The aftermath of mass gun violence in the United States has become disturbingly predictable in the past few years. 

First, the country scrambles for answers while President Barack Obama tells his nation – yet again – that something needs to be done in regards to the ready availability of firearms. 

Then, as the afflicted communities mourn their dead, the Westboro Baptist Church ride in to foul the situation further with their patented brand of religiously-motivated vitriol. 

The days after last weekend’s mass shooting in Orlando have been no different. Still, another recurring trend has emerged in the aftermath: regular humans who are just done with hatred have banded together to protect the mourners from hate. 

At a funeral service for victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, more than 200 counter-protesters guarded attendees at St. James Catholic Cathedral from the angry, homophobic bile the WBC are prone to throw. 

Many from the Orlando Shakespeare Theater even used their expertise to craft “angel wings”, to literally block mourners from even seeing those instantly-recognisable placards. 

Counter protest #westboro #orlando #orlandostrong #pulse #humanchain

A photo posted by T Yeezy (@craftysenorita) on

WBC was blocked so much even I could barely catch a glimpse. ??????????? #orlandostrong #orlandounited #orlando #orlandoproud #lovewins

A photo posted by @lhenley13 on

Of course, when the WBC finally realised they wouldn’t be able to inflict as much emotional pain as they’d hoped, they scrammed – much to the delight of… well, basically everyone on planet Earth.

More than two dozen police on the scene also separated those in the church from the smattering of spite-fuelled trolls, and even they took to social media afterwards to have a well-deserved dig at the WBC’s efforts. 

(Yeah, we know the police aren’t meant to get political, but goddamn, the OPD have had a rough week.)

Finally, one last trend has popped up again – the recognition that for every one malicious bigot, there are hundreds of opponents, literally waiting in the wings. 

And man, we hope that’s a trend that continues. 

Source: The Washington Post. 
Photo: Miami Herald / Getty.