After last Saturday’s Orlando nightclub shooting, we’re all left shocked, saddened and praying for the victims and their families.
We watch the news, we go to vigils and pray and give blood and we post encouraging words on social media.
But what can we Americans do?
We’re all looking for ways to process what has happened, yet it is becoming an all too familiar set of circumstances.
The major media outlets report non-stop and speculate the motives and finite details about the suspect; opinions and outrage are shouted by correspondents and leading experts. It’s impossible to escape the media coverage of a tragedy of this scale and outcries for change cannot be ignored much longer.
It’s interesting that the best response to this mass murder did not come from FOX News, CNN or MSNBC anchors. It did not coming from experts on either side of the aisle. It did not come from politicians or presidential candidates.
Instead the real insight and solutions are being offered from an unlikely source in the media, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Stephen Colbert opened the Late Show without his typical jingle and instead went directly to this monologue which gave me chills.
“Naturally, we each ask ourselves what can you possible say in the face of this horror. Then sadly you realize you know what to say because it’s been said too many times before. You have a pretty good idea of what most people are going to say. You know what a president, whoever it is, will probably say. You know what both sides of the political aisle will say. You know what gun manufacturers will say. Even me, with a silly show like this, you have some idea of what I will say. Because even I have talked about this when it has happened before.”
“But I do know that despair is a victory for hate. Hate wants us to be too weak to change anything. Now these people in Orlando were apparently targeted for who they love. And there have been outpourings of love throughout the country and around the world. Love in response to hate. Love does not despair. Love makes you strong. Love gives us the courage to act. Love gives us hope that change is possible. Love allows us to change the script.”
“So love your country, love your family, love the families and the victims and the people of Orlando,” he said, closing the remarks. “But let’s remember love is a verb. And to love means to do something.”
~ Stephen Colbert
The last line clinches it—Colbert reminded me of something far too easy to forget in life—love is a verb.
Love is an action.
Now is the time to act. Because, after a few weeks the media freight train slows and another story snatches the headlines, while this mass shooting is written in the history books and we await the next. I ask myself, when will we finally say enough?
When will we act as a nation to evolve into a society truly rooted in love and not fear?
I for one, have had enough and think we can do more. My hope is that we can put our hearts into action and make it harder for people to buy guns. It’s not a matter of second amendment rights or taking away guns—it’s a matter of humanity and saving lives.
The NRA spends millions to keep gun laws exactly as they are and if we want change we must invest our outpouring of love into action. The Coalition for Gun Violence highlights online petitions and a easy way to tweet your congress members to take action in gun law reform.
Remember, “Love in response to hate. Love does not despair. Love makes you strong. Love gives us the courage to act. Love gives up hope that change is possible. Love allows us to change the script.” ~ Stephen Colbert.
Author: Kourtney Mei
Image: flickr/Fibonacci Blue
Editors: Ashleigh Hitchcock; Sarah Kolkka