Me & Mass Shootings

Me & Mass Shootings


– On June 12, 2016, I woke up like any other Sunday morning and like any other millennial instinctively checked my phone. I immediately saw two words splashed across news outlets and social media, Orlando and shooting. My first thought was oh it must be about the shooting that
happened last week. So I shrugged, wrap a rainbow
handkerchief around my neck, and traversed the few blocks
that separated my apartment from the start of the
Los Angeles Pride Parade. It was then and there surrounded by a sea of fellow LGBTQ marchers,
surrounded by family, that it became common knowledge that a very similar celebratory crowd of vibrant young people
had just hours before been gunned down at Pulse nightclub in what would be called
the worst mass shooting in modern US history. I realized throughout the
following week as my friends posted eulogies for victims
who they knew in the massacre that the degrees of separation
between these events and me don’t exist anymore. In fact, I wondered if
they ever existed at all. And it dawned on me that the longest, most influential relationship
I never knew I had in my life is with mass shootings. These tragedies have
been brutally effective in shaping my world view. So I don’t want to speak on this topic as some self purported expert like you’ll see flooding your feeds, but from a more sincere,
experiential perspective. I can remember exactly where
I was and what I was doing for every major massacre in my lifetime. And more often than not the victims and the
perpetrators are around my age. I am stuck in a cyclical pattern of abuse in his relationship. But it wasn’t always like this and it has gotten much, much worse. When I was five years old, a man crashed his pickup truck into a chain restaurant called Luby’s about an hour and half from where I lived and shot and killed over 20 people. My father to calm my fears recounted an infamous school
shooting that had happened in the 1960s as we drove
passed the Clock Tower at the University of Texas. He pointed at it and reassured me that was the last time
something bad like this happened around here. These things don’t happen
often so don’t be scared. Little did he know at the time that he had only lived through
around 20 US mass shootings before I was born. By today I have lived
through over 100 and counting and it all began at Columbine. I was 13 years old and I
can vividly remember sitting in front of my television set in my living room watching the news replay the scenes of countless students
running out of the school with their hands on their heads. Teenagers my age were dangling from broken windows trying to escape. Columbine change everything. And as the adults argued politics we kids actually went
through a massive tonal shift when it came to our perspective on our peers and our culture and security and that’s when I grew paranoid because our parents had
wars and we had Columbine. I remember schools
installing metal detectors at their entrances and I
remember that it became a common sick practical
joke for some idiot to call a bomb threat just to
watch everyone get evaluated. I remember rock music and video games and even the Internet being blamed. And if you wore a trench
coat you were a killer. We were very quick and eager
to turn on one another. Everyone debated about
who or what was at fault. And if history has taught us anything there is no easy answer. Kids were dead and nothing was done. And then 9/11 happened
and our generation went from cautiously skeptical
to absolutely terrified. Columbine ignited our
fears as young citizens then 911 defined it to be
rampant, righteous and unending. And why not? We were scared. You wanted answers but instead
of reaching for a common goal we split ourselves in two and
every conversation you had, every fight online you’ll
see in the comments below and every election year we witness this endless back-and-forth
as more people die last resolutions are reached. Years later while I was
attending film school at the University of Southern California I was two weeks away
from publicly premiering a short film which had already wrapped when the deadliest attack
at that time happened on the opposite coast on
a campus much like mine. And in some twisted sense of timeliness my short film was a graphic
critique of school shootings. I remember a mother of one
of my friends walked up to me and remarked you should
watch what you make since it looks like your
kind are prone to violence. Virginia Tech like any other massacre involving a wide array of players
from different backgrounds whether it was racial,
religious, cultural, brought forth and ugliness
that direct affected me for the first time. And as we mourned the dead it struck me that every time that this happens it not only opens up an opportunity to advance personal and political agendas, it becomes top priority
for most of us to do so. And yet again kids were
dead and nothing was done. You have Omaha, Binghamton,
Fort Hood twice. Fort hood in the same town as that Luby’s cafeteria that
was shot up in my childhood. Schools, malls, churches,
post offices, military bases, a grocery store parking lot in Tucson. And then a movie theater in Aurora during a midnight screening
of The Dark Knight Rises. Where was I? Waiting to
attend a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. We all could have been those victims excitedly waiting to watch a
blockbuster on opening night. No one was safe. And then later that year over 20 people, the majority being children
on the first grade, were shot and killed at Sandy Hook, our little brothers and sisters, our own children gunned down. My gut reaction was well now things will definitely have to change. But it did not. Little kids were dead
and nothing was done. Santa Monica, Santa Barbara,
Marysville, Umpqua, Charleston, I apologize if I’m forgetting some but there’s just too many to count. So many that I am becoming so used to turning from passionate rage to desensitize resignation on a dime. I only shrugged. I screamed
and then I shrugged. And then I forgot. Our interconnectedness
not only as a nation but also as an international community. The Internet, social
media and bullet holes are like the connected dots
that link our generation beyond each of the shores. Paris my second home
where my mother has lived for over 17 years was hit by a series of unfathomable terrorist attacks. And my immediate bleak
thought was my mother is dead. Thankfully she was unharmed but we have come to such a
low point as a global society where we assume the absolute worse because it’s how we already view one another as human beings. And then less than a month
later San Bernardino happened and my mother returned the favor and had to call me to see if I was okay. Our entire office on Sunset Boulevard heard the sirens driving
eastward to San Bernardino less than an hour away. In the following week we’d
hold a security meeting on what to do in an
active shooter situation. What was once video games and trench coats has morphed into the red flag dechoir for politicians who have ensured, especially with our upcoming election, that we are a country solely
operating on our fear. We have let the politicians
and talking heads and online forums dictate a conversation that our generation needs to have about our role in the
fight against violence. We grew up on these my shootings. The victims and unfortunately the shooters are people we all personally know. Orlando provided a
spotlight on a real issue this disconnect between
those who write the narrative and those who are actually living it. Most of our leaders are
not what the victims were primarily LGBTQ LatinX, black and young. In fact many, many a politician aim to marginalize those groups today. We are passionate and over-educated, but desensitized and underrepresented and thus we become divided just like the generations before us. But instead we need to
consider shutting the fuck up for a second and actually
doing something about it. The patrons of Pulse were
targeted because of who they were. They were queer people of color and US millennials out there all know and love someone from those backgrounds and not all politicians do. It’s fine to share their
speeches in your opinions even about this very video, but posting in the infinite
soapbox that is the Internet is like prayer without action. Contact your elected officials because eventually we’re gonna become those elected officials. Some merely shrugging at politics instead of actively participating in it will not change the game. Let’s get up all in their business because if Orlando has taught us anything it’s that they need to know that we cannot watch
any more of our friends and love ones die. And I’ll be damned if kids who
are watching this right now will grow up to be another statistic because we blindly join a system that loves to argue about problems but refuses to produce actual results. Mass shootings they have been my longest most intelligible relationship, yes, but from this moment on it
will be I who defines it. And when I look back on June 12, 2016, I want not only remember
the deaths of the innocent, but what we did to finally make a change. And finally to the LGBT community know that you are brave and
that you are strong and loved and that we are with you.

100 thoughts on “Me & Mass Shootings

  1. Here after new Zealand terrorist attack, my home, I was in lock down, this is so sad, stay safe for everyone

  2. ….you think idiots who make laws will do anything for mass shootings? Sure. Sure. Ok buddy. Criminals dont give a hoot about your laws

  3. This is why people should be able to conceal carry. Criminals don't target people who are prepared. Public safety is everyone's responsibility, not just government agencies'.

  4. At least 1 out 3 million people who watched this

    Must have died between the 2 years this has been out in a mass shooting

  5. Columbine was a failed boming the guns were there so they could kill the kids Trying to escape the aftermath

  6. I am watching this video two days after going to church with family on Easter Sunday. Nothing bad happened at church service. But in the back of my mind I was imagining how a shooting would play out at that place and time. And now I feel that same about any place with lots of people.

  7. Hot Take: Most Americans don't care to address mass shootings because frankly they are statistically insignificant events and most of the proposed "solutions" represent an unacceptable restriction on our constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties. A couple dozen unfortunate deaths per year in a country with 320,000,000 people is nothing when hundreds of thousands are killed by things like car accidents, heart disease, or medical malpractice. Sorry, but that's just reality. I know people who've died in auto accidents, but I don't go around demanding other people give up their cars.

  8. This is straight propaganda. If people stopped killing each other, we will reach a point one day where there will be people dying from starvation begging to be shot.

  9. Damn this happens so much I forgot about half of these smh. I live 20 mins away from San Bernardino and forgot crazy

  10. Rewatching because of the shooting in Denver today. My cousins live in Denver and go to school there and I was so damn scared for them

  11. now every week there’s a new shooting :’( it’s just getting worse nobody is taking action, but they wont shut up.

  12. I wonder what this presented perspective stands on armed law enforcement. Cops won’t give up guns if people are armed, people won’t give up guns unless cops are unarmed. I think cops need to give up their weapons to start

  13. I remember going to school the day after the Route 91 festival in Las Vegas. Everyone was absolutely terrified and it was so eery, especially since it went down in my city less than a half hour away from us. Now, I go to school 5 minutes away in an area where the gun man was originally going to shoot up Life is Beautiful. My high school was in his recent searches from that year. I know so many affected by the shooting, and it needs to be stopped. Students shouldn’t be scared to go to school because people threaten to shoot up our schools and performances. We’ve at gun threats at our guitar concert and our school musical. It needs to stop.

  14. We are 3 days away from the 3 year anniversary of the pulse shooting and I hate to have to say this but nothing has changed

  15. If this video leads you to believe that the ready availability of guns is the problem, you need to check out the statistics regarding mass shootings from the 1950's to now. Just as an example, during the 1950's, there was One. In the first decade of the new millennium? Around 40 depending on whose statistics you look at. Something else has changed. Maybe we need to focus more on whatever that is.

  16. Most mass shootings have 0-1 deaths (no one died/gunman died) but,yeah tell me how mass shootings are one of the biggest problems even though they are less than 1% of overall deaths.

  17. Pure Ignorance, Government/s cannot protect you, get use to that. Even in a socialist or closed environment, governments fail to protect anyone from each other. What is worse government/s have killed 100 times the number of people but somehow liberals/leftist still believe government is the answer!

  18. There was a shooting in Washington DC at Ford theater in 1865. A man was shot in the head. But no one remembers that incident. I do. I was there.

  19. As of June 16, 2019: I, a 24 year old woman born 12/12/1994, has lived through 227 school shootings… that’s 11.5 per year of my life…

  20. What’s tragic is that this still stands. This still matters. If anything it’s more important than ever.

  21. Columbine
    Parkland
    ChristChurch Mosque Shooting
    Pittsburgh Synagogue
    Sandy Hook
    Charleston
    Pulse
    Killien
    Virginia Tech
    Thousand Oaks
    Santa Barbara
    9/11 Terror Attacks
    Just let this sink in……

  22. Leave my guns alone. I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m sorry about people who go crazy and hurt people. I’m not the one you need to blame.

  23. In my lifetime there has been 6 massacres in my country. I'm 27 and in the UK. In the US under the same definition there has been over 100 this year alone. America needs to do something about gun culture.

  24. Did this dude really hav to rub it in our face that he's lgbtq? It really wasnt necessary

  25. I wholeheartedly agree with the whole "find a solution", but just putting this out there, gun laws wont do anything

  26. 100+ school shootings??!! A little to much crazy people eh?… cough cough governments behind this.. cough cough

  27. How come nobody is doing nothing about the school south Rozhok and north of Pochinki? There are literally hundreds of teenagers popping painkillers and chugging energy drinks.

  28. I love how he try’s to make this all about how it’s affected him. You suffer from center of the world itis

  29. The El Paso Walmart shooting just happened. Several days ago, the California Garlic Festival shooting just happened as well.

  30. Seen 10'000 ! Never saw anybody happy to be alive ! Only pissed off that something bad happened ! In foreign countries "" it happens daily !.

  31. BuzzFeed is just another Communist Rag using millenials to promote giving up. You want the government to protect you from crazy people, not going to happen. Mental illness facilities have been shut down decades ago. Prison is their new solution, and until the mentally unstable get arrested and sentenced, it's left to the public to deal with.

  32. Everything he said is true we are a country that likes to make plans but never puts them into action. We talk a big game about taking action but we never do. This HAS to change people are still suffering 3 years later. Probably even more so. I don’t want this to be the world I live in where I’m scared of everyone, no matter where I am. And as a possible member of the LGBTQ community (I’m questioning) I’m scared of what the future holds. I hope that someday we won’t have to fear one another and we can all have peace and live in a world where we don’t hate each other but spread our love and support. Sadly that’s not the case. Maybe one day❤️

  33. As an australian we don’t hear about about every shooting but we heard about two just know that everyone is with you

  34. Dude, just OBEY what your Asian parents taught you, respect your elders, love your siblings, finish college, work hard, buy a house and have more smart children. Which it all means, HANGOUT with ONLY ASIANS and you won't be messed up like a lot of us.

  35. Since this video was posted:
    Parkland, Florida
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Dayton, Ohio
    El Paso, Texas
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Santa Fe High School, Texas
    Sutherland Church, Texas
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Thousand Oaks, California

    This right here is already 178 lives taken, plus the many more smaller ones.

  36. Between the years

    1828 – 2019

    There have been 75 mass shootings in Australia

    In 2019

    There have been 175 mass shootings in the USA

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  38. I keep coming back to this video after every shooting and thinking that how can this be the way that children my age and younger are growing up knowing this as a fact and life. However these problems don't directly effect me because I am from England it still breaks my heart ever single time I hear about it on the news.

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