First: Rest in peace to all of the innocent victims that had their lives senselessly stolen away from them far too early. What started as a night of celebration and joy, ended in a night of incomprehensible violence and stomach-turning outcomes. While thoughts and prayers can only do so much, No Filter Network extends its sincerest support to the family and friends of all those effected by the massacre in Orlando.
Second: What has transpired in American conversation and life following this devastating and unprecedented act of violence has been not only disappointing, but pretty much soul-crushing. When faced with unarguably the greatest tragedy to occur on American soil since 9-11, the community that is America decided to fight from within rather than rally around a common cause. Americans (on each end and spot on the “political spectrum”) decided to bicker and sling political mud at each other at unprecedented rates and with unprecedented hostility (All while everyone should’ve be rallying together to remember the innocent lives eliminated by a mad man).
Third: The phenomenon described above runs scarily parallel to what went down following the death of Harambe the gorilla. Everyone got super hostile at each other and perfectly exemplified the increased tribalism that has been omnipresent in American society over the past 1.5 years (think Trump fanatics / Bernie die-hards). Despite the extreme disparity in importance of the 2 issues (clearly the events in Orlando are more important than the events at the Cincinnati Zoo), its notable that Americans are increasingly acting in a certain tribalistic way whenever their is an issue that involves serious debate about the well-being of American citizens.
I’m not here to tell you what to think. I’m not here to lecture you on what moralities / ethical values are more important than others.
HOW-EVAH: Here are my two “majah key” takeaways from the tragedy in Orlando that I hope many Americans will consider.
#1) The incident that took place at PULSE in Orlando this weekend was a disgusting, abhorrent, full-fledged hate crime. The killer, Omar Mateen, specifically targeted and attacked the PULSE in part because it was a known “Gay Club”. When deciding to kill as many innocent Americans as possible, Mateen thought it was best to kill innocent people at a venue that most likely held more homosexual people than the average location. It would be a severe shame and disservice to millions of Americans if citizens and public officials did not treat this as a crime against the homosexual demographic. Can our politicians (from each side) please cease the hostile divisiveness that everyone speaks with, in order to hopefully not incite any mentally unstable psychopaths into illogical action?
#2) The incident that took place at PULSE in Orlando this weekend was the most deadly domestic terrorist attack to occur on US soil since September 11th, 2011. The terrorist attack was performed by an Islamic terrorist who had previously pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS). It would be a mistake and significant disservice to the safety of American citizens and homeland security itself if political leaders chose to treat this as simply “another mass shooting” (which is not meant to decrease the severity or horridness of mass shootings). This type of apologetic protection kept the White House from declaring the terrorist attacks of San Bernardino as a actual terror attack for over 48 hours. While we do not know 100% the degree to which Mateen was a lone wolf or specifically instructed by ISIS abroad, it is vital that American concentrate on the fact that this was a terrorist attack performed by an individual that pledged allegiance to an organization that is in a state of war against the United States of America. With San Bernardino and now Orlando, Americans should be very cognizant of the fact that the prevailing Islamic terrorist attacks that have plagued Israel for years, and Europe relatively recently, are now part of American everyday life. If America, citizens and politicians alike, do not act accordingly, we will unfortunately all experience more of these tragic incidents going forward.
Yes, guns need to be controlled. Yes, America needs to keep guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people. Yes, the US Government needs to continue to protect the constitutional rights that America’s Founding Father’s established.
But let us take some time to focus on the real problems that American needs to address going forward.