Today, in the wake of the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States, which targeted the LGBTQ community, Hillary Clinton, the democratic nominee for President of the United States put out the following statement.
I join Americans in praying for the victims of the attack in Orlando, their families and the first responders who did everything they could to save lives.
This was an act of terror. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are hard at work, and we will learn more in the hours and days ahead. For now, we can say for certain that we need to redouble our efforts to defend our country from threats at home and abroad. That means defeating international terror groups, working with allies and partners to go after them wherever they are, countering their attempts to recruit people here and everywhere, and hardening our defenses at home. It also means refusing to be intimidated and staying true to our values.
This was also an act of hate. The gunman attacked an LGBT nightclub during Pride Month. To the LGBT community: please know that you have millions of allies across our country. I am one of them. We will keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly and without fear. Hate has absolutely no place in America.
Finally, we need to keep guns like the ones used last night out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals. This is the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States and it reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets.
This is a time to stand together and resolve to do everything we can to defend our communities and country.
I’m glad that Clinton is using this as an opportunity to reiterate her support for the LGBTQ community and state what she is going to do as president to prevent tragedies such as the one that happened today from ever occurring again, but frankly her statement just does not go far enough.
Clinton says that “we need to keep guns like the ones used last night out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals.” This is incredibly similar to many of the statements she has posted on the gun violence prevention policy page of her campaign website. I’m sorry, but no. It is not possible to sort the good people from the bad. It’s not possible to know a person’s motives so completely that we can make sure that only good people end up with access to guns. In a world where our own police officers use their guns to shoot black men in the streets and then come home to use their gun to threaten their wife, how can we truly believe that we can separate gun owners from those who will commit acts of hate and violence and those that won’t?
This statement also ignores the fact that much of the harm done by guns is done by guns going off accidentally or being used in suicides. The gun owners might be good people who would never purposefully use their gun to commit violence against another person, but that doesn’t change the violence that can and does still occur.
The fact is, the only way to stop terrorists and criminals from accessing guns and end all gun violence is a complete ban on guns and an overturning of the second amendment.
Hillary Clinton is the democratic nominee now and will hopefully become the next President of the United States. It’s time she step it up and act like it. I get that a constitutional amendment is a big fucking deal and probably a pipe dream, but the point is to state the end goal not the tiny steps we’re going to take on the way there.
She does follow-up her statement about keeping terrorists and criminals from guns by saying “weapons of war have no place on our streets.” I hope that as president, this is the statement that she will stand by. If she truly believes this, she needs to come out and tell us, the people of the united States, what she is going to do about it. She needs to state her commitment to banning all guns from all people, not just some people.
Extra note: The attack at a gay club in Orlando is a horrific tragedy and the victims need your help with donations of money and blood. Courtney posted this morning on Skepchick about what you can do to help the Orlando LGBTQ community.
Featured photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack