America is a wonderful melting pot, where lunatics, miscreants, and sadists of all religions & creeds can all come together at the gun store
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) June 12, 2016
Where Trump was born (red) versus where the Orlando shooter was born (blue). pic.twitter.com/a564arL0PX
— Philip Bump (@pbump) June 13, 2016
Charles P. Pierce, in Esquire:
…[B]efore we start talking about banning anyone from a Muslim country, or even before we wring our hands again about how easy it is to get your hands on an AR-15, a weapon that is built for, and exists only, to kill people in this country, we should all accept that, for all the advancements that have been made in ensuring equal rights for our fellow citizens who are gay, there is still a kind of virulent hate that we can see in its more polite forms in our legislatures and some of our courtrooms, and now we can see it in its most raw and unreconstructed form in our nightclubs.
The events in Orlando do nothing more than demolish our most treasured illusions about ourselves and our country and—most trivially—our politics. How many of the congresscritters now sending “thoughts and prayers” to the victims in Orlando, and to their families, spent a lot of time in their day jobs making the everyday lives of those victims more miserable than they had to be? There’s still an audience for clean-shaven, well-tailored bigotry of all faiths.
Yes, it appears that Mateen might have come to his violence through his religion, which will make him no different from practically any homophobe—including, I would point out, Eric Rudolph, who bombed the Atlanta Olympics. Allegedly, shortly before he opened fire, he called the local 911 operator and “pledged allegiance” (whatever that means to a guy walking into a club intending to slaughter 50 people) to ISIL, which has claimed responsibility, which is what it would do, under the circumstances.
The FBI also revealed Sunday afternoon that it had interviewed Mateen twice since 2013. After the FBI had delivered this news, an ATF official on the scene then explained why Mateen was still able to go into some gun store in Florida and buy a handgun and an AR-15 even though the FBI had talked to him twice in the past three years about his possible connection with alleged terrorists. The ATF’s answer, which I am admittedly paraphrasing here, is that this is America, and that’s how that goes.
It is never innocence which gets lost in these episodes. It’s illusions…
Real Q for journos: when was the last mass shooting where the shooter did not have a history of domestic violence? Write that piece.
— Robyn Swirling (@RSwirling) June 12, 2016
A guy who praises both ISIS and Hezbollah – groups in conflict vs each other – is not an adherent to either. Hate seeking a political excuse
— Al Giordano (@AlGiordano) June 13, 2016
This whole "guns are just a tool" argument would be so much more persuasive if 50 people were just killed with a fucking carpenter's angle.
— (((I Hate Nazis))) (@Johngcole) June 12, 2016
If you use a weapon that shoots 40 bullets a minute to hunt, you probably eat a lot of microwave burritos because you suck as a hunter
— TBogg (@tbogg) June 12, 2016
Brendan I. Koerner, in Wired:
… [A]s of now there is no evidence ISIS knew of the shooter or the attack beforehand. And the history of ISIS-related attacks in the US suggests that much about the Orlando tragedy will always perplex, no matter how much we delve into Mateen’s past or his hard drives. That is because when Americans perpetrate violence in the name of the Islamic State, they tend not to be strict adherents of the organization’s ideology, but rather disturbed individuals who hope to layer a political façade atop their personal grievances—grievances sometimes known only to themselves.
These people elect to wrap themselves in the Islamic State’s brand because of its unparalleled notoriety, an image that the group has cultivated through a sophisticated propaganda campaign that has taken advantage of social media’s power and pervasiveness. As I wrote earlier this year, the Islamic State’s media operation is focused not just on luring recruits to emigrate to the “caliphate,” but also on tapping into the psyches of twisted souls searching for meaning…
…[T]hese lone-wolf actors—terrorists like Mateen—have a historical precedent: The American airplane hijackers of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It’s easy to forget, but “skyjackers” commandeered nearly 160 commercial planes before metal detectors and X-ray machines became ubiquitous in airports. Many of these hijackers claimed to be acting on behalf of militant groups when they seized flights and demanded passage to Cuba or seven-figure ransoms.
Yet few had bona fide ties to those groups; they were, instead, people whose worldviews had been warped by personal crises, from run-ins with the law to romantic disappointments. In their darkest hours, they encountered play-by-play media coverage of other hijackings, which often dominated the evening news, and glimpsed a dramatic solution to their problems—a way to indulge their narcissism by becoming what America professed to fear most.
Once the airlines’ resistance to tighter security melted away, the hijacking epidemic was rather easy to curtail. That will not be the case with the open source system that the Islamic State has created, which will be studied and replicated by the organization’s inevitable successors…
The Islamic State wants us to question our commitment to pluralism, to make us view it as a vulnerability rather than a strength. Its greatest dream is that we turn against Muslims and Islam right now. In being vigilant about avoiding that well-laid trap, we can demonstrate why our vision for society is the one that offers the world a true way forward…
— Raw Story (@RawStory) June 12, 2016
Chuck Toad, the Peter Principle made flesh.