Another Moment of Silence ~ Outside the Margins with Andrew Q Gordon

Join Prism Book Alliance® as Andrew Q Gordon goes Outside the Margins today.


Warning. This post contains content of a political nature. It is not the opinion of Prism Book Alliance or anyone other than me. If you don’t care for this kind of post, I’d not suggest reading it.

Typically my OTM posts are on the lighter side, flying kites with Mary Poppins, asking if folks would comment for a million dollars, channeling my inner Mr. Rogers and so on. I had planned something along those lines, and was going to show some pictures from the family beach vacation. But this weekend changed things.

By now everyone has read about the tragedy in Orlando. Let’s be clear, this is a tragedy not because it was at Pulse, a gay club, but because it happened. Again. Now there is news that the shooter was a frequent visitor to the club and had used ‘gay dating apps’ to meet other gay men. I don’t know what to make of that to be honest.

I could fill pages with my thoughts and comments on the why, but if the shooter was really ‘one of us,’ it is doubly painful. As President Obama said, Pulse, like many gay bars, was a safe haven. People felt safe inside. They could show affection for their partner or spouse without an earful of hate and vitriol. To take that away, even for a time is bad. That the one who took it away had found safety there himself?

What devastated me was how many young, promising lives were snuffed out. People who had only just begun to find themselves. The couples that died together. And the anguish of those they left behind.

But what infuriates me most is that nothing will change. If 20 children, people seeing a movie, church ladies praying with their pastor, or people at a holiday party being killed didn’t move the dial, the death of fifty mostly gay men at a gay club won’t change the debate. I knew that from the drop. And sadly, I was proven right.

Rather than even pay lip service to their deaths, Trump tried (maybe even succeeded) in moving the conversation from the horrific tragedy and how preventable it could have been, to banning people who had nothing to do with the event. Rather than engage in an honest discourse on how to remove even the barest few guns from the barest few people, the republican leadership engaged in a moment of silence. When a congressman from South Carolina asked Speaker Ryan when he would allow a vote on a gun control measure – a vote that would almost surely fail because the republicans have a majority and would vote it down – he yelled at the congressman who asked and told him he was out of order. Right, sorry, a moment of silence is way more helpful in preventing the next tragedy than trying to keep assault rifles out of people’s hands.

It’s incomprehensible that we can’t ban average people from buying assault rifles. What possible need can they have for them – other than killing large numbers of unarmed innocent people for no reason? You can’t hunt with them, you can’t take target practice with them, you can’t conceal them and carry them around for protection and if someone breaks into your house, how is having an assault rifle that won’t fit in your nightstand or anywhere else convenient going to help you?

The reality is, the republicans have rigged the system – legally – so they can and will block any gun control measure. They’ve done an amazing job of winning local elections and controlling the districting for the House of Representatives that they have a near unbeatable majority that will not even allow a vote on a measure to ban sales of assault rifles to people suspected of being a terrorist. Think about how stunning that is. They won’t allow even that tiny sliver of control.

But the rest of us collectively bear some of the blame. If the Democrats and their allies would come out and vote in local elections, and take control of the local and state governments, we would control the debate again. They congress could the laws to stop people from getting the most deadly weapons so easily. Will it prevent all such events? No, of course not, but it will make it harder to carry out. Sadly, that is too much effort. Voting every year is too much work. Once every two or four years is enough, right?

Unfortunately, this too will fade into the background and become just another ‘historical’ event. Our collective outrage will pass, just as it has with all the other mass shootings. And when it happens again – and it will – politicians will take to the stage and propose all kinds of things to stop it from happening again that won’t be even voted on and wouldn’t have worked if it had.

But they’ll still be able to have their moments of silence to pretend like they care. That makes me feel a whole lot better. How about you?

~Andrew Q Gordon

About Andrew Q Gordon

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Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.

He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of twenty years, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day.

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From Wayward Ink Publishing:
A Closed Door

From DSP Publications:
The Last Grand Master: (Champion of the Gods – Book 1)
The Eye and the Arm: (Champion of the Gods – Book 2) 
From Dreamspinner Press:

Self published:
Ashes of Life

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8 thoughts on “Another Moment of Silence ~ Outside the Margins with Andrew Q Gordon

  1. Thanks for the post, Andrew. I have voted faithfully since I was 18. Have also campaigned for and financially supported candidates, initiatives etc. But, I get downhearted because I live in a “red” state and a “red” district, so most often lose in elections. Not going to stop, but… I am feeling more successful in instilling progressive beliefs in my kids.

    • Hi Jen,

      Let me see if I can dismiss a bit of the downhearted by pointing out that as little as 10 years ago most thought it almost impossible to get gay marriage passed in less than a generation. BUT, we continued to press it, push for it, etc. And slowly things changed. I’m convinced that if all the people who voted for President Obama showed up for local elections, we control well more than half the state houses and be able to take back control.

      A small fact. In 2014 more people voted for Democrats for Congress than Republicans, yet Republicans have something like a 60 vote majority. In Pennsylvania, more people voted for Democrats for Congress than Republicans and yet PA sent 13 republicans and only 5 Democrats. They elected a Democrat Governor over an incumbent Rep by a big majority. If those people came out consistently they’d control the state house and return districting to a better balance. But we don’t all vote like you and I. And that needs to be our new focus. IMHO of course. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting.


    • Nothing is impossible. Things can change, maybe not this year or next, but if we keep at it, even if ‘democrats’ can’t retake control, our idea might win – see Lt. Gov. Spencer in Utah. Good people can and do see the correctness of what we’re asking for.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.


  2. I have been saying that about these types of guns in a lot of places the last few days. The arguments that I get in favor of them are not only ridiculous but actually a bit scary.

    I have been alternating between crying and raging the last few days. I can’t speak reasonably about these guns anymore but maybe we need to be unreasonable to get things changed.


    • Hey Allison,

      Since you know know me, you know I’m in law enforcement. I’m not a ban all guns kinda guy, I’m not asking to take away people’s guns, but I am demanding we stop selling assault rifles. They meet none of the ‘reasons’ for owning a gun. Not defense, not hunting and not for sport.

      I’m not suggesting we give up, but I am upset that it likely won’t change anytime soon. And unlike some things I want to see changed, this one is such a no-brainer, that the only reason we aren’t is “because.” There is no rational reason for not doing it.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂


  3. I’m former military & will defend the Bill of Rights with my dying breath. But I’ve said the same thing for more years than I can remember. I’ve also said the same thing many people have said about Freedom of Speech . . . just because it exists doesn’t mean it’s free from consequences. I’m sickened & appalled at the hateful comments I’ve seen. That could’ve very well been my son & his friends gunned down. Those lives had just as much meaning as any other lives.

  4. Hi Lisa,

    I agree, 100%. We can defend the BOR and the 2nd Amendment and still be reasonable. That’s where I bang my head. Scalia, the so called bright light of the right, so twisted the ‘intent of the founders.’ The 2nd Amendment was meant for the States. So that the Federal Gov’t couldn’t do what the King tried to do – take their guns. It was so the states, if they felt it necessary, could resist a tyrannical Federal Gov’t if one ever arose. How that morphed into I can go get an AR-15 or Sig Suaer assault rifle, like Mateen had, I’ve no clue. Interestingly enough, in US v. Miller from the 1930, the Supreme Court then said it was A OK to ban weapons that were meant only for war. So there is no Constitutional Right to assault weapons like there is for handguns. Now it’s all just politics and paranoia that keeps them for sale.

    As you said, it could be your child or friends that are next. Or mine. It just has to stop. Reasonable gun laws won’t stop it, but it will help. Samantha Bee had a piece on the 13th and according to her, in 1996 Australia was fed up with the FOUR mass shootings they’d had in ten years and enacted some kind of gun control. Since 1996 they’ve had ZERO mass shootings. Clearly people without guns don’t shoot people.


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