Pulse nightclub shooting
A recap of the largest U.S. mass-shooting
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On June 12, the largest shooting in U.S history occurred at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. When Mateen Omar slaughtered 49 and wounded an additional 53 innocent people, everyone had to take a step back and regroup as a community.
Hristopoulos, a resident of Orlando, Florida, lives not to far from the club, and is a member of the LGBTQ community. “I thought it was just a fight at first and didn’t realize exactly how bad it was for several hours. As I continued to check the news throughout the night I watched as the body count continued to go up. It was just so real,” said Hristopoulos.
Everyone reacted and handled the situation differently: some grieved, some contributed to help the victims in a their time of need, and others made sure their voices were heard. “I’d like to remind you that this will not stop on it’s own. It will not stop. In the 3 1/2 years since Newton, there have been at least 1,002 mass shootings in this country. At least 1,135 people killed, and 3,953 wounded. That includes the 49 killed and 53 wounded in Orlando,” said Joe Biden in an email regarding the Pulse shooting. A petition regarding banning the AR-15 from civilian ownership was created in the days after the mass murder had taken place. It’s goal was to get 100,000 signatures, it is currently at 187,074.
Many celebrities and youtubers quickly expressed their feelings about the shooting, specifically Hannah Hart. A 29 year old internet personality, comedian, author, and actress, Hannah is also part of the LGBTQ community and, within a few days of the tragic event, posted a video titled ‘I’m afraid of you’. In the video she makes it obvious just how hurt people who aren’t even directly linked to the situation are regarding this event in U.S history.
“I’m afraid that you’re going to confuse strength and weakness. I’m afraid that you’re going to be numb and detached and think that if you can witness horrors and feel nothing then you’re doing something right, but in fact you’re doing something wrong. You’re proving how weak you are by not caring. I’m afraid of you because I think you’re too scared to be scared,” said Hart. By the end of the video Hart was in tears and the pain she felt over the event that happened across the country was evident.
The nation was torn apart once again by one man and one gun, just like in the past during Columbine in 1999 and the Century 16 theater in 2012. “Just like the Century 16 shooting, event like this can occur anywhere and it’s just crazy and mind numbing to think about that,” said Hristopoulos.
The lives lost on the night of June 12 will never be forgotten. Each person has their own story, and unfortunately the lives of over 100 are now changed because of one man. As the air was filled with gunshots, that one man ruined lives, took lives, and forever changed the lives of many.
“Everyone who was shot was just as beautiful when dying as they were earlier that night and the day before.” said Michael Hristopoulos.