We don’t yet know all the facts about this terrible tragedy, but it doesn’t even matter. Everyone already knows enough to loudly proclaim their long held beliefs about these very familiar and very incendiary issues. We will just dig our heels further in to our positions when confronted with the opposing view that we already know we are going to hear. So let me just briefly say what someone will eventually say, that will change nobody’s mind and effect no legislation. After reading this, you can move on from all the other social media commentary, talking heads on TV, and political spin from Presidential Candidates trying to score a few points with voters so you can return to just reading facts. Cold, boring, unsensational, but critical facts.
The first thing that almost everyone will say is something along the lines of, “My heart breaks for Orlando and the families of the victims killed in this senseless act of violence. My thoughts and prayers go out to them.” These words are genuine and sincere given the enormity of having to psychologically digest the worst massacre in US history. Unfortunately, because of our broken human nature, the personal agendas immediately follow. The second thing they will say will depend on what crowd they identify with. So here we go…
The Anti-Gun Crowd: “There is no reason for anyone to own an assault rifle! This would have never happened if we had better gun control laws!” (Cites examples of countries with strict gun laws and low gun violence rates)
The Pro-Gun Crowd: “Guns don’t kill people! Criminals kill people! Criminals don’t follow laws! The only thing that would have stopped this would have been to have more legally and responsibly armed citizens.” (Cites examples of cities in America with strict gun laws and high gun violence rates)
The LGBT Crowd: “This is clearly a hate crime perpetrated against the LGBT community, reflective of the violence and oppression we have endured for far too long. Shame on everyone for not accepting us.”
The Xenophobic Crowd: “Another Muslim just killed a bunch of people and our overly PC politicians are afraid to call it terrorism! Build a wall! Lock down the border! Arm yourselves! Buy bacon! Burn down all the Mosques!”
The ALCU: “Islam is a peaceful religion. This knee-jerk racist response is the cause of all these problems. The shooter was an American citizen, clearly pushed to his limit by all the hatred toward Muslims he has felt in this country lately.”
The Dangerously Patriotic War Mongers: “Nobody fucks with America like this! We need to bomb somebody! We are at WAR!!”
The Anti-War Crowd: “War is not the answer! Violence only begets more violence! It’s the unjust war in Afghanistan that caused this!”
The Offensively Religious Crowd: “This is a display of God’s wrath against the abomination of homosexuality.”
The ‘Everything is Obama’s fault’ Republican Crowd: “Thanks Obama for your weak ass liberal policies that allowed this to happen.”
The ‘Everything is Bush’s fault’ Democrat Crowd: “Thanks Bush for you destabilizing the Middle-East which allowed this to happen.”
Now that you have basically read every opinion that will come out of this, you can absolve yourself of reading more opinion pieces about it or joining a useless argument on Facebook with some guy you knew in high school. You may resume more useful activities like simply concerning yourself with the facts. You are welcome for all the time I just saved you.