Sunday, June 12, 2016

What Orlando shooting means

Worst mass shooting in the history of the United States. Fifty killed and scores wounded, many critically.

The victims were in an LGBT nightclub Pulse. The killer also swore his allegiance to Islamic State, in a call to 911.

Thus this is a homophic, terror attack. First time we are seeing one like this.

Since the killer has been killed we don't know what exactly his motive was. He has been identified as Omar Mateen, an American citizen of Afghan origin. It is no-brainer to figure out in which direction the needle of suspicion would point.

The fact that the target was an LGBT congregation makes one suspect if the killer was homophobic. In fact, CNN is now quoting sources to say that the family of Omar told police that he had anti-gay feelings.

Since this single shooter opened fire on an LGBT club, it also raises doubts their security. Freedom to be oneself, and to live and let live, also seems to be under threat.

Security sources are saying that the killer has been on an FBI list of IS sympathizers. But apparently there wasn't anything to indicate that he was about to commit such a crime.

If the terrorist connection is established, there will be a whole lot questions asked. If he was on a watch list, why did he go unmonitored?

But having said that it's also practically impossible to keep a 24/7 watch on a huge number of people who could be on such lists.

Apparently the killer called 911 during the attack and said he has been inspired by IS. CNN also says he referred to Boston bombers.

The terror link also gives an implication that this is an attack on American homeland and an attack on the values that Americans cherish.

There will also be questions raised on the ease with which people, especially those with suspect credentials, can obtain deadly arms. Once again there will be a debate about the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution that gives right to carry arms.

This being the second worst terror attack after 9/11, one can expect some tough restrictions coming into a liberal and tolerant American civic life.

Someone said the killer could have been inspired by radical ideology. If that is true, we should seriously introspect as why such radical messages are finding followers. And we have seen that some of the people getting swayed are people who are financially well off and also who are well educated. Really something is wrong somewhere.


  1. Very tragic. Loss of so many human lives. What Orlando shooting means? Whether we like it or not, it means more votes for Donald Trump.

    1. Trump has already blamed the American leadership. He even fears more such attacks. In an election year, this is going to take more political hue than normally it would. On the face of it, like you said, Trump might get some votes.

  2. My big issue and question about this shooting, is that because the guy has aledged ties to IS or claimed to be a partisan, it suddenly becomes a Terrorist act.

    When a Christian nut job commits a mass shooting and he has Christian radical view, that detail gets swept under the rug and the shooter is just pronounced "mentally unstable".

    To me you have to be mentally unstable to commit such act, having deep religious feelings or not. And religion should never come as a reason why such atrocities are committed anyway. The Orlando shooter clearly wasn't a very pious and observant Muslim, we all know good Muslims observe Ramadan at this time and this include not even thinking negative and impure thoughts.

    The real question is as you pointed out, the one that touch the dreaded 2nd Amendment and its interpretation (what constitute a Militia nowadays?) And why oh why the right to bear arm as a civilian include army grade weaponry? And more importantly, why Americans seem to still not make the connection between easy availability of firearms and increased number of mass shooting and death?

    1. Fully agree with you, Cynthia. I think people do see the connection, between the easy availability of guns and killings. But what is holding up any reform is the huge gun lobby, I guess.