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EDITORIAL: Orlando: So much more than a senseless act

Pride flag
Pride flag

People keep calling it a senseless act. Maybe so. Maybe it does fit that definition. But the murder of 50 people in an Orlando nightclub on the weekend is certainly more than a senseless act.

The motivational hatred necessary to plan and carry out murder at such a scale is beyond the understanding of anyone reading this. That a person could devolve to such a state that for all intents and purposes he is no longer human is beyond anyone’s comprehension.

Yet it happens time after time after time in these days of so-called enlightenment.

‘Senseless act,’ by definition means 'without discernible meaning or purpose.' That almost trivializes the violent deaths of 50 people at the hands of a mad man. That takes the onus off society for producing such evil. Put a label on it and shrug. It reduces mass murder to an academic puzzle. If you want to call it something, evil is a fitting word. Horrific works. Malevolent does it. Depraved comes close. Degenerate, corrupt, demonic, monstrous, heinous ... let the adjectives fit the crime. The crime reflects only the murderer. All others were innocents.

There is no bright side to this story. The number of devastated lives because of one man who decided to be an executioner is a multiple of the number of people murdered. Ruined or drastically altered lives by the thousands.

The horrors perpetrated by racists, bigots, self-loathers, and people filled with hate don’t, and can’t outweigh the love and actions of good people -- those who are accepting, tolerant, and compassionate towards others despite differences.

That the LGBTQ community was targeted is obvious. And that, really is what this is all about. A hate crime. A man hated people who were not the same as him.

The massacre has been described as an act of domestic terror and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said in a statement “We stand in solidarity with Orlando and the LGBTQ2 community. We grieve with our friends in the United States and Florida, and offer any assistance we can provide.”

The Wolfville Area Pride Group will be holding a peaceful vigil Wednesday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Clock Park in Wolfville in honour of the people who have been directly affected, and to connect as a community of queer folks and allies.

“So many of us are working for a better world, where we can be ourselves, celebrate each other, and love freely,” the group said.

And there are people like Norm Plant in Annapolis County who believes not all is lost.

“While all seems hopeless and when there seems to be so much hate, I pause and know, inside, that there are legions of people, like me, who love humankind, who know peace will win out -- and this movement is growing exponentially,” he said Monday morning in response to Orlando. “It is often darkest before the dawn, but know this, the light is stronger and we can be, and are, individual beacons. Keep hold of your dreams and share them.”

An editorial from the Annapolis Valley Register.

Read additional reaction from across Atlantic Canada here.

The motivational hatred necessary to plan and carry out murder at such a scale is beyond the understanding of anyone reading this. That a person could devolve to such a state that for all intents and purposes he is no longer human is beyond anyone’s comprehension.

Yet it happens time after time after time in these days of so-called enlightenment.

‘Senseless act,’ by definition means 'without discernible meaning or purpose.' That almost trivializes the violent deaths of 50 people at the hands of a mad man. That takes the onus off society for producing such evil. Put a label on it and shrug. It reduces mass murder to an academic puzzle. If you want to call it something, evil is a fitting word. Horrific works. Malevolent does it. Depraved comes close. Degenerate, corrupt, demonic, monstrous, heinous ... let the adjectives fit the crime. The crime reflects only the murderer. All others were innocents.

There is no bright side to this story. The number of devastated lives because of one man who decided to be an executioner is a multiple of the number of people murdered. Ruined or drastically altered lives by the thousands.

The horrors perpetrated by racists, bigots, self-loathers, and people filled with hate don’t, and can’t outweigh the love and actions of good people -- those who are accepting, tolerant, and compassionate towards others despite differences.

That the LGBTQ community was targeted is obvious. And that, really is what this is all about. A hate crime. A man hated people who were not the same as him.

The massacre has been described as an act of domestic terror and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said in a statement “We stand in solidarity with Orlando and the LGBTQ2 community. We grieve with our friends in the United States and Florida, and offer any assistance we can provide.”

The Wolfville Area Pride Group will be holding a peaceful vigil Wednesday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Clock Park in Wolfville in honour of the people who have been directly affected, and to connect as a community of queer folks and allies.

“So many of us are working for a better world, where we can be ourselves, celebrate each other, and love freely,” the group said.

And there are people like Norm Plant in Annapolis County who believes not all is lost.

“While all seems hopeless and when there seems to be so much hate, I pause and know, inside, that there are legions of people, like me, who love humankind, who know peace will win out -- and this movement is growing exponentially,” he said Monday morning in response to Orlando. “It is often darkest before the dawn, but know this, the light is stronger and we can be, and are, individual beacons. Keep hold of your dreams and share them.”

An editorial from the Annapolis Valley Register.

Read additional reaction from across Atlantic Canada here.

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