Letter from the Editor

Over the years, I occasionally visited the intimate, chic club known as Pulse. What the three different lounges and outdoor patio area lacked in size, they more than made up for in style and an infectiously personable staff. In the weeks following the shooting, survivors’ and first responders’ harrowing stories emerged. Eyewitness accounts of stampeding for cover, attempting to hide from the crazed gunman, and watching friends bleed out from gunshot wounds flooded national news outlets. Stories of heroism, physical pain, and the loss of loved ones in the national media for days on end. And even longer via local news outlets.

That was six years ago.

Here we are again: another mass shooting. This time at Robb Elementary School.

The sense of foreboding and grief and helplessness that accompanied the Pulse massacre and the murders at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church and Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Las Vegas and . . . and . . . and . . . crash over me like a tidal wave. What’s especially heartbreaking about the Uvalde shooting is that nineteen of the twenty-one victims were children. Defenseless kids. When thinking back to the stories the adults in previous mass shootings tell — with palpable distress in their voices and the horror still visible in their eyes — how can citizens and government officials not be moved to change gun laws?

Maybe the millions of NRA dollars Congressmen received to oppose reasonable gun safety legislation has something to do with it?

Twenty-three years after the Columbine shooting and almost ten and a half years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, we are awash in shock and grief at the Robb Elementary School killings. This tragedy hurts in a way that’s different from all the others in what those children experienced. Dare I say, hopefully, the victims died quickly from their wounds?

Can you imagine your ten-year-old self witnessing classmates and teachers gunned down? Calling 9-1-1 and pleading for someone to “please send the police now”? Smearing a classmate’s spilled blood on yourself so that the killer would think you’re dead? People at that age should not be forced to take those actions. They, like the adult survivors before them, will be haunted by this for the rest of their lives. One child’s parents are sharing their daughter’s trauma.

And I won’t get started on the grief of the victims’ loved ones.

Have we learned nothing?

How can legislators resign themselves to believing there’s nothing we can do about this?

Remember that Congressional softball game in Alexandria, Virginia, where a gunman fired rounds at government officials? One would think that a close encounter of the Second Amendment kind might spur Congress for changes in gun safety laws. Sadly, no.

Something’s got to change, people. Something has got to change.

Over this past Memorial Day weekend, The Gun Violence Archive reports fourteen mass shootings, in which four or more victims were shot or killed and at least sixty people were injured.

America desperately needs to make protecting citizens from senseless slaughter a priority. All Americans have the right to live free of the fear that their life could be snuffed out pretty much anywhere.

Love one another.

Clay Rivers
OHF Weekly Editor-in-Chief


NEW THIS WEEK

If It’s June, It Must Be Pride

Love, esteem, activism, and joy.

By James Finn
Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash

Our human family blooms and bursts with diversity and joy!

At our best, we humans delight in one another, celebrating our differences and marveling at the awe-inspiring breadth of our experiences. On some deep spiritual level, we understand that a tiny spark in each of us connects to a universal flame of consciousness and love.

At our worst, we isolate ourselves into tribes, demonize the other, and seek to destroy the stranger. Much of the history of human culture centers around our efforts to transcend our baser natures and overcome our instinct to divide into hostile bands.

The beginning of June marks a new cultural tradition — it’s time for Pride!

What exactly is LGBTQ Pride?

Why are we out in the streets chanting, singing, celebrating, and protesting? Why be proud of some innate condition like sexual orientation or gender alignment? And for heaven’s sake, why dance half-naked in the streets?

Straight and cisgender people often ask me what the point is. Even some LGBTQ people scratch their heads. So, let me take a moment and write about the meaning of Pride, why we observe it, and what we hope to accomplish. Curious? Let’s dive in! Read the full story.

More from Our Writers

The Biology of the Heart
While almost always problematic, having children is no less of a life goal for members of the LGBTQ community.

Are you with us?

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplashn

Messages on the importance of racial equity, allyship, and inclusion are being silenced on social media platforms like Medium and Twitter. And in states across the country, efforts are mounting to muzzle those who would even broach racism, homophobia, and sexism.

Now more than ever, OHF Weekly needs your financial and moral support. And there are three ways you can demonstrate that you’re with us.

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Final Thoughts


Top photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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