples of lawmakers already sending their “thoughts and prayers.” Another familiar cycle had begun.
Through the incredibly numbing pain of the tragedy, I sat down at my kitchen counter and once again began shaming lawmakers for sending their familiar tweets while doing nothing to actually solve the problem of gun violence.
The response from all of you to this action eventually led me to found @gunsdownamerica, an organization that is unapologetically asking for what we need: a future with fewer guns, one in which we raise the federal standard for gun ownership and production.
Because of you, we’ve been able to convince FedEx to stop providing discounts to NRA members, choked off the NRA’s #MurderInsurance, & launched a campaign pushing the largest banks in the country to stop doing business with the gun industry until it can be fundamentally reformed.
As we remember the 49 lives lost three years ago today, I want to thank you all for your dedication to financially draining the gun industry and making the case for bolder policies, like firearm licensing and registration, that will make firearms significantly harder to get.
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