ISIS has claimed responsibility for the largest mass shooting in American history. It apparently dispatched -- or at least “inspired” -- an American born sympathizer armed to the teeth into a nightclub that catered to LGBT Hispanic residents and visitors in Orlando, Florida.
The club is a big place called Pulse. After awhile at least 50 people had no pulse and at least as many were on the floor in agony.
As the SWAT team gathered and the gunman claimed hostages… as the news crews scrambled in the small hours of Sunday morning… the speculators wondered aloud for all who listened or watched whether this was “simply” a matter of gay bashing or something more.
After the shooter, Omar Mateen, called 9-1-1, it turned out to be something more. What was his emergency, as the dispatchers ask? Nothing much, operator. Just want you to know I’m loyal to ISIS. Click.
Guess that’s settled.
Late morning or early afternoon, the governor showed up. One of the state’s US Senators landed in the command center. The mayor had been there for some time. Talking heads all blabbering the same thing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you… we’ll get to the bottom of this… blah blah blah.
Someone found Mateen’s parents who said they were as shocked as anyone else, knew nothing of the situation. Well, not exactly nothing. They assured us “religion had nothing to do with this…”
No, of course not. Just a madman with a gun or two and what was thought to be a bomb, though no bomb was found.
The SWAT team went in. Mateen went down. And as soon as he awoke from his Saturday night snooze, there was Donald Trump on Twitter, evidently his second favorite way of getting free publicity:
- Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!
- Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?
Yep. While normal human beings were shocked and saddened and normal politicians were issuing statements of sympathy and normal law enforcement people were promising results, Don Don was campaigning, stoking as he does the fires of hate.
Even if you’re not a Trumpeter, surely it occurred to you, if only briefly to think “there they go again. The religion of peace is on the march.” This may have been followed by “Oh, well. It wasn’t in my city. And it’s only gay Hispanics who died, after all.”
Those are the kinds of thoughts we have, but push out of our heads because we don’t want people to think we even think that way. And we don’t want ourselves to think that we think that way.
But when Don Don has a thought flash through his head and thinks he can make political hay of it, it comes right out of his mouth and/or fingers.
And it goes right into what passes for the minds of people who are open to this mad hatter’s madness.
Oh, there will be backlash because there’s always backlash to his nonsense. But only with the people, the legion that already fears and dislikes this creature.
We have a right to be angry. We have a right to be scared. We also have a right to not be shot dead by a crazy person of any religion who bought guns, however legally.
And since the start of the presidential campaign we have the right to confuse the names of two reality TV shows, “Celebrity Apprentice” and “The Biggest Loser.”
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016