Another mass shooting in America, and we can probably look forward to another few days of idiotic statements from the right about more guns, good guys with guns and Hillary Clinton planning to come get all our guns – you know, like Obama did.
We can expect more comments from Donald Trump insinuating that president Obama is part of an ISIS sleeper cell and may have wanted the massacre in Orlando to happen. Not only did he say that, but it took him less than 12 hours after the tragedy to blame immigrants for the shooting.
The terrorist, Omar Mir Saddique Mateen, is the son of an immigrant from Afghanistan. We admit more than 100,000 lifetime migrants from the Middle East each year. Since 9/11, hundreds of migrants and their children have been implicated in terrorism in the United States.
What we can’t expect and shouldn’t is that the GOP, or anyone from the right, will do anything about mass shootings in this country. They will continue to defend the rights of gun owners no matter who they are. It won’t matter if they are on a watch list, like this shooter was, or if they are domestic abusers, which this shooter was.
We can also be sure that the GOP and conservatives will continue to demonize the LGBT community who were the targeted victims of this attack, and that they will continue to present legislation, like bathroom bills, that dehumanize them.
Two Connecticut Senators have pointed to the GOP as complicit in the recent attack. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, both Democrats and vocal gun control advocates, represent the community of Newtown, where a gunman mowed down 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Murphy said on Sunday:
This phenomenon of near constant mass shootings happens only in America – nowhere else. Congress has become complicit in these murders by its total, unconscionable deafening silence. This doesn’t have to happen, but this epidemic will continue without end if Congress continues to sit on its hands and do nothing – again.
The GOP has repeatedly blocked legislation that would stop terrorists from buying guns. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who sponsored the legislation, argued recently that President George W. Bush had proposed the same legislation in 2007, and the Obama administration supports it.
Feinstein told MSNBC last year:
If you need proof that Congress is a hostage to the gun lobby, look no further than today’s vote blocking a bill to prevent known or suspected terrorists from buying guns and explosives. Congress has been paralyzed by the gun lobby for years, while more and more Americans are killed in mass shootings. The carnage won’t stop until Congress finds the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and protect the nation.
What’s equally remarkable, and truly disgusting, is the GOP’s refusal to call this a hate crime, which it clearly is. Almost no Republican Senator or Congressman mentioned the LGBT community in their remarks about the shooting. The New Civil Rights Movement wrote:
Almost no national Republican lawmaker, as far as NCRM has found, could bring themselves to offer condolences to the LGBT community, which was the target of the nation’s deadliest mass shooting and terror attack since 9/11. A terrorist shot to death 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, and injured another 53 people, very early Sunday morning.
It’s not only ludicrous and hateful bathroom bills that are part of their repertoire. The GOP refuses to acknowledge the LGBT community as a group targeted by hate crimes. As Vox points out in detail, a majority of Republican legislators voted against protecting gay people from hate crimes. You can find a full list of names at their website.
For a real look into the conservative mind, there’s this article from “Thought Catalog” that shows the homophobic response to the attack on social media.
The shooter in Orlando, Omar Mir Saddique Mateen, made the news because of his name and because he succeeded. James Wesley Howell of Indiana, however, received very little mention in the news — despite his having been caught with “cache of weapons, ammunition and explosive-making materials in his car and apparent plans to attend the L.A. Pride festival in West Hollywood,” according to the “Los Angeles Times.” Apparently when you’re a white Christian homophobe planning to blow up a parade, it’s more of a mental disorder.
So, here we are, once again, with one of the biggest and most devastating tragedies the country has seen in a long time. And here we are, once again, with no sign of change to come. To paraphrase Willie Geist on “Morning Joe” this morning when asked about what needs to change: if nothing has changed after 20 children were gunned down, referring to Sandy Hook, what makes us think anything is going to be different this time?
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