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Guns + Hate = Death
Author: BobR    Date: 06/15/2016 13:17:41

The horrific mass shooting in Orlando has once again ripped the scab from the nation's wounded psyche, a festering bullet hole never healed from Sandy Hook, when innocent children were slaughtered like sacrificial lambs on the altar of America's sacred idol - the gun. When I wrote about America's romance with firearms, it was the hope at the time that something would be finally be done about our country's sick infatuation with lethal firepower. That hope was in vain, as someone said recently: "If the mass shooting of elementary school children didn't change anything, then there's no hope for change after a bunch of gay Hispanics are murdered".

The reality is that what used to be an outlier is now becoming a norm. Conservatives are tripping over themselves to label this an "islamic terrorist attack", when all signs point to it being a hate crime against gays. The murderer's father has railed against gays. An Islamic "scholar" has proclaimed it is the government's duty to put gays to death. How does one who is secretly gay and trying to deny his own self deal with this? Time and time again, those who are most vociferously anti-gay turn out to be self-hating gays themselves. In this case, the attacker decided to commit suicide by cop, and take out as many fellow gays as he could, and hide his true motive by claiming allegiance to ISIS.

Whether the ISIS claim is valid, it's very clear he was striking out against that which he hated within himself. Even if he had some ties with them, would he have lashed out like this had his religion, his family, and society in general been more accepting of his homosexuality? We'll never know, of course. We do know that if he only had access to a hunting rifle or revolver, a lot fewer people would be dead today, and he may have been taken alive.

FWIW - Those who think Islam is a religion of hate and Christianity is not, has obviously not paid attention to this guy:



or this guy:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b1/Eric_rudolph.jpg/220px-Eric_rudolph.jpg


or this guy:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/2/2b/Scott_Roeder.jpg/150px-Scott_Roeder.jpg


Christians will likely label them as "whackos" or dissassociate themselves from them, declaring them not to be "normal" Christians. Muslims will say the same about ISIS, and the three "lone gunman" who have recently taken it upon themselves to project their hatred upon others in a burst of hot lead, and use their religion as an attempt to justify their actions. I see no difference between those who do it in the name of Islam and those who do it in the name of Christianity.

I am not laying all of the blame for the hatred on the feet of religion. Some of it is certainly justified (in particular - this case, with fundamental religions of many stripes having a problem with LGBTQ people). In many cases, though, it is the combination of hatred and massive firepower - and a justification to pin it on - that leads to these horrendous incidents.

Tens of thousands of people are killed in America by firearms, however, and most of those go under the radar, repeated ad nauseum on local evening news and then quickly forgotten by all except for the victims' families. Only when events of this magnitude occur do we stop to consider that something must be done. These events are just the tip of a bloody iceberg that is the shame of our nation. It is a health crisis that needs to be addressed. Why do so many Americans get killed by guns? Why do so many Americans think more guns will solve this? Why does America have an infatuation with guns?

These are the questions that need to be answered before anything meaningful can be done to fix our problem. Simply yelling "Less guns!" / "More guns!" is just not getting it done.

32 comments (Latest Comment: 06/15/2016 22:47:44 by Will in Chicago)
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