Another day, another mass shooting in America … but this time, our worst ever. At least 50 people dead (a number expected to rise), more than 50 injured. Yay, Murrica! We beat our own record. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
The Orlando shooting is set apart by its brutality but in every other respect it’s par for the course. Gun control advocates are left with our rage, our tears, our pleas for gun control laws; gun “rights” people shout back that “there’s nothing we can do” and “nothing we could have done,” as if we are to accept as normal that which never happens anywhere else in the modern world. To which I say, bullshit.
A new meme surfacing on the right is that it’s not the weapon, but the hate. Ah yes, if only we could get people to love one another. Let’s get right on that, shall we? This particular piece of nonsense is the kind of Kumbaya bullshit lefties usually get accused of spouting. You know, don’t focus on the AR-15 the guy was able to get his hands on, let’s focus instead on getting people to stop hating gays, women at Planned Parenthood clinics, black people at Bible study, etc. etc. etc.
Alrighty, then. I’ll just wave my magic wa– … oh wait. Jesus Christ was crucified trying to get people to stop their hate, didn’t seem to work. But you know, fine. As a Kumbaya leftie, I appreciate the sentiment. Let’s see where we are in the effort to get people to stop hating. I bring you Texas ‘ notorious anti-gay Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who hours after the slaughter at a prominent gay nightclub Tweeted (then deleted) the following:
To be fair to the notoriously homophobic Lt. Governor, he claims the Tweet was scheduled in advance and was not a comment on a mass shooting at Orlando’s largest gay nightclub on the eve of Pride Week festivities. Well, if that’s case, let me say: God certainly has a sense of humor, doesn’t she? Funny how karma catches up with one, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States also took to Twitter, and the notorious narcissist had this to say:
Are y’all feeling the love? So yes, it would be nice if we could eradicate hate, just like that. Indeed, the Islamophobes are out in full force. Never mind that despite hundreds of mass shootings in the past year, only three by my count have been committed by Muslims: this one, the San Bernardino shooting, and the July 2015 shooting in Chattanooga.
As it’s been a defining aspect of the human condition for thousands and thousands of years, I’m going to say, good luck with getting rid of hate. Here’s an idea: clean up your own house. Next time a Republican Tweets something hateful and offensive, instead of staying silent or rushing to his/her defense, try calling them out on it. No? You can’t do that? Well, that explains a lot. Haters gonna hate, isn’t that what the kids say? In the meantime, let’s not arm them to the teeth with military weaponry.
After the last mass shooting I wrote this post, “Yes, There Is Something We Can Do About Mass Shootings.”
In nearly every case, via hindsight, we find something that we could have done to prevent tragedy. Our failure to act is our own national tragedy. Because we all know there are things we can do. The shooter in this case used an AR-15, the same gun used in several previous mass shootings. Republicans in Congress voted down an assault weapons ban in 2013; well THAT might have done something, right off the top of my head.
The facts are coming in on this shooting. What we know: shooter Omar Mateen was a natural-born American citizen; not a refugee, not an immigrant. He was a person of interest to the FBI for at least five years; his ex-wife said he was physically abusive and mentally unstable; despite all of this, he held a statewide concealed-carry permit.
I’m sure we’ll find more things that slipped through the cracks as information is revealed. I wonder how it’s possible that a person with a history of domestic violence and mental instability who was being watched as a “person of interest” and even had an active FBI file opened on him was somehow able to get a concealed-carry permit? And got his hands on an AR-15 and a handgun? That should tell you something is seriously wrong right there. Something we can fix.
There’s a funny meme going around about how anyone wanting to buy a gun should be forced to go through the same rigamarole women seeking abortions must endure:
Funny, sad, and also true. You really lose the right to call yourself pro-life when you refuse to take action on the wholesale slaughter of adult human beings trying to go about their business, enjoy a night out at a club, go to a movie theater or a shopping mall. Seriously, just shut up already about how pro-life you are. You aren’t.
Don’t tell me we need to get people to stop hating. That is not happening. We need to stop allowing haters to get their hands on guns so easily.