Pushing All of the Buttons

CNN is reporting that there has been a mass shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando:

Orlando, Florida (CNN)Fifty people were killed inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, Orlando Police Chief John Mina and other officials said Sunday morning, just hours after a shooter opened fire in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

At least 53 more people were injured, Mina said. Police have shot and killed the gunman, he told reporters.
“It’s appears he was organized and well-prepared,” the chief said, adding that the shooter had an assault-type weapon, a handgun and “some type of (other) device on him.”

Officials warned that a lengthy investigation was ahead, given the number of victims and the scope of the violence.


The shooter is not from the Orlando area, Mina said. He has been identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, about 120 miles southeast of Orlando, two law enforcement officials tell CNN.
Orlando authorities said they consider the violence an act of domestic terror. The FBI is involved. While investigators are exploring all angles, they “have suggestions the individual has leanings towards (Islamic terrorism), but right now we can’t say definitely,” said Ron Hopper, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Orlando bureau.

It’s being characterized as the worst act of terrorism in the United States since 9/11.

First and foremost my heart goes out to the victims, their friends, and their families. But second I weep for my country. This story pushes all of the buttons. Some will inevitably see this story through the prism of gun control. If only, they will say, we prohibited firearms capable of such destruction.

With equal inevitability some will view this story primarily as Islamist terrorism.

Still others will see it an anti-gay hate crime, as proof positive that immigration in the United States is out of control, as a law enforcement problem, as evidence for concealed carry of firearms, or with any of a thousand other preconceived notions. The Blind Men and the Elephant.

And they’ll all be screaming at each other.

Let’s inhale, mourn the dead, and wait until we know more before drawing any conclusions. And let’s not exploit this situation on behalf of our pet causes.

12 comments… add one
  • Andy Link

    I’ve spent the morning doing a 100% accountability for our employees and reserve members. Not complete yet.

    Unfortunately I think you are right. I made the mistake of reading a few comments at OTB this morning. There will be no restraint and plenty of rushes to judgment fueled by confirmation bias.

  • walt moffett Link

    Indeed, however the need to wait for facts has never deterred any of the keyboard macro set as they seek their climax.

  • steve Link

    Agreed. I made the mistake of reading a few comments on a news blog this morning. Ugh. Those poor families. Also, I don’t know how the medical facilities are coping. I know that just 4 or 5 critical shootings at our trauma center would be a bitch to manage.


  • jan Link

    I think you’re right, that there will be many different takes on this event, dependent on the ideological shtick of the person interpreting it. However, one generalized comment is that in a diverse society such as ours, when you put so many cultural beliefs/standards in a blender they all don’t just mix and become one.

    In the case of Middle Eastern morality, there are direct and open conflicts dealing specifically with gender and what is considered a righteous act versus one that is evil. Until we fully accept this, perhaps even structure our infusion of immigrants allowed into the mix — more slowly — there should be little surprise when there are outbreaks of eastern culture clashes with our vastly more liberal western values.

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