Another attack with more fatalities and still governments tell us to ‘keep calm’. It may be time to admit that we’re just not doing enough, including caring

 

On 12 June 2016 at approximately 2:02am Omar Mateen walked into Pulse, an LGBT nightclub, in Orlando and killed 50 people while wounding 53.

This is the biggest mass shooting in American history. And it just seems like another tornado to add to this seemingly invincible storm.

This shooting seems to encompass many issues. Ones that have already come up are: LGBT acceptance, immigration acceptance (it was supposedly a Latina night at the club but due to the death of the gunman it is not yet known if this was the reason) and most certainly, yet again, USA gun laws.

It seems like in the past few years we have not managed to survive long without some horrifying, heart-crushing tragedy blasting all over the news and social media. There were 32,727 deaths in 2014 by acts of terrorism and so far this year, an estimated 3,449 refugees have either died or are missing. Every time this happens, so often it now feels like a routine, new hashtags trend on Twitter and there is, as reporters say, ‘an outpour of emotion’, before things die down (excuse the pun) and people get on with life. This was seen with ‘JeSuisCharlie’, ‘BringBackOurGirls’, ‘WelcomeRefugees’ — to name a few. This is also without even mentioning those attacks that do not get media attention because of the, ‘they aren’t close to home enough for us to care’ attitude that we seem to have adopted without much opposition. But maybe we should. With constant tragedy coming, firing at us from every direction: are people too exhausted to care?

Some people obviously do care, as OneBlood, a blood donation centre in Orlando, had to tell people to come back in the coming week because there was an overflow of support with thousands turning up to donate blood. Almost ironically, gay or bi men who had sex with a man in the last 12 months cannot donate blood. Rumours circulated that the FDA had lifted these rules to allow people to help their own community in this time of crisis, but apparently this is not the case. There was also a huge number of people donating blood in Paris after the attacks in November 2015.

But for those of us who are not near enough to help in this way, what can we do? Is anyone else feeling totally helpless? Completely frustrated? As though there is no way of preventing this from happening again? Whatever people are doing now does not seem to be working. I’m trying really hard not to see the futility of all this. The argument that governments around the world put out: to not be scared or worried, or angered or frustrated, or confused or upset … and to just get on with life, does not seem to be enough right now. I am not saying people should avoid crowded places or public transport, or that they should just ignore all upsetting news stories — because quite honestly, life does need to go on. However, more must be done than just donating some money and hoping that you don’t hear of similar new stories.

Humanity has not stopped caring. I truly believe that. As poetic and overly dramatic as it sounds, people are lost. They don’t know how to help. And as selfish and apathetic as it sounds, people don’t have the time, effort or resources to really help. Are A levels more important than helping? Honestly?

For those who do want to help, there is a GoFundMe campaign to help the victims of the attack. You can donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/29bubytq. Although this is just a basic kind of assistance, if you’re looking for ways to help, this will significantly increase the level of support the victims and their friends and family need right now.