MIAMI, Fla. — In the wake of the massacre at the LGBT Orlando nightclub, Pulse, I don’t want to change my Facebook profile picture. I don’t want to add a hashtag to every comment I post on social media. And I don’t want to find comfort in a vigil.
What I want is for the country I live in to collectively declare, "Ya!" when it comes to our inaction over sensible gun control.
There are few words that give Latinos pause like the word "Ya."
Roughly translated to ‘enough’ it’s the definitive end to any question, argument or point. Once you hear "Ya." it’s over. Considering most of the victims of the heinous act were Latino, I'm going to go with "Ya" for this one.
Ya. I don’t want to hear about the 2nd Amendment. It was meant to insure that a well-regulated militia would have access to muskets. I don't think our Founding Fathers were thinking this was meant for crazed gunmen with masculinity issues to be able to buy assault rifles with ease. If you want a gun, great, I’ll vote for putting a musket in every home. But like so many other sane Americans, I want military grade weapons off our streets.
I’m also done with the, "Guns don’t kill people. People kill people', Should we ban cars because people die in car accidents?" line of reasoning. Here's a little basic information. Cars are made to get us from point A to point B. The sole purpose of an assault rifle is to take as many lives as possible with minimum effort.
You say regulating guns will make it easier for criminals to get them, so they might as well be legal? Really? That’s the equivalent of having stage one cancer and deciding you're not going to get treatment because you’re going to die one day anyway.
Again, some basic information. Cutting down the amount of guns in circulation brings down gun deaths exponentially and we have to start somewhere. Ya!
I’m done with the political posturing. Senator Marco Rubio was to eager to be interviewed in Orlando, sleeves rolled up, focusing on the killer from the point of view of ISIS and terrorism. A day later he’s waxed poetic about how this attack impacted his community so he’s thinking of returning to public service.
Por favor, Marquito! You had your chance to serve, not just your community but the communities of Sandy Hook - where children were gunned down in an elementary school - and Aurora and Ft. Hood. Senator Rubio voted against the Senate amendment that would have strengthened background checks and also introduced a bill rolling back some Washington, D.C. gun control laws.
You want to lead, Senator Rubio? Then do it by example. Aside from trying to get your party to back common-sense gun legislation, work for the equality of all the citizens you represent instead of promising to repeal gay marriage laws and mocking LGBT families as a ‘social experiment’. Serve your country by rolling back some of the hate you and your party have worked so hard to legislate. Ya.
One thing that gives me hope — I'm not the only one thinking "Ya."
In 2014 when Pew asked U.S. adults what is more important — protecting the right of Americans to own guns or controlling gun ownership, Hispanic voters said that gun control was a more important priority than the rights of gun owners by 62 to 36 percent. By the way, black registered felt the same, 71 to 26 percent.
I don’t want to hear another story about a man, woman or child’s last moments on earth being filled with unimaginable horror. I will not watch another interview with a heartbroken parent in tears because their child was murdered by a maniac with a gun and these grieving families can’t do anything about it.
I won’t let my rage gnaw away at my belief that we can do better than this.
I never want to forget that hate is cheap and love is everything. Everything is possible if we are willing to make it so.
Ya! I’m done with this gun-crazed society, I want common sense regulation and I want it now.
Who's with me?
Carmen Pelaez is a Cuban-American filmmaker, writer and performer.