Sunday, June 12, 2016

Waking Up To Troubling News In Orlando

There's been another shooting.

A gunman attacked an Orlando nightclub - about a 90-minute drive away - between 2 to 5 am this Saturday night. Called the Pulse, it was a place that was hosting around 230 people, a busy night...

So far, 20 people dead at least. The gunman was killed when the police determined the situation was going to get worse. There are tens more people at the local hospitals with serious injuries.

The gunman had at least one assault rifle, one handgun, and reportedly an explosive device - a bomb vest? - which is making the authorities think it's a terror attack. There's still a lot they don't know, so this is all conjecture until they can find more evidence.

This is horrifying. Hundreds of people gathered for a night of celebrating, sharing with friends, getting out and feeling alive... and some of them aren't alive anymore. Many of them coming back are stunned, scarred...

All because of an angry guy with guns. Regardless his motivation, his politics, his religion... it takes rage to make a person do this, to strike out with an act of violence on this scale.

We just had another tragic shooting in Orlando the day before. A singer, a minor celebrity - a popular contestant from the TV show "The Voice", Christina Grimmie - was shot by a stalker who hunted her across the state (edited for earlier factual errors, I originally listed him as an ex, my bad) while she was giving autographs.

The two shootings are unrelated. It's not like Grimmie's shooter knew the guy who shot up the Pulse. But they're practically the same because they echo each other: Angry Guy + Easy Access to Guns = Shootings.

Doesn't matter if each shooting left one dead or tenscore dead, the result is the same. People who were alive a minute ago are dead now. All because of anger. All because someone had access to firearms and wanted to play Death God to satisfy their rage.

Update: I'm finding out the nightclub is a well-known LGBT hangout, and there's something on Twitter about it being "Latin night", which sounds like a mixture of some of the more inflammatory culture war issues bouncing around our election cycle right now. Dammit.

Update 2:40 PM: The latest is that the number of dead went up - the injured not surviving their wounds - to 50 as of now, which officially makes this the worst mass shooting in American history.

Worse than Columbine. Worse than Virginia Tech. Worse than Sandy Hook. Worse than 100,000 other mass shootings we have in this nation because a small minority of gun owners prefer worshiping death over the safety of millions.

Dear God.

Update 3:05 PM: President Obama's remarks.

I am not about to add a link to anything Donald Trump has to say about it. His Twitter feed has him crowing about this.


Infidel753 said...

One must always be wary of early reports in a case like this, but according to some, the shooter may have been an Islamist. If so, given that it was a gay club, that would pretty well establish the motive.

dinthebeast said...

I just watched president Obama's statement about it, and while it was a good statement (if a little heavy on the religion), he looked beat down over it. I did learn that it was apparently more than just a nightclub, it is sort of a gathering place for LGBT advocates. This is awful every way you look at it.

-Doug in Oakland

Pinku-Sensei said...

Also, CNN reports KABC: West Hollywood suspect in custody had arsenal, camouflage outfit. Officially, there is no connection to the attack in Orlando.

Paul Wartenberg said...

the Orlando nightclub was hosting a "Latin night" and there is an LA Pride parade scheduled for today. There's a thing about current gay happenings, isn't t... (checks Wiki)... we're coming up on the Stonewall Riots anniversary, this must be Gay Pride Month (rechecks) It is Gay Pride Month.

There is a connection between LA and Orlando, Pinku-Sensei. There will always be a connection between any mass shooting or threat of one. Bigotry and hate make up the connection. It's just a question of how stupid, how spiteful that bigotry is going to be.

dinthebeast said...

Turns out the shooter was born in New York, son of Afghan immigrants, but was "Americanized" and not especially religious. Oh yeah, and he was crazy. According to his ex-wife, he was unstable and prone to fits, during which he sometimes beat her. She also said that he badly wanted to be a cop, hung out with cops, and went to the shooting range with them. It was also noted that A) the FBI was aware of him, and B) he purchased the guns he used in the last few days.
So now we're left to do the American dance, and we all know our parts. Can we perhaps learn a different one some day? This one's getting hella old.

-Doug in Oakland

Ahab said...

I'm heartsick. So many lives lost, all because of one man's hatred and extremist beliefs.