Update: On Monday, June 13, 2016, authorities in Orlando said one of the 50 killed includes the shooter.
America woke up with the news 20 people were killed overnight in a bloody shooting at a nightclub in Orlando.
By mid-morning, the confirmed dead toll rose to 50.
Early in the morning, the question loomed on all media channels whether the killings were an act of terrorism. By noon, it was confirmed the shooter had called 911 soon after he shot people to pledge his alligance to ISIS.
Whether the number was 20 or 50, too many people were killed in Orlando. Whether they were gay or straight, it does not matter. Too many people died in Orlando.
Whether it was an act of terroism it does not matter. Too many people died in Orlando.
What is quite apparent is one man walked into a public place with an assault rifle and killed 50 people and injured another 53. Just as in the Orlando’s horrific act, an assualt weapon was used in the Sandy Hook killings where innocent adults and children were killed by a lone gunman. It was not deemed an act of terrorism.
The common denominator in mass killings in the United States is the assault weapon.
It is time for Americans to ask the question what does allowing citizens to own assault weapons have to do with the Second Amendment that allows for citizens the right to bear arms? Citizens cannot nuclear weapons. Why should they be able to own assault weapons?
The argument goes that guns don’t kill people, people do. Assault weapons allow a person to kill many people in a matter of seconds. Why does anyone have to kill a dozen people in a matter of seconds?
The reality is there are many deranged and sick Americans among us. Regardless of who the president is this violence commited by deranged and sick people will continue.
As an American Indian, I know America was built on violence. America was built on bloodshed. As an American Indian, I remember that some 300 American Indian men, women and children killed at Wounded Knee, as I remember those killed in Orlando. As an American Indian,
I remember that some 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho were killed at Sand Creek, Colorado, as I pray for the families of those who lost loved ones in Orlando.
Tonight, I enjoy the dual citizenship of being a tribal citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and a citizen of the United States of America. As a dual citizen, I say it is time to stop the violence and bloodshed in United States. It is time to ban assault weapons.
It is time to pray for the United States of America.
UPDATED: Monday, June 13, 2016 at 9:15 a.m. – EDT.