Are The Orlando Gay Club Shootings About You, Or Should You STFU? A Wonksplainer

Candlelight vigil in Memphis. (Pic stolen shamelessly from one of our Facebook friends.)

These are the basic facts about the attack on the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, the worst mass shooting in modern American history: In the wee hours of Sunday morning, a 29-year-old man named Omar Mateen arrived at Pulse, murdered 49 people and injured 53 others. After a long standoff, police killed Mateen, bringing the total body count to 50.

In the United States, every time one of these mass shooting events happens, there is a rush to stick labels on what has occurred. Was it a Muslim? FUCK YEAH, IT'S RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM, BOY HOWDY YEE HAW BOMB THE FUCK OUTTA THEM! Did the shooter (if he was a white non-Muslim) have mental health problems? Then we need to have a larger conversation about mental health! Was it a hate crime? Did the mass shooting involve guns, and thus, maybe we should have a larger conversation about the role of guns in our society? (NO, silly, the guns are never to blame!)

Can't it be all of these, or elements of all of these? (Minus the bombing the fuck outta them part, because Omar Mateen was a United States citizen, born in New York. Who are we supposed to bomb?) Can we not be mature, grown-ass adults, capable of acknowledging that a lot of things were at play here? The following is known about the shooter:

  • He "pledged allegiance" to ISIS.
  • He was enraged by the sight of men kissing.
  • His ex-wife is pretty sure he was mentally deranged in some way, and states that he was abusive.
  • He bought his weapons legally.
  • His home in Fort Pierce, Florida, is 120 miles from Orlando, and he rented a van to commit his crimes, which suggests he planned them carefully, and that he specifically targeted Pulse. Wonder why?

There is a lot going on here! ISIS-loving Muslim murders people. Social conservative murders LGBT people. Mentally disturbed man exercises his goddamned Second Amendment Rights. What are we supposed to even say?

[wonkbar]<a href=""></a>[/wonkbar]Folks like Donald Trump know what to say! They know we are congratulating them for how fuckin' right they were about the Radical Islamics, and they're ready to Make America Great Again by banning some Muslims!

Other Republicans know what to say! They know we should all bow our heads in prayer for the victims of this senseless attack, but none of them see fit to mention who those victims were, or that Republicans have fought like hell for decades to deny basic rights to those very victims. Here, have a couple tweets:

Fucking can it. Nobody wants to hear it. Because even if this shooter "pledged allegiance to ISIS," the fact that he was US American, homegrown, born and bred, and that he hated gays, means he had just as much in fucking common with Mike Huckabee and Tom Cotton (not to mention American Family Association hate-freak types like Bryan Fischer) as he does with a terrorist organization thousands of miles away.

Did any of those assholes attend candlelight vigils around the nation Sunday night, crying because their people, their family were attacked? Did any of those fuckstains feel like they had been sucker punched, because this attack occurred in a gay club, which, for many LGBT Americans, was the first place they ever felt safe? We think not.

[wonkbar]<a href=""></a>[/wonkbar]Not only have folks like Mike Huckabee fought against the very dignity of the LGBT community, do you remember the part about how it was "Latin" night at Pulse? Have you noticed how many Latino names are on the list of victims?

Men like Donald Trump have been raging against immigration, legal and illegal, telling us that Mexico is sending us rapists, telling us that we need to break up families to SEND THOSE MEXICANS BACK where they came from, even if "where they came from" is the United States, just like it was for the shooter.

A Muslim murders LGBT people, many of whom were Latino. Pardon us, but isn't that just "Bingo!" and "Yahtzee!" for white American conservative types?

This horrific attack is about a lot of things, and the details will be sussed out as we learn them. But in the big picture, it was about one man's vicious hate against the LGBT community, a man who had been investigated by the FBI, but yet was able to easily buy whatever guns he wanted, so he could go murder some faggots.

Our headline asks who this is about, and that's open for discussion, but we know who this is not about. If you've spent your Good Christian American life attacking LGBT people, the community Mateen attacked, from pulpits, radio airwaves or the halls of government, then you are part of the problem, and you need to shut your fucking mouth.

And if you don't care enough about 49 dead bodies lying on the floor of the Pulse nightclub (or the bodies of the many other mass shooting victims in America every year) to have a mature conversation about how maybe people don't need motherfucking AR-15's, then you are part of that problem as well, and you, again, should shut your fucking mouth.

And that is what we think about that.


Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

Follow him on Twitter RIGHT HERE.


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