Monday, June 13, 2016

Who Were the Victims of Orlando Pulse Mass Shooting

We have had numerous shootings in this country since the last "BAD" one, a statement you could make most days. Because no matter what you consider a really BAD one, there has almost always been a series of them that barely register as news. We're so used to them, something has to stand out for it even rise to the level of newsworthy, all-caps BAD. And to push the presidential nomination practically out of the news, it has to really be something.
This most recent one wasn't merely "BAD," it rates as the single-largest mass shooting in American history, and one of the worst terror attacks on American soil in history. It also contains so many hot-button political story elements, as to confuse anybody as to how to approach it, particularly when writing about it. Namely:

- The target was a popular gay bar, the victims obviously gay or gay-friendly,
- The event was "Latin night," providing a second minority in the mix, and
- It's gay pride month in the United States.
- The shooter was of Muslim/Middle-Eastern descent, but
- The shooter was born in the United States, and was a full-fledged citizen, and
- The shooter is alleged to have had Al Qaeda and ISIS allegiances, but
- The shooter very well may have been a lone wolf, glomming on to either or both of the above as inspiration, and not necessarily directed by anyone to carry out this action, and
- It's Ramadan.
- The shooter had violent tendencies, a police record, and was on the FBI's radar, but
- The weapons were legally obtained.

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34, from source, Los Angeles Times

In this day of extreme political polarity in our country, and instantaneous social media interaction, there is immediate public and political response. But, because of the mixed nature of the elements of this story, it's been interesting (to say the least) to see how conservatives vs. liberals respond, how the presidential candidates respond and see where the media goes with the story.

Personally, I'm torn on the whole "hate crime vs. terrorism" angles on the story. I find this obsession by the political right that President Obama call any attack by a Muslim "Radical Islamic Terrorism" or some variation (their variation) bizarre. As if something magical would happen. I find the focus being taken away from the gay hate crime angle somewhat refreshing and somewhat irritating. As always, I find the ammosexuals' instantaneously rabid response to even the notion of talking about guns and gun laws ridiculous and revolting. Most of all, I'm sorry that all of this distracts from the actual victims of--again--the worst mass murder in American history. So, let's take a moment to focus on that.

Amanda Alvear, 25, from source, LA Times


Victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre: Who they were

A gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday, killing at least 49 people and wounding more than 50 others in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The shooter, identified by authorities as Omar Mateen, 29, of the Fort Pierce, Fla., area, was killed at the scene. Mateen, born in New York to parents who immigrated from Afghanistan, had worked as a security guard in Florida. Authorities said he had pledged allegiance to Islamic State and reportedly had told family members he was disgusted by gay people. . .

Read more at: Los Angeles Times

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