The shooting at Club Q this weekend brings to mind other acts of terror against minority communities in recent years. Although we don’t yet know much about the motive of the gunman, we do know that the nightclub he attacked was a haven for the LBGTQ community in the Colorado Springs area. The sense of safety and community that such places provide has been deeply shaken. The enormous courage of customers and workers at the club prevented the massacre from being worse than it already was.
The investigation will continue of this latest mass shooting. Family and friends will tend to the injured and mourn those who perished. May their memory be a blessing.
The recent intensification of the scapegoating of the LBGTQ community, like the rise of racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-refugee rhetoric, puts all these communities – it puts all of us – at greater risk when weapons of extraordinary lethality are so easily available. Basic acknowledgement and respect for the traditionally marginalized, even when combined with common sense gun safety laws, won’t protect everyone from senseless violence. But they would make such violent events less frequent and virulent.
As we head into Thanksgiving week, let’s try harder to create communities that don’t have to attack those perceived as different, and let’s work together to remind our lawmakers that we don’t have to live in a world where hate can be so easily connected to weapons of mass destruction. Lives depend on it.