Terrorism, Homophobia and Slaughter in Orlando

Published June 16, 2016, issue of June 16, 2016.

The tragedy in Orlando is a continuation of mass shootings past and of more mass shootings certain to come. As long as lunatics – and this includes Muslims who hate gays, women and Jews – have access to automatic weapons, the slaughter will continue.

The powerful persuasion of radical Islam for many Muslims inclined to devote their lives and to give their lives by slaughtering innocents to ascend to Heaven is an obscenity – a perpetual riddle for those of us who feel we are faithful to a more peaceful and loving religious ritual.

The Orlando tragedy is marked by the perpetrator dialing 911 and announcing to the operator that he was swearing his allegiance to ISIS as he conducted a terror attack at a gay club in Orlando. Mateen shot his way into the club, murdering 49 and wounding 53, keeping hostages for three hours before stepping out of a hole blown into the wall of the club by police and dueling with the Orlando Police Department.

This devout Muslim, born in New York and referred to as a “lone wolf type” by the press, had been interviewed twice by the FBI during the prior three years. The agency also had him under surveillance for a time for his allegedly incendiary remarks about gays, Jews and women, and claims at work that he was connected to terrorists and terror organizations.

He apparently came up clean and was able to buy the rifle and a hand gun used in the slaughter. This was two weeks ago.

How gun lovers, Second Amendment purists and National Rifle Association members can continue to insist that the Second Amendment should not and cannot be touched or tweaked without the American Republic weakening itself is incomprehensible to most citizens –even to many gun owners.

However, there is not a national will to change anything about gun possession. Until this changes, we remain a Wild West type democracy where gun play increases, where murder and maiming by gunfire is exploding and there is no end in sight.

The same way our leaders do not want to confront radical Islam, they don’t want to tackle other pressing challenges: social security, spiraling health insurance costs even after Obama Care, the high cost of a four year, liberal arts college education, a political system perceived to be bought and sold by the very rich and an economy that is seen as being similarly “rigged.”

In such an environment of inertia and lack of leadership, the worst incident of mass murder has just occurred at a gay club in Orlando.

What political changes might result?

Most likely, lots of expressions of sympathy and love but no real effort to put a stop to the carnage or to pay attention to the realities of a situation likely to change how we live – and how we die – in this nation.



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