A man walks into a bar – Another horrible day at the United Guns of America

We’ve all been to a place like Club Q. An unassuming place tucked away in a strip mall that doesn’t look like much on the outside, but provides a haven for LGBTQ+ people and their allies on the inside . A place where people can be themselves, hang out with friends, dance, have a drink, and just take a break from the exhaustion of living in a world that, despite progress, doesn’t exactly welcome people LGBTQ+.

I remember going to one of these bars with my wife before we got married. I wasn’t even 21 yet, so I had to wear a glowing necklace that communicated to bartenders that I shouldn’t be served alcohol. My wife and I danced and then ended up playing pool with an older lesbian couple who were breaking up and their daughter, who was around my age. The older lesbians were sad, but clearly on good terms, and they taught my wife and I how to play pool. This was Michigan back when you could still smoke in bars, and I remember the cigarette smoke was thick and the reason we called it a pretty early night. I still wonder about this family and hope they are all well.

That this latest shooting happened on the tracks of Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs is home to Focus on the Family, a powerful corporation that peddles anti-LGBTQ+ hate under the guise of Christianity. Her partner organization, the Family Research Council, is based in Washington DC, where she works full-time to elect anti-LGBTQ+ leaders and develop anti-LGBTQ+ policy.

In 2016, we felt the horror and grief of the Pulse shooting in Orlando where 49 people were murdered and 53 injured. And in the years since, absolutely nothing has changed when it comes to guns, and the anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric has only increased. And so it’s no surprise that it happens again.

One of the reasons why five people and not 49 people were killed and injured was because US Army boss and veteran Richard Fierro tackled the shooter, grabbing one of his pistols and hitting him repeatedly. times on the head.

“I looked across the room and the guy was standing in the doorway. I ran across the bar, grabbed the guy from behind, pulled him down and pinned him against the stairs,” Fierro told The Washington Post. “I took control of the scene as best I could. I just hit the guy with the gun, hitting the back of his head.

He chose the back of the shooter’s head because it was one of the only places not covered by body armor. The shooter had come prepared for war.

Fierro is a hero in this situation, without a doubt. But it’s a totally unfair and unrealistic expectation that Americans have to be battle-ready to go to a nightclub, or to the grocery store, or to the movies, or to school. All so that we can adapt to an unhealthy and deadly obsession with guns.

I’m so sick of the violence. In a country obsessed with guns and awash in white supremacy and Christian fascism, violence is unleashed time and time again on marginalized communities, whether it’s LGBTQ+ people and allies in a nightclub, of black shoppers in a supermarketor Jews to synagogue.

And then we have pro-fascist idiots like Colorado’s own Lauren Boebert, who won re-election by less than 600 votes, tweeting things like, “The news from Colorado Springs is absolutely horrible. This morning, the victims and their families are in my prayers. This lawless violence must stop and end quickly.

If you’re unfamiliar with Boebert, you might wonder why anyone would dispute that statement. But if you know Boebert, you know she doesn’t just like guns (the “L” in her campaign logo is a handgun and the “O” is a bullet and her campaign slogan is ” Pro-Freedom, Pro-Guns, Pro-Constitution” – a document I have no doubt she has never read, if she can read at all), but is also staunchly anti-LGBTQ+ . She blithely pushed the idea that LGBTQ+ people are “healers” (i.e. child molesters) and that drag queens pose a danger to society.

On Twitter, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) responded to Boebert, “You’ve played a major role in elevating anti-LGBT+ hate rhetoric and anti-trans lies while spending your time in Congress to block even the gun of common sense. safety laws. You don’t get ‘thoughts and prayers’ to get out of it. Look inside and change.

Boebert’s chances of change are slimmer than his margin of victory. It’s yet another reminder that voting really matters. Voting is against violence.

About James K. Bonnette

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