Pulse Massacre

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About

The Pulse Massacre[1], also known as the Orlando nightclub shooting or the Orlando massacre, was a mass shooting in which a lone gunman opened fire in a crowded LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida in the early morning hours of June 12, 2016, killing at least fifty and injuring another 53, making this the deadliest mass shooting in United States history, the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in U.S. history, and the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since the 9/11 attacks.

The assailant, who was killed in the attack, has been identified as Omar Mir Seddique Mateen (see Wikipedia), born in the US to Afghan immigrants. Although he had a gun license, no criminal record, and was licensed to work as a security guard, he has been described as "unhinged and unstable" by a former co-worker who also noted Mateen's tendency to make homophobic, racist, and sexist remarks and to talk about killing people. His former wife also described him as "unstable" and violent. He also regularly attended Muslim prayer services at the Fort Pierce Islamic Center.

The killer apparently was gay[2] and may have been driven to kill by intense feelings of self-homophobia.[3]

Details:

Conclusions

  • The attack was an act of stochastic terrorism inspired by intense homophobia – one in a long line of such attacks[4][5].
    • Kevin Drum argues that it's not terrorism at all[6], but he seems to be either unaware of the connection between religious extremism and violence or else is trying to deny it.
  • The attack does not justify existing or expanded police militarization.[7]

Action

  • Public figures who both "prayed" for the victims and also either voted against sensible gun regulations or promoted false anti-gay beliefs need to be called out.
    • This article suggests shaming those who took gun lobby money, but there may not be a 100% correlation between taking money and supporting the donor's cause. Promoting hateful beliefs about gay people may even be more the problem than working against gun regulation.

Counterfactualism

Within a day of the massacre, denialists were already claiming the event was staged. (see /denialism) Others were claiming that Mateen was a Democrat, or using the attack as an excuse to repeat false claims of Christian persecution or to incite hatred of Muslims[8]. Donald Trump claimed that Mateen had been born "in Afghan", and used this to bolster his totally-not-racist calls for a ban on Muslim immigrants.[9]

While many pointed out that this incident yet again emphasizes the need for better gun control laws in the US, ammophiles continued to deny this in social media[10] and elsewhere[8].

As early as two days later, other culturally-programmed individuals were already seeing this tragedy as a positive example to be copied.[11]

Details:

Outlinks

Reference

Related

Footnotes

<references> [8]

  1. name suggested by user Rugger Ducky on Google+ in this post on 2016-06-13
  2. 2016-06-13 Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was gay, former classmate says
  3. 2016-06-13 Orlando Shooter Was Reportedly a Regular at Pulse and Had a Profile on Gay Dating App
  4. 2016-06-13 Radical homophobia: Orlando is part of a long lineage of attacks on gay bars (via)
  5. 2016-06-13 The Long, Tragic History of Violence at LGBTQ Bars and Clubs in America
  6. 2016-06-13 Terrorism and Lunacy Are Not the Same Thing (via)
  7. 2016-06-14 The Orlando shooting was not a vindication of police militarization (via)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 2016-06-14 Six Questions About the Orlando Massacre
    • #2 draws the obvious connection to religious extremism, but points solely to Islam as the source of such extremism -- despite the majority of domestic terror incidents being perpetrated by extremist Christians. (To be fair, #6 softens this a bit.)
    • #3 tries to obfuscate the need for gun control by emphasizing the (gun-lobby misinterpretation of the) 2nd Amendment and tossing in the idea that maybe gun control advocates are themselves trying to sow dissent.
  9. 2016-06-13 Donald Trump Went Off-Script to Lie About Where the Orlando Shooter Was Born
  10. ...such as the comments here, although better examples will probably come to light shortly
  11. 2016-06-16 SAN DIEGO: Feds Investigate Craigslist Posting Which Threatens Another Orlando-Style Terror Attack (via)