One of the dead was a singer, pretty decent one. One with a very warm heart.
I was out of town, preparing for an early morning triathlon with my son. The hotel TV was on, and I saw the crawler "another mass shooting, 20 dead" and I thought "not again".
Then I saw that it was Florida, and I thought "jeez, why?".
Then I saw it was Orlando, and I went numb.
Had to get to the course early, get the triathlon done, and collect everything from transition, load up the bikes, and the started the engine to get the air-conditioning running (the inside of the car was about 120°F).
That was when I learned the number had risen to 50 dead, and over 50 more injured... I had a studio tech call to make on the drive home, but I was just numb. I have a couple of gay colleagues, and one or two are inclined towards socializing and club-culture... I've still not heard from every single one (some are on vacation, and I'm hoping they were all out of town) but most of the casualties that I've heard of are all one or two degrees removed.
It's still heartbreaking though.
The WORST thing was that just the night before there had been another shooting at a local music venue. A girl who finished in the top three on "the Voice" was shot and killed instantly by a "fan" as she signed autographs after the gig. The "fan" was tackled and then shot himself.
I also have a number of very pro-gun colleagues. I've been canvassing them to see what their take is on the legitimacy of AR-15's as 'protection'... One or two explanations do actually seem to make sense, but on the whole I do wish that there weren't so many idiots out there with easy access to powerful firearms.
I'm not taking an intractable position on guns, but it does strike me as absurd that the state governor can condemn government-funded healthcare, but refuse to condemn the lack of background checks for tools which facilitate mass murder. -On a related note, he's now refusing to use the terms "Gay" or "LGBT" in relation to the shooting... Mind you, hh's also forbidden government staff from speaking the words "climate change"... -Sorry, I know that political topics are discouraged, but please understand that I'm not speaking about him in terms of party or political affiliation, when I say that he's an embarrassment.
Tonight there's a huge rally on the lawn outside the Doctor Philips performing arts center. It's enormous. Several colleagues are there, both gay AND straight. After that they're going to Lake Eola for a possibly even larger vigil.
I don't care about Islam, Christianity, Sexual orientation or skin color. I'm just done with minds filled with hatred.