First it was it was the Baptist Church in Charleston, and we did not speak out -
Because we weren't in South Carolina.
Then it was at a community college in Rosenburg and we did not speak out -
Because we weren't in Oregon
Then it was a movie theater in Aurora, and we did not speak out -
Because we weren't in Colorado
Today it was in Orlando, and we are finally speaking up -
Because goddammit we are all Americans.
We aren't a political site. Lamentably, it at times can feel like it given the crass way climate change has become fraudulently politicized (but that's for a different story).
As our readers can attest, a majority of our articles highlight the fun and light side of life and fashion; the must-have bikinis of the summer, that face wash that's changed Jessica Alba's life, the most stylish sandals for Coachella that you can wear all day without having your boyfriend have to carry you home. We'd like to think we offer a bit more depth and substance with our articles about issues related to innovation, sustainable materials, and labor rights but at the end of the day, fashion isn't supposed to be political. Fashionable is supposed to be fun, frivolous and our personal facade to the world and that's what we try to convey.
Not today. Not after yet another mass shooting, this one the largest yet, viciously targeting revelrous LGBTQ club goers celebrating Pride Week. As Americans, we should feel profoundly ashamed and angry. Ashamed that this is our normal. Angry, that we let a prior FBI suspect with possible terror links get his hands on an AR-15, a tool of death and destruction. To our collective dishonor, our country's death pact with firearms and the gun lobby that peddles them continues.
We are speaking out today because we can no longer stay silent on one of the greatest plagues on our society: the unremitting proliferation of guns in this country, pushed by the most callous of organizations, the NRA. We have been part of the silent vast majority of Americans who are sickened by the news of continuous mass murders. We didn't speak up because as a sustainable fashion news site, it wasn't are issue. But it is and must be. It is up to us, all of us, to speak out.
In 2015 alone, there were 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015, which killed 475 people and wounded 1,870 (a mass shooting is where 4 or more were killed). In total, over 13,286 people were killed in the US by firearms in 2015 and over 26,819 people were injured (not including suicide).
According to figures from the US Department of Justice and the Council on Foreign Affairs, 11,385 people have died on average annually from gun deaths in the US between 2001 and 2011. During the same decade, an average of 517 people were killed annually in terror-related incidents (over 2/3 during one incident, 9/11).
This latest gun-led massacre in Orlando evidently was at the hands of an ISIS sympathizer but the majority are not.
Our massacre crisis is the result of our country gripped by a fear of others and obsessed by firearms. Our massacre crisis is a result of our politician's cowardice in confronting the fringe extremist elements of our society goaded by the NRA, an organization that profits from fear. Our massacre crisis is the result of a silent majority who is sickened by the hundreds of thousands of deaths, not speaking up.
So from today on out, we will do our part, however small to lend our voice to calling for common sense gun laws. Gun massacres, however clashing with the spirit of Row+Rue, will be covered on this site. Perhaps not all of the shootings, because we can't keep up (a sad reflection of how serious this crisis is), but we will continue to remind our readers of the gun crisis that has engulfed this country.
5,939 Americans have been killed this year. We will not stay silent anymore and we hope you our readers, won't either.