Monday, June 13, 2016

Bigotry And Gun-Stupidity Are To Blame For Orlando Deaths

(This photo, from Univision Florida Central, was found at

Fifty people are dead, and another 53 are wounded in Orlando, after a religious bigot attacked a LGBT night club with weapons he should not have had. It looks like he was an ISIS sympathizer, and Republicans are already trying to point fingers at the Middle East -- trying to escape the blame. And right-wing christians are doing the same. Both are wrong.

This was not a political act -- an act of terrorism aimed at the United States in general. It was an act of religious bigotry, aimed specifically at the LGBT community -- a community that has harmed no one, and just wants to enjoy the same rights that all other Americans have. And while this shooter was a muslim extremist, I think it could easily have been done by a christian extremist.

Both islam and christianity preach the same kind of bigoted hatred toward the LGBT community -- at least the right-wing extremists in both religions do.And those religious extremists of both religions think they are doing "god's will" when they kill other human beings.

But those religious bigots must share some of the blame for these kind of murders -- with the Republican Party. Sadly this party has made hatred for some Americans a part of their platform. They consider discrimination to not only be a religious act, but a political act that "patriots" engage in. They have even nominated a bigot to lead their party this year.

But religious and political bigotry are not completely to blame. Their is also the political stupidity and cowardice regarding guns from members of both political parties. About 80% to 90% of the American people want a requirement for a background check before any gun can be bought in this country, and a smaller (but still clear) majority would like to see a ban on the sale or possession of assault weapons. Both of those proposals should be law by now, but Congress (because they are scared of the NRA or have been bought by them) has refused to act on them.

While this shooting was especially tragic, it does not stand alone. We average more than one mass shooting (where four or more people are shot) every day in this country, and more than 30,000 people are killed with guns every year in the U.S. That is inexcusable, because it is something that could be prevented. No other civilized country has this problem.

Isn't it time that decent people stood up and demanded that bigotry (of all kinds, including religious bigotry) be quashed, and reasonable gun laws (that don't violate the Second Amendment) be passed?


In case some of you didn't believe that the same kind of murderous hate could be carried out by a white christian extremist, let me direct your attention to Santa Monica (California). Police officers in that city arrested a man who had three assault weapons and numerous ammunition magazines only hours after the Orlando shooting. The man, James Howell (pictured), admitted he was planning to attack the Gay Pride parade in West Hollywood.

Bigoted "hate" terrorists are not exclusively muslim. They come in all colors and all religions. Anytime a race, religion, or political party teaches hate, there will be extremists ready to murder innocent people in the name of that hate. Why is that so hard to understand?

Discrimination, even in the name of religion, breeds violence. It really is that simple.

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