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Stop. Just...stop.

Within hours of the massacre of innocent people in a Orlando gay nightclub, righ-wingers started with their meaningless platitudes. They posted their "prayers" for those killed. These are the same people who want to deny basic human rights to the GLBT community. But it wasn't long afterward that their real message started. "Guns don't kill, people kill." And, "We must go after the terrorists overseas". They ignored the words of the maniac's own family - who insisted it was hatred for gays that caused him to shoot up a place that was packed with them. But that won't scare people into blindly following their message, will it? It won't terrify people into allowing these politicians to continue to line their pockets with the blood money of the NRA.

I was a card-carrying member of the NRA for years. Guns have been in my family for generations, and we were taught gun safety and responsibility at an early age. I'm a firm believer in the Second Amendment. People should have the right to defend their lives and their property. But - there's always a but, right? BUT, there is nothing in the Second Amendment that says civilians have the RIGHT to buy military-style weapons. NOTHING. As a kid, I remember hearing, "If you miss the target, you don't need a better gun. You need to be a better shot." I support strict background checks in order to buy a weapon. Even a waiting period. There is no reason you *need* to buy a weapon on the spot. We must try to keep these weapons out of the hands of people who are mentally ill, violent offenders, and people who are on damned watch lists. Common sense. That's what we need. Not scare mongering.

Most importantly, we MUST STOP THE HATE. We must stop the call to "protect" one group of people from another group of people. Gay/Straight/Christian/Muslim/Jewish/Black/

White/Hispanic/Democrat/Republican/Liberal/Conservative - just stop. We are all human. We all have hopes, fears, families. We laugh, we cry...we love.

The most dangerous people right now are the ones spouting the same old crap in order to further their agenda - the ones who use scare tactics to get what they want, or to keep from having to act on the real issues. Their rantings about public bathrooms...BATHROOMS, has stirred up hate and discord across the board. You know what I worry about? I worry about the safety of my friends and family, in a country that has turned hate into a pastime. I worry that this Us against Them rhetoric continues to fuel that hate. I worry that protecting someone's right to be a hateful bigot is more important than protecting the lives of everyone else.

I worry that if I want to hold my wife's hand in public, I could set off a lunatic whose head has been filled with all this hate. I worry that the next generation will be tainted by the hate. But most of all, I worry that I'll lose people I love to senseless violence. Just stop.

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