The big news we all woke up to this morning:
A gunman wielding an assault-type rifle and a handgun opened fire inside a crowded gay nightclub early Sunday, killing at least 50 people before dying in a gunfight with SWAT officers, police said. It was the worst mass shooting in American history.
Authorities were investigating the attack on the Florida dance hall as an act of terrorism. The gunman’s father recalled that his son got angry when he recently saw two men kissing in Miami. He said that might be related to the attack.
At least 53 people were hospitalized, most in critical condition, officials said. A surgeon at Orlando Regional Medical Center said the death toll was likely to climb.
Mayor Buddy Dyer said all of the dead were killed with the assault rifle.
President Obama will deliver a statement at 1:30pm, Eastern time, today. About the time I finish typing up this quick post.
Before all the facts are even in, people from all sides are projecting their ideological beliefs onto the motive: Islam is to blame, Islam is a religion of peace, it was mental illness, it was guns, ISIS is responsible, it’s a mass killing, it’s a domestic terror attack, it was LGBT mass murder, it’s radical Islam.
I’ll weigh in with my own speculations and you’re free of course to take them for what they’re worth. We all know how early “facts” and opinions can turn out to be wrong.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN that Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS before attacking an Orlando, Florida gay nightclub and killing 53 people.
cited intelligence sources to say that there “appears to be a link to Islamic radicalism .. some kind of connection to ISIS,” ABC News reported.
According to his parents, seeing gay men kissing angered him. Is this a case of a homophobic mass murderer? Islamist homophobe?
According to his ex-wife about Mateen,
he wasn’t very religious and worked out at the gym often. She said in the few months they were married he gave no signs of having fallen under the sway of radical Islam.
It’s possible that a number of factors came into play here. Disturbed human being. Tribal/ethnic instincts (2nd generation Afghan-American who may feel ethnic and religious ties; and being an apparent registered Democrat, may share the anti-American liberal belief that we invaded a sovereign nation and are terrorizing the Afghan people and are at war with Islam). He may have been influenced by the allure of adventurism and excitement that ISIS offers, moreso than actual religious devotion. He may have contacts with ISIS; or he may have acted upon his own impulses and instincts as a lone wolf, answering ISIS advertisement to jihad in Florida, 3 days ago.
And now, because of all the media attention and sensationalism that will surround this act of terror, because his name is splashed across headlines and every aspect of his life will come under scrutiny and he will garner postmortem fame, you can be assured others will try to top this with copycat attacks, whether motivated by religious fanaticism, mental illness, politics, nationalism, or pure evil.
FA reader thoughts?