Following the tragic shooting in an Orlando, Florida nightclub, authorities had determined that the shooter was, in fact, a self-indoctrinated radical Islamic terrorist. Even after these facts had been released, politicians on the left were struggling with using the words “Islamic terrorist,” or “radical Muslim terrorism,” or other such terminology.
It’s puzzling how people think that ignoring facts or avoiding the use of certain words somehow makes the issue less true. Hillary Clinton and President Obama spent most of the airtime at the podium trying to redirect the discussion away from the fact that the shooter was a homophobic Islamic radical to instead focus on what kind of weapon he used to carry out his atrocity.
While it’s true he may have killed fewer people had he been restricted to a handgun or something less than a military-grade machine gun, but he’d still have killed people. He was determined to do so and would have carried out his plan regardless of how he did it.
He may have even resorted to bombing the nightclub rather than bothering with a gun. In any case, speculation on this point is nauseating – he was going to kill and he’d have found a way, regardless of the weapon. That is, unless the liberals are planning on outlawing pressure cookers and nails as well? Criminals will get whatever firearms they want, the same way they obtain any other contraband.
But back to the point, ignoring the intentions of this crazed murderer and the ideology with which he chose to ally himself is just madness. Anyone who thinks that limiting access to automatic weapons from people like this will stop them is just ignorant and pretending he wasn’t an Islamic radical is even more ridiculous.
If the worry is that by stating a fact you’re going to offend someone, then why is no one worried about offending law-abiding, gun-owning Christians? Most Muslims, like the majority of Christians and Jews, are peace loving, honorable people. Calling the shooter’s ideologies what they were is not offensive; it’s stating a fact.
At the same time, while Hillary and the liberal left are avoiding telling the truth about this kind of tragedy, presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is going to the far right in the other direction. Let me be clear on my opinion: I think Trump is a racist moron.
His rhetoric insights hatred and anger and can push otherwise peaceful people to violence. His idiotic hate speak has offended pretty much everyone, even within his own party. Any American Muslim, Hispanic, Jew, or African American or any other minority who votes for him needs to have counseling.
His intensions are to push back a half century of civil rights progress and limit even the media’s ability to keep him aboveboard.
That said Trump is correct about one thing. Identifying Muslim extremism is not offensive. Simply avoiding the words won’t make it go away or imply somehow that this horrible act was not terrorism carried out by an Islamic radical when all the facts are to the contrary.
The liberal left’s avoidance of the words reminds me of how some people whisper when speaking about a disease or other unpleasantness. You know, like when someone whispers the word, “cancer,” as if to keep it from God’s ears or so it will make a diagnosis any less true. It won’t.
Americans should try to remember that extremism isn’t limited to Muslims. There have always been Christian radicals as well. I guess no one likes to think about the Crusades, when Christian armies sanctioned by the Pope butchered pretty much anyone who didn’t follow their ideology.
More recently, many Christian extremists spent the 1960s lynching blacks in the south, burning crosses or bombing African American churches. But the radical right generally ignores these events while painting all Muslims as terrorists.
In the end, the Orlando shooting was a horrible tragedy perpetrated by a self-indoctrinated Muslim radical. Changing the words doesn’t bring back the dead or alter the outcome. And there will be other events on American soil, and they will be tragic as well, regardless of the weapon. We will mourn. But we will never concede.
Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. More at deerinheadlines.com