Monday, June 13, 2016 at 3:39 PM

Orlando Gay Club – Scene of Latest Mass Shooting in Gun-Crazy USA

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

In what police are calling the worst shooting in American history, a lone gunman killed [49] people and injured at least 53 when he opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

‘Our SWAT officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect. The suspect is dead,’ Orlando Police Chief John Mina said at a press conference.

(Huffington Post, June 12, 2016)

Sadly, this only reinforces my contention that mass shootings in the United States have become as commonplace as mass bombings in Iraq. And I’m still waiting for US politicians to explain why they think occasional massacres by Muslims constitute “acts of terrorism,” but regular massacres by non-Muslims do not.

Why, for example, did they decry the shooting of 12 people by a Muslim in San Bernardino last December as an act of terrorism, but bemoaned the shooting of 9 by a (white) Christian in Charleston last June as just another mass shooting?

In any event, such acts of terrorism (no matter who perpetrates them) cause a numbing sense of anomie. This is why I doubt the average Iraqi would find it newsworthy that the latest mass bombing is the worst in Iraqi history. In a similar vein, I doubt the average American finds it newsworthy that this latest mass shooting is the worst in American history. After all, the only reasonable thought anyone could have in the midst of such commonplace violence is the idiomatic:

There but for the grace of God go I.

Our LGBT brothers and sisters were targeted today. But the casualties such shootings and bombings have left in their wake make distressingly clear that terrorism is no respecter of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation … or of perpetrator.

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Meanwhile, why should we care if this gunman was a crazy white guy or a Muslim jihadist; or whether he was motivated by anti-gay (self)-hatred or Islamic extremism? Especially when it’s arguable that American gun merchants, motivated by profits at all costs, pose a far greater danger.

After all, their NRA lobbyists have bribed most members of Congress into propagating the plainly absurd fiction that everyone has a constitutional right to buy the kind of military-style assault rifle the gunman used today. Hell, the NRA has so proselytized the false promises and protections of gun ownership, it has an increasing number of Americans thinking that the best way to react to shooting massacres is to rush out and buy their own “weapons of war.” And gun merchants show no scruples whatsoever about exploiting these tragedies for windfall profits.

Whereas, if congressmen had shown the modicum of courage necessary to enact sensible gun-control legislation to ban such weapons, this gunman (using only a handgun) would not have been able to kill nearly as many people.

Until they do, members of Congress who oppose such legislation will be willfully complicit in all such mass shootings. Except that they seem perfectly willing to accept this blame, so long as they can play the radical-Islam card from time to time. After all, foreigners from Muslim countries perpetrate less than five percent of the mass shootings that terrorize us. Which is why all of the talk about banning Muslims from entering this country is tantamount to locking the door with “Freddy Krueger” already inside the house.

It’s really that simple, folks. All else is folly.

Therefore, I see no point in commenting any further, except to share my constant admonitions.

With respect to stopping mass shootings/bombings:

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It must be understood that no matter their collective resolve, there’s absolutely nothing law enforcement officials can do to prevent [them].

(“London 7/7 terrorist attacks,” The iPINIONS Journal, July 8, 2005)

Incidentally, it came as no surprise that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, couldn’t wait to tweet insinuations about this happening because President Obama is too weak. Of course, he’s banking on so-called journalists just eating up his tweet, instead of challenging him on it; namely by forcing him to explain what a “strong…smart…tough” President Trump would do to prevent such shootings/bombings, or how he would react if they occurred on his watch. (Hint: He has no friggin’ clue. Hell, he thinks “radical Islam,” including the jihadi terrorism it inspires, is a conventional army encamped in the Arabian Desert — just waiting for him to drop a few bombs to destroy it … “big time.”)

With respect to the media’s obsessive, repetitive coverage, which is as motivated by profits as the gun manufacturers’ peddling of assault weapons:

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I don’t know why the media always reward these psychotic people by giving them the fame they covet; that is, by plastering their pathetic mugs all over television and on the front page of every major newspaper … worldwide, and reporting pop psychology about why and how they did their dastardly deeds. Isn’t it clear to see, especially in this age of instant celebrity, why some loser kid would find this route to infamy irresistible?

You’d think – given the record of these psychotic and vainglorious episodes since Columbine – that we would have figured out by now that the best way to discourage them is by focusing our attention on the victims and limiting what we say about the shooter to: May God have mercy on your soul as you burn in hell!

(“Massacre in Omaha,” The iPINIONS Journal, December 7, 2007)

And, with respect to future shootings/bombings, especially given the unprecedented carnage this lone wolf caused, the national mourning he evoked, the wall-to-wall coverage he commanded, and the political hysteria he incited:

God help us if al-Qaeda ever decided to emulate this feat by coordinating 10 similar [shootings], at 10 football stadiums, in the 10 biggest cities in America, all on a typical Saturday in the fall, when they’re packed with over 100,000 people watching college football games.  Not only would the carnage be 1,000 times more devastating, but based on the reaction to this terrorist attack, law-enforcement authorities would have to lockdown not just the airports as they did on 9/11, but the entire friggin’ country, no?

(“Manhunt for Bombers Turning Boston into Theater of the Absurd,” The iPINIONS Journal, April 19, 2013)

With that, until the next mass shooting/bombing, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of these latest victims.

Related commentaries:
Brussels, Paris, San Bernardino
NRA

* This commentary was originally published yesterday, Sunday, at 10:39 a.m.

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