Guns need to be kept out of the hands of the mentally ill, people about whom the police are suspicious, and in my personal opinion, the general public altogether. No one should have guns in their homes "just to be safe". If no one had guns at all, there would be no need to have these guns "just to be safe". (Of course, this would be in a perfect world with no dark webs or black markets). Only law enforcement officers should have these dangerous weapons, and in those cases, the usage of such weapons should be strictly regulated.
Gun violence is a serious issue in the United States. It's a serious issue in many countries around the world, but many have dealt with it in ways far more conducive to eradication of the problem. It's not difficult to handle gun crimes better than the United States, as we have done almost nil. As a result, 297 people are shot every day. 108,000 people are shot every year. Conversely, in Australia, there were only 30 gun homicides in 2010. In the United States, there were 33 gun homicides every day in 2010. In all of 2010, there were 11,078 gun homicides in the United States alone. This stark difference in the numbers is due to the stark difference in gun control laws. In Australia, automatic and semi-automatic weapons are banned and there are mandatory background checks and waiting periods for purchases of these dangerous firearms.
I've heard a lot of people "praying for the LGBT community in Orlando" or "praying for Orlando" or "praying for the LGBT community" over social media. While the visibility for this event is important, the action shouldn't end there. With traumatic events such as these, there is a prevalence of something called 'armchair activism' - a so-called activist whose activism ends after a post on social media. This is important, but it can't be the extent of the action taken for such important causes as gun control. A tweet won't keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. An instagram post won't reduce the deaths that occur each day because of gun violence. This type of activism also perpetuates the separation between victim and distant onlooker. The victim has to live every day after the event with the impact it had directly on their life, while the poster on social media feels fulfilled after a quick tweet and resumes their daily life. What's important in situations such as these is not separateness, but togetherness and solidarity. It's important to not separate oneself completely from the people directly affected by the shooting, but to take action so these atrocities desist as soon as possible.
The world has had enough tragedies and hate crimes. As a member of the LGBTQIA community, I stand with those affected by the shooting and will continue to fight for proper laws regulating assault weapons. It is time for these horrors to stop.