Earl and I were at the Central New York Tour de Cure bright and early this morning. Earl volunteered to help coordinate the breakfast tent and I was one of many participants in the cycling event. I rode the metric Century, which was actually 65.5 miles (100 km = roughly 62 miles). The ride went well and I completed it in four hours 39 minutes of riding time. There were five rest stops along the route.

It was at the first route that I posted a photo or two on Facebook and that’s when I saw the news of the mass shooting at the gay bar “Pulse” in Orlando. A gunman armed with an AR-15 assault rifle shot at least 50 people dead and wounded at least 53 others. It’s the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States.

Words cannot describe how much my heart aches as I watch the direction our country is headed. This type of horrific event is becoming entirely too commonplace “from seas to shining sea”. There are reports of the gunman’s possible ties to terrorists groups in the Middle East. Many news outlets are accordingly calling this an act of terrorism.

It was an act of hate.

I have no answers. I have many questions but I have no answers. Yes, stricter gun laws should be in place but I know that’s not going to slow down killers that are intent on killing. I toyed with the idea of making biometric triggers mandatory on firearms but 1. I don’t know what that would really do and 2. Any firearm already out in the wild could easily be looked over for meeting that requirement.

The only answer I can come close to is that we need to stop the American fetishization of firearms and we need to ramp back the depiction of consequence free killing in the media. Honestly, I don’t know that either will help the cause but it’s a start.

I refuse to be afraid. I refuse to be intimidated. The only thing I fear is the direction the U.S. is heading. I read some comments on Twitter from popular politicians and it just increased my desire to vomit. Trump was being Trump, others are touting the virtues of the Second Amendment.

I have no answers. I’m sick and tired of asking the same questions over and over.