I love superheroes, obviously, and I sometimes find comfort there. But not today.
It’s easy to remember the great things Batman has said about the evils of guns.
It’s easy to remember the ways Captain America or Superman or others would say acts of hate like this one aren’t American, and that we are and should be better than this.
But it’s not enough.
Because we aren’t better than this. We may want to be, but we’re not there yet.
We are a culture of hate. Hate against gays, hate against Latinos, and now we are rushing to make this event one more reason to hate Muslims.
We are a culture in love with our guns, who thinks the answer to gun violence is more guns. More more more.
We are a culture that looks, not to Batman, but to the Punisher. Once again I hear so many claiming that this horrible event could have been prevented by someone in the club having a gun, as though that wouldn’t have just led to more deaths in the confusion and crossfire. I have never believed in the “good guy with a gun” myth, but I’m particularly doubtful about any persons ability to hit a mass shooter in a panicked crowd in the middle of a night club.
There are heroes to be remembered today. The cops who put their lives on the line to rescue people and stop the killer before things got worse. The first responders offering physical, mental and spiritual care to those on the scene, and to those whom this event has troubled all around the world. The people speaking out against the culture of hate against LGBTQIA people and latino/a people and everyone else who is hated because they are different. The people speaking out about the need for gun control and mental health reform and so many other things we can do to stop these horrible shootings.
We need heroes today, and they don’t have to be super ones. They don’t have to wear a cape or have a secret identity or have Zach Snyder tell us how brooding they are. They just need to look at this terrible event, not as a tragedy to be mourned, but as a call to action.
Don’t just pray about this. Don’t just mourn. Be a hero.