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Orlando shootings a tragedy, and should not be treated with bilateral politicizing

“Just like the aftermath of every other mass shooting in the States, the debate about gun control rages with all the dignity of a rabid dog, frothing at the mouth. The United States, and much of the world, have had this discussion over, and over, and over again. The world reels in mourning for one of the worst hate crimes ever committed, and then you have people talking about gun rights, again.”

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By Glen Ess (The Cascade) – Email

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Just like the aftermath of every other mass shooting in the States, the debate about gun control rages with all the dignity of a rabid dog, frothing at the mouth. The United States, and much of the world, have had this discussion over, and over, and over again. The world reels in mourning for one of the worst hate crimes ever committed, and then you have people talking about gun rights, again.

They really should have figured this out by now.

But the Orlando shootings are not only a pro- versus anti-gun debate; they have also incited debate about Islamophobia. The gunman, of Afghan descent, is reported to have sworn allegiance to ISIS. Naturally this became a huge factor in all the rhetoric tossed around. In the world we live in today, how could it not be?

It shouldn’t be.

We live in a world possessed by fanaticism. We have to listen to people constantly painting issues as “Us vs Them,” and howling about their own rightness and the inherent, utter wrongness of their opponents. We live in a world where one looney-bin idiot can claim to speak for an entire religion, an entire country, an entire group of people. That looney-bin idiot can then attack another group of people, wounding them, their family, and many, many others.

Let’s not turn this into yet another “Islam hates X” debate, because so far, despite claiming to be working for ISIS, investigations into the perpetrator haven’t made those connections factual. Hell, ISIS hasn’t claimed the guy, and ISIS are, to be completely honest, a bunch of assholes who love to hate everyone.

It’s a good thing everyone — and by everyone I mean anyone with half a brain — hates ISIS. Muslims, Christians, Arabs, and Americans: practically nobody is on ISIS’s side. Disavowed by the majority of the Islamic world, hated by the very people they claim to be fighting for, and being absolutely trashed by everybody else: that’s what ISIS have to deal with, and that’s what the Orlando gunman will have to face.

So please, when we discuss this latest tragedy, let’s do so with empathy. Let’s not start making sweeping statements about entire peoples. We can all agree that individuals, like the gunman, can be vile. Members of the LGBTQ+ community, Muslims, pro-gun, anti-gun, whoever — we’re all shocked, we’re all in mourning. We need to help one another, we need to listen, and we need to care for one another, no matter what our differences are.

That’s how it should be.

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