Sunday, June 12, 2016

We interrupt this program

Friends and relatives outside Orlando Regional Medical Center waiting for news. Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP.

Again everything has to stop because something has happened so terrible it does not fit into our rational political discourse, a mass shooting at a club in Orlando, Florida, with a death toll so far (writing just after noon) upwards of 50. I'm following updates at The Guardian. The site was a gay club near downtown called Pulse. The shooter, who has been killed by police liberating the hostages he'd taken, was a 29-year-old American of Afghan roots from Fort Pierce, with the (yes, Muslim) name of Omar Mateen. Senator Nelson thought he had been told by the FBI that there was a suspected connection with ISIS, which he later corrected to "radicalism" of some unspecified kind and not necessarily any organization. Imam Muhammad Musri, president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, said:
I call on everybody in the community who has any info to please call the FBI share what you know. I call on my fellow faith leaders, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, whatever faith you follow, please pray for the victims and their families.
It’s supposed to be a beautiful morning but it is already an incredibly heartbreaking morning. It’s like lightning. This person is not likely to be connected to a network. I also want to caution the media from rushing to judgment and sensationalizing the story, we do not want the story to be shifted from the focus where it is.
It’s a horrible tragedy. We are mourning. We are sad. We are heartbroken. It’s not really time for any sensational news and rushing to judgment. As a nation we need to look at this issue of mass shootings, we just had one too many today.
That's the best I can do for now except to add that there is no value in hatred for any community of human beings, whether it is gay people or Muslims or anybody else, and that assault weapons of the type used by the shooter, with their diabolical efficiency, need to be banned.

Cross-posted at No More Mister Nice Blog.

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