First of all, just like on Facebook, I should note that I’m safe. I was not in a downtown Orlando gay club at 2:00 am this weekend. Shocking I know but I was actually in bed asleep, so it was jarring to wake up on Sunday and discover that that my local Central Florida news was the center of a national, actually international; story.
And it’s a particularly horrific one. Depending on how you count it, the Pulse Nightclub shooting was either the 3rd deadliest terrorist event on US soil or the worst mass shooting. Apparently how you count it very much depends on your political leanings. As a divided country, I suppose it’s only natural that events like these get pulled out of their factual moorings to be used as an ideological talking point.
Having gotten so used to that exact thing in the now routine terrorist attacks that plague the West, I was curious how the quickly the talking points would be developed, and what they would be. But first, the media reaction:
As I’ve noted previously, the media has to go through it’s own version of the 5 stages of grief so they can first deny, then soften the blow that terrorism is actually terrorism; particularly if they can attempt to pin the crime on someone else. In fact I was joking yesterday that the headlines on American papers will say something like, “White Homophobic Gun Owner Slaughters Innocents.” I came pretty close with this Florida Today headline, “Co-worker: Omar Mateen homophobic, ‘unhinged.’” Some days the jokes just write themselves, and some days they’re written by newspaper editors.
But back to the talking points; based on following the political forums and cable news, the real issue is not of course, radical Islam, it’s guns and religion. I should say, by religion, they are not talking about Islam, they are talking about religion in general. After all, a Christian is a Muslim is a Buddhist is a Mormon…only wait, they are talking about a specific religion! Good old Christianity! The real root of Islamic terrorism! As this ACLU attorney tweeted:
Besides Christians, let’s not forget guns. Listening to Morning Joe this morning, they actually took a break from calling Trump a racist to mention that some guns were involved in a nightclub slaughter. Yes, just the guns. The gun argument is so overplayed that it’s hard for even gun control advocates to try to make it the solution to this crisis. But still they try…
It’s too bad that the battle is over talking points rather than the real root of the problem; Islamic terror. I honestly thought that 9/11 was a big enough tragedy to wake the country up, but it looks like we’re a few dirty bombs short of paying attention to our real terror problem, and I’m not sure even that would be enough, which dooms us to more and more of these incidents in the future.