Terror in Orlando Nightclub
I woke up this morning, started my coffee, and grabbed my iPhone to check out the news; no different than any other morning. I opened my favorite website and the extra large bright orange headlines literally stopped me in my tracks. A terror attack on U.S. soil, the largest one since September 11th, had occurred at a nightclub early in the morning. Over 50 human beings were being reported as dead and another 50+ being reported as injured in some manner. As I scrolled down, reading each headline, my stomach roiled. Multiple stories the shooter, his background, his religious affiliation and possible causes followed the top story. Conclusions were already made on the motivation for the senseless killings, and with the shooter being dead at the hands of law enforcement, these conclusions will likely stand and become 'fact.' And despite the tragedy being less than 12 hours old, it's been politicized in several ways.
Omar Mateen, 29, pictured to the right is the deceased shooter. Interviews of his ex-wife took place today, she stated that Omar was violent and mentally unstable and beat her repeatedly while they were married. Their marriage lasted for only a few months and her father actually had to physically come remove her from their home as she feared for her life. He had previously been investigated by the FBI on multiple occasions. His weapons were legally owned as he was a trained security guard. He had a degree in Ciminal Justice and was well organized and prepared for attack. He was a U.S. citizen and a Muslim; multiple reports are that he pledged his allegiance to ISIS before the attack and he has made numerous statements on social media of his attachment to terror groups. The similarity of the horrific attack in a Paris nightclub and this attack are uncanny. ISIS has already gone on record as instructing its members to commit acts of terror against the West during Ramadan, the Muslim holy celebration.
Both the Democrats and the Republicans have made statements to the media which fall in line with Party doctrine. President Obama called the shooting, "an act of terror and an act of hate," and ordered flags flown at half staff to honor the victims. Bernie Sanders, who is no longer in the race for the Democratic nomination, first reaction was anti-gun; making it known that he is against assault-type weaponry being available to the general public. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump expressed sympathies for the victims and many other Party leaders followed suit. Mr. Trump did pose the question of when America is going to get tough on extremist violence.
Many media outlets and anti-gun politicians have already printed stories, given quotes, engaged voters, and brought in mountains of what they deem evidence in response to the story. The weapon used by this shooter is considered the "go to" semi-automatic weapon for mass shootings but is also legally owned by nearly 4 million law abiding Americans. Stories counter to these are focused on the individual who did the killing, not the weapon he used. This arguement has gone on for a long time and will certainly continue.
I resisted writing my own version of the details since they are still emerging. My point has been made. There are dead Americans in Orlando, their executioner a man with connections to Middle Eastern terrorism, and some people still are blaming guns instead of the killer and his motivations; in this case it once again appears to lead back to Islam.
As a sidebar, ISIS has claimed responsibility for this attack. An ISIS organization, three days ago, said they were going to hit Florida.