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So I thought about doing a post on the holiday known as the Queen’s Birthday, and then I had decided to do a post on the Sydney Vivid Light Festival, but after waking up this morning and seeing the horrific story from Orlando, Florida I decided to do a post on gun violence and what can and should be done. I know this is not the sort of story you want on a Public Holiday, but given the circumstances it seems appropriate to address it.

First and foremost, what was the purpose of this attack. Yes, we can call this a terror attack but we also need to address this as a hate crime. Omar Mateen the gunman selected a group of people and selected a specific place to carry out this horrific act which has been classified as the worst mass shooting in American history. This is not the first mass shooting in America by far, but one that is on such a large scale with 50 people reported dead and another 53 reported injured. The families of these innocent men and women who will be affected pull on your heart strings and you feel that there is no need for this senseless violence.

I have always had the opinion that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. However, as I continue to live in Australia this opinion continues to become less and less important when you compare it to massacres such as this one at the Pulse night club. What is important is what we do as Americans. How do we address this issue? Do we address it with more hate and Back Donald Trump’s plan to ban all Muslims because of the actions of one rogue individual? Or do we stay strong as a nation and spread love and compassion? We make sure we don’t isolate Muslims and blame them for the actions of a radical terrorist group, who only want to spread terror and fear. I believe we go with the second option. A ban to Muslims entering the country will not solve the problem. The problem remains in the easy access we have to firearms. We have to do something about this problem and we have to stop the spread of hate.

I pray for the families who have lost loved ones in this tragedy, and I hope America, my country can see this tragedy and make it the last. Gun laws continue to astound me in America. There is no need for anyone obtain an AR-15 Assault Rifle. This rifles only use is for killing. Over 3.7 million American households own this rifle and now without a doubt I see no need for this kind of weaponry to be accessible to civilians of the public. This weapon used by the gunman should not be so easy to obtain.
Australia in a lot of ways is better off than America because of the strict gun licensing laws here. Mass shootings are normalized in America, and have become a part of something I am used to seeing more regularly. This kind of tragedy is far less likely to happen in Australia as well as in many other parts of the world. So I urge all Americans to get in line with the rest of the world and take a stand against weaponry access for everyday Americans.

Be sure to pray for the families and show your support, but also remember to not be hateful. Be someone who is kind and someone who takes the worst mass shooting in American History and turn it into something that can change attitudes on gun laws in America. Become a part of the conversation and let our leaders know we are behind the times and also let them know mass shooting are not normal. Something can be done about this for a safe, inclusive, and better future for America. Guns are an increasing problem, which indeed needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

My support and feelings are with the families and their loved ones and I hope that America can make a stand on guns and homophobia. I thank you for reading this post and I want to apologize for such a somber post on this public Holiday for all my Australian readers. My thoughts and prayers are with all who need them in this tragedy, stay strong and stay kind.