George Takei's Solution to Orlando Is Worth Your Attention

George Takei believes the Orlando attack presents a rare opportunity for the LGBT community to ignite real change.

The former "Star Trek" actor penned a moving essay for The Daily Beast about how it's possible for LGBT individuals across the country to lead the charge toward gun reform. Takei notes that the incident on Sunday was much more than a mass shooting; it was an assault on Americans' most fundamental of rights: their freedoms of speech and assembly.

He says that these freedoms have long been complicated by another freedom, namely Americans' right to bear arms.

"We appear to face a choice, because one freedom seemingly cannot be protected without limiting the other," Takei notes.


Writing candidly about the threat of heavily armed domestic religious fanatics, Takei says "the logical solution is to render them less armed and less fanatical." It is as crucial to limit their ability to own deadly weapons at home as it is overseas, he argues.

In December of last year, Republicans voted down President Barack Obama's proposal to ban terrorists on the U.S. no-fly list from owning guns.

Takei notes that there are already limits on our freedoms, such as the law against shouting "fire" in a movie theater, but for good reason. Although some restrictions exist on gun ownership, he believes more are needed.


He points to how the prohibition on assault weapons was not re-enacted following a 10-year ban that expired in 2004, "perhaps because victims of mass shootings don’t tend to have friends in Congress, even when they are innocent school children."

He adds:

"Now this latest and most deadly attack has targeted a group that has spent the last few decades learning how to organize, fight for, and protect its rights. Perhaps, then, the next chapter of LGBT history might not be just about the struggle to gain equality for ourselves, but also how we might help lead this country towards a collective right to participate and live free of fear and terror, and ultimately toward a common-sense, permanent ban on weapons designed for mass slaughter."

Takei has been as outspoken on the issue of civil rights as he is about guns in his latest piece. He came out in 2005 after California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill for marriage equality in 2005.

Read Takei's full essay at The Daily Beast.