I posted the following message online the night after the Pulse shooting two years ago, June 2016. There have been 51 mass shootings in Florida since Pulse.
I tucked in my son tonight and slowly cried my way downstairs.
I can't imagine what I would say if Zach were just a bit older and could understand what happened yesterday. I can't tell you what I would do if I lost him to the senseless violence we just experienced in Orlando. I do know that I want to live in a country, in a world, where people support and love each other unconditionally, where people want other people to be truly happy — where the happiness, health and safety of our neighbor means as much as our own.
I want to live in a world that fully accepts people as people, so that Zach can grow up to love whoever he wants to love, to be whoever he wants to be, and to NEVER be afraid to show who he may be, never afraid to openly love whoever he may love. I want to know that my friends, my family, my son and his friends are all able to live free and full lives, without fear.
I want this. We need this.
Zach was barely 4 years old when the Pulse shooting happened. Since that night Zach has graduated kindergarten and mass school shootings have numbed our entire country. I believe we can do more. I can do more. I have hope, still. We need hope. I challenge myself this year to help however I can and I encourage everyone who reads this to listen to people even when you can't look them in the eye, to show empathy and work to understand why people are stuck, why people believe what they believe about equality and mental health. Listen to understand, meet people where they are and maybe change can happen.
Organizations dedicated to Gun Control: