To Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden, as well as other leaders of the Democratic Party and even the mainstream media, the massacre in Orlando on Sunday was a hate crime perpetrated by a deranged madman who was heavily armed because of America’s lax gun laws.
To Democrats, the attack had nothing to do with radical Islam — and everything to do with persecution of gays and easy access to guns.
Never mind that the mass murderer, whose family came from Afghanistan, called 911 minutes before the attack and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Forget that the carnage came in the holy month of Ramadan, observed by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. And ignore the fact that the Islamic State’s Amaq news agency said on Sunday that the Islamist militant group was responsible for the bloodbath.
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To Democrats, the attack had nothing to do with radical Islam — and everything to do with persecution of gays and easy access to guns. To Republicans, including Donald Trump, the butchery came from a single source: radical Islamic terrorism. In fact, it is that ideology — with its intolerance, its brutal treatment of women, its murderous campaign against homosexuals — that led the killer to attack a gay nightclub in Orlando.
Obama, in a five-minute speech at the White House, never mentioned Islam — despite a plethora of news reports detailing the shooter’s deep ties to the religion — saying “what is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred.” Then he made a case for imposing stricter regulations on gun ownership.
“The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle,” the president said. “This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub.”
“And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be,” Obama added. “And to actively do nothing is a decision as well.”
But that has been Obama’s MO since he took office. In 2009, when a devout Muslim in the U.S. Army murdered 13 at Fort Hood in Texas, Obama dismissed the case as nothing more than workplace violence. When a devout Sunni Muslim, whose parents moved to the U.S. from Pakistan, and his wife slaughtered 14 people in San Bernardino, California, last year, Obama said the pair had embraced “a perverted interpretation of Islam.”
Meanwhile, Clinton, who hopes to succeed Obama in the White House, was also unable on Sunday to utter the words “radical Islamic terrorism.” After America’s most deadly shooting in history — committed by a devout and radicalized Muslim who pledged allegiance to ISIS — Clinton said the Orlando slayings were a “hate” attack on lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders. And she used her statement to solicit support from the LGBT community.
“The gunman attacked an LGBT nightclub during Pride Month. To the LGBT community: Please know that you have millions of allies across our country. I am one of them. We will keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly, and without fear. Hate has absolutely no place in America,” she said. No mention of Islam — radicalized or otherwise — although she did say America and its allies need “to go after them wherever they are,” whoever “they” are.
What Clinton most blamed for the attack that left at least 50 people dead and scores wounded was guns. “It reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets,” she said.
But Trump, who is battling Clinton for the White House, derided the standard Democratic line, mocking Obama for his inability to utter those three little words. “Is President Obama going to finally mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism?’ If he doesn’t, he should immediately resign in disgrace!”
Other Republicans, too, said America needs to focus on the true threat. If radical Islam led to the attack, said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, then “common sense tells you he specifically targeted the gay community because of the views that exist in the radical Islamic community with regard to the gay community.”
“I think it’s something we’ll have to talk about some more here, across the country,” Rubio said.
“Common sense tells you he specifically targeted the gay community because of the views that exist in the radical Islamic community with regard to the gay community.”
Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, said much the same. “We must remain steadfast in our commitment as a nation to acknowledge the threats we face and do everything we can to root out terror.”
The shooter, Omar Mateen, 29, had been known to the FBI — the agency interviewed him at least three times — as a suspected supporter of ISIS since at least 2013. He entered the Pulse nightclub, which calls itself Orlando’s “hottest gay bar,” with an AR-15 and a handgun, firing for up to three hours before police stormed the building and killed him.
But Mateen, whose parents are Afghani, had a state-issued concealed carry license and a security officer license, according to news reports.
That led Democrats to demand further gun control measures. “Congress has become complicit in these murders by its total, unconscionable deafening silence,” said Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
“This phenomenon of near-constant mass shootings happens only in America — nowhere else,” he said. “This doesn’t have to happen, but this epidemic will continue without end if Congress continues to sit on its hands and do nothing — again.”
The shooting began at around 2 a.m. at the Pulse nightclub. Mateen entered the premises with an assault-type weapon, a handgun and “some type of [other] device on him,” according to Orlando Police Chief John Mina. At least 50 people were killed and 53 injured in the early morning hours. Mateen himself was shot and killed by police officers in a shootout.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders also wasted no time before calling for more gun control measures.
“I gotta tell you, over 25 years ago, I believed that in this country we should not be selling automatic weapons, which are designed to kill people,” Sanders said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “We have got to do everything that we can on top of that to make sure that guns do not fall into the hands of people who should not have them — criminals, people who are mentally ill. So that struggle continues.”
But on radical Islam — which is the root of why Mateen murdered 49 people — Sanders said nothing.
The Washington Post joined in and, apparently, it’s not the news organization it used to be under the ownership of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. At 6:13 p.m., hours after Mateen’s ties to ISIS were known, the paper wrote, “It is not entirely clear what inspired” him to murder.
The paper did, however, offer a column in which the writer said “the key things to know about guns and mass shootings in America,” noted that “shooting sprees are not rare in the United States,” and asserting that “America is an unusually violent country.”
But Trump said the real issue is terrorism.
“If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore. Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen — and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can’t afford to be politically correct anymore.”
And he explained the cause of Sunday’s massacre — not hatred of gays, not access to guns — but terrorism.
“We need to protect all Americans, of all backgrounds and all beliefs, from radical Islamic terrorism — which has no place in an open and tolerant society. Radical Islam advocates hate for women, gays, Jews, Christians, and all Americans. I am going to be a president for all Americans, and I am going to protect and defend all Americans. We are going to make America safe again and great again for everyone,” Trump said.