I'm sitting here by my peaceful Northern Wisconsin lake. We had a big storm the other night and rain this morning, but right now the lake's still, the loons are calling and a muskrat just paddled by. Hard to believe that yesterday, a crazy, hate-filled guy with two guns killed so many people in an Orlando nightclub.
I don't have anything new to say about the shooting. Reading about the victims is heartbreaking. One man's mother had a tomato and cheese sandwich waiting for him in the fridge at home while another's got a text telling her that he loved her. There was a TV producer, a man who worked at the UPS store, the bartender and the bouncer and a friend of J.K. Rowlings. And so many more. Over a hundred people shot, half of those were killed. It's horrible to imagine what it must have been like inside the club with the crazy hate guy firing and a security guard and police shooting back. Like being in a war.
Right now if I type "Orlando shooting" into the Google search bar, I'm offered some reasonable suggestions, like "Orlando shooting timeline" but I'm also offered the hate filled endings of "hoax" and "false flag." I'm not sure what the latter is, but when I click on it I get anti-Islamic rantings. What I'm not offered as the most popular ways to complete the phrase are words that speak to what really happened, like tragedy, sorrow or murders. And yet what I feel today is sorrow over these murders, this tragedy. And rage that this could happen. And gratitude that 911 came and made it all stop and that at least 30 people didn't get shot and more than 50 of the wounded are still alive.
It all feels a long way away from my calm lake. Except armed hate lives in my neighborhood, too. But so does love. And as Dan Savage tweeted out yesterday - in 1969, it was the police who were hurting people in bars and on Saturday night they came to the rescue. He's right. Things do get better. But that doesn't mean we're already there.