Orlando, FL– Mass shootings have become a normal part of life in America. We see and hear these tragic stories on a regular basis, and now, the so-called justification behind these tragedies is only worsening thanks to the overwhelming influence of Isis and radical Islam. Compounding such viewpoints with hateful ideologies toward minority groups not only leads to horrible incidents like today’s shooting at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando; it also results in more hatred and misconceptions about certain groups, specifically Muslims.
I commend those who responded to this tragic mass shooting – the largest crime of its kind in US history. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and friends, as well as the Orlando LGBT community, and the city as a whole. Officials and local businesses and individuals are responding with love, and I believe that is the course of action the entire world should take. We cannot fight hatred with more hatred. It simply does not work.
Watching the coverage of this tragic event on MSNBC today, I noticed that despite all of the political and forensic analysis they are bating around, no one has addressed one very important question. There is so much talk about the suspect, the weapons, Islam, Isis, and other aspects of the case. Within these conversations, of course, there has been some mention of Omar Mateen’s US birth, history with the FBI, domestic violence, negative personal views toward the LGBT community in general, religious ideologies, and travel to Saudi Arabia for alleged radical Islam training. Assuredly, this last point is going to lead to conversation and additional debate on the issue of closing US borders to prevent not only illegal immigration, but also to temporarily keep Muslims, especially radicals, from immigrating to the US until, to quote Donald Trump, “We know what the hell is going on.” However, the Pulse Nightclub Shooting brings about one question no one has yet to address. The United States is so worried about keeping radicals out of our country, with the focus being on immigration, but how the hell do we stop extremism and terrorism perpetrated by American citizens turned homegrown radicals? They are already here… and in this case (as well as others), suspect Omar Mateen was questioned multiple times by the FBI because of alleged ties and personal claims of radical views. And still, he was not really being watched, was able to purchase a small arsenal, and, ultimately, planned and carried out the most disgusting and heinous of hate crimes in US history.
How do we, as a country, stop these things before they happen?