Pulsating Love (2016) Seventeen years ago eighteen year olds Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris entered their Colorado high school and opened fire on their fellow students. Twelve of them were murdered along with one teacher before Klebold and Harris turned the guns on themselves. At least twenty-one others were injured in the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999. Eight years later, in Blacksburg, Virginia, Seung-Hui Cho made the decision to end the lives of thirty-two people on the campus of Virginia Tech. At least twenty-one others were wounded trying to escape from Cho before he eventually committed suicide. More recently in December of 2012 twenty elementary students and six of their teachers and staff members were gunned down by Adam Lanza in Newtown, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Adam Lanza also committed suicide. All of these events have been remembered as the worst mass shootings in history. Unfortunately, we can now add the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida to the list. This one, however, will take the top spot as the number one worst mass shooting in history. Early Sunday morning, at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Omar Mateen, 29, entered carrying assault rifles and, reportedly, explosives. After the police were called Mateen took hostages and began a three hour stand-off with the Orlando PD and the S.W.A.T. team. When Mateen spoke to police during the stand-off he pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Mateen was born an American to Afghanistan immigrants. His parents have since come out saying how deeply sorry they are for the atrocities their son has committed. Omar Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, told reporters that he was “upset, they lost their loved ones. I know how that feeling is. I lost a son, too, and that’s the only son I had.” Omar Mateen has been investigated several times for suspicion of connections to ISIS and other terrorist organizations. President Obama has stated that Omar Mateen, who died when officers and the S.W.A.T. team finally ended the hostage situation, was “self-radicalized” and “an example of homegrown extremism.” What does that mean? It means that the president does not believe that Omar Mateen was part of a bigger terrorist plot and that he acted solely on his own agenda. In a press conference about the shooting President Obama explained that Mateen had purchased the gun he used legally and pledged his allegiance to Islamic State “at the last minute.” As of Thursday June 16th, forty-nine people have died; most of them inside the night club. Fifty-three others were injured and of those fifty-three, six remain in critical condition. Doctors working with the patients believe the death toll will rise. Witnesses say that, while the victims were being evacuated, police and paramedics were stopping anyone with a pickup truck or trailer to help carry the injured to the hospital which was only blocks away from the scene. The bodies of those that died inside the night club remained there for hours while police attempted to identify them and contact the family members. As of right now all of the victims have been identified and you can find a list of them here. Many reports are coming out from people that were inside the night club during the shooting. One of the most heartbreaking is the story of Eddie Justice’s last conversation with his mother. Eddie’s mother, Mina, received the first text “mommy I love you” right after the shooting began. Eddie was hiding in the bathroom with others from the club when he realized that he was not going to make it. He pleaded with his mother to call the police and let them know what was happening. Mina pleaded with Eddie to call her and let her know that he was safe. The last message Mina Justice received from her son was, “He’s coming I’m going to die.” After that the messages stopped and it was soon discovered that Eddie Justice was one of the forty-nine victims inside of Pulse that night. Local LGBTQ+ bar, The Q Bar, held a candle light vigil on Monday night alongside dozens of other memorial services that day. UNC Ashville student Justin Day dressed in a multicolored mermaid tail and a rainbow wig to show his protest against hate crimes targeted at LGBTQ+ communities. He held a sign that read “STOP KILLING US” while sitting in Pack Square in Asheville. I asked Day what he wanted the American people to know and what I got was very insightful. “This was not an immigrant ISIS terrorist. This was, once again, another American male obsessed with guns and the police and American hate. We bred this. We’ve been breeding this for hundreds of years with thousands of deaths. We need to own up and fix it.” Thousands of Americans agree with Day and the outpouring of love and support from all over the world has been simply astonishing to say the least. The death and abuse towards LGBTQ+ individuals is not a new phenomenon. As Day said, we have been witness to this for hundreds of years and have yet to come to a peaceful existence. These beautiful individuals do not choose this life but are born for it. It is a disgrace that we cannot protect our own species from itself. It is an embarrassment the world over that is not being dealt with but rather looked away from. We believe that there is nothing we can do to help these communities because we are just one being. But individuality is the only way to overcome this bigotry against race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. We must individually show our children love and respect from the beginning along with the message that it is okay to be different and embrace who they are. We have to let them know that whatever they become will be accepted by their own parents and, hopefully one day, society. This is the only way we can change the future for our minorities. We must be able to breed a new generation that chooses love instead of hate and change over history.