This Orlando Shooting Survivor Wrote An Incredibly Powerful Letter To The Gunman


In the aftermath of mass shootings, public attention is often focused on the perpetrator. Who is he? What's his story? Why did he do this? This reflex is not surprising. After all, when someone does the unspeakable, we all seek to make sense of it in order to cope, to categorize, and thereby move on.

Of course, this behavior is precisely what these killers want. The simple fact of it is a mass shooting is the most brutally narcissistic ploy for attention you could ever imagine. And we all consistently deliver that attention to these killers in excess.

Unfortunately, in the hazy wake of such unthinkable violence, we all pay far too little attention to the actual victims.

It's psychologically far easier to focus on why? how? who? than it is to sift through the carnage of this hate crime. But that is exactly what we all need to do. We need to learn about the victims. We have to make them real. We have to let it to hurt, and keep on hurting.

One survivor of the massacre wrote an open letter to the gunman for xoJane about his experiences in the attack. I'm going to paste the letter, in full, because you should really read it all. This letter shouldn't be compressed into sound bites.

It's time we stop heaping all our attention onto the perpetrators and start focusing on the victims and remembering those who are not here any longer.

Here is the survivor's full letter to the gunman. (Head over to xoJane for the original post with photos.)

Citations: An Open Letter to Omar Mateen from a Survivor of the Orlando Nightclub Shooting (xoJane)