Politicians React to Orlando Shooting: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

There is still so much to learn about the most deadly mass shooting in American history, which happened early Sunday at a gay club in Orlando, Fla. What was the shooter’s actual motive, why did he pick this target in particular, was it part of an alleged terrorist plot or something he devised completely on his own, or do the answers to all of the questions lie somewhere in between?

What we do know for certain is that once again a person has murdered and wounded dozens of people by using a legally purchased assault rifle, and that while Democrats are seeking ways to prevent this from occurring again, Republicans are seeking ways to avoid having a gun control debate in the first place.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton jumped immediately on the offensive by calling for a ban on assault rifles. “In forthright comments a day after the massacre at the Pulse Club, the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic party issued a call for a return to ‘commonsense gun safety reform’ and lambasted the Republican-controlled Congress for what she called a ‘totally incomprehensible’ refusal to address the country’s lax gun laws,” reports The Guardian. “‘We can’t fall into the trap set up by the gun lobby that says if you cannot stop every shooting you shouldn’t try to stop any,’ she said.”

Clinton isn’t alone in demanding real action in the wake of tragedy. One Democratic Connecticut congressman called out fellow lawmakers for think that prayers and empty gestures for the victims is enough. “I will not attend one more ‘Moment of Silence’ on the Floor. Our silence does not honor the victims, it mocks them,” tweeted Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes, according to Huffington Post. “The Moments of Silence in the House have become an abomination. God will ask you, ‘How did you keep my children safe?’ Silence.”

It’s no wonder that many politicians are preferring a moment of silence rather than address the elephant with the assault rifle in the room. The GOP is having a ridiculous time trying to decide exactly what they can say that will deflect the attention away from their two biggest problems: 1) that they are so beholden to the NRA that they are incapable of looking as if they support even the most reasonable of gun restrictions; and 2) that their hateful, bigoted language when debating the rights of the LGBT community is fueling violence.

Texas Governor Dan Patrick, a Republican, exemplified this with a tweet that went out just a few hours after the shooting, which read, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” His staff later said it was a pre-scheduled tweet and the Bible verse was not a commentary on the attack. The fact that so many reading it found it believable that he was discussing the shooting shows exactly how ugly GOP rhetoric has become.

Other Republicans were far more likely to pretend that they had never used harmful anti-LGBT language in their politics, and jumped on the act as a way to fan their xenophobia towards Muslims instead. “Anti-gay politicians change their tones right quick when they can use LGBT rights to tout their version of the War on Terror,” reports the Daily Beast. “Some of the politicians most opposed to gay civil rights found the attacks on the Pulse nightclub the perfect opportunity to trot out their favorite talking points—even when those causes had literally nothing to do with the the attacks that left at least 49 people dead.”

If you think there could be no uglier reaction than Republican politicians claiming to be pro-LGBT in order to defend gun access and attack Islam, well, then you haven’t heard from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who in essence accused President Barack Obama of treason.

Trump, who made his political career on calling President Obama a Muslim, claimed on Fox News that the president must be allowing Islamic terror attacks to happen in the U.S., and may actually support them. “The other scenario, according to Trump, is that Obama is fully capable of stopping terrorist attacks but ‘has something else in mind,’” reports ThinkProgress. “In other words, Obama is purposefully allowing terrorists to kill people in the United States to pursue a hidden agenda. Trump emphasized this second theory. ‘The something else in mind, people can’t believe it,’ Trump said, ‘There is something going on. It’s inconceivable.’”

And to think, very soon Trump could be the one in the White House.

Care2 stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ community in Orlando, and against all forms of violence and discrimination.

Tell the FDA to fully lift the ban on gay men donating blood, and tell Congress to ban assault weapons immediately. Follow related coverage on the Orlando shooting here.

Photo Credit: Igor at work / Wikimedia Commons

126 comments

Danuta W
Danuta Watola7 months ago

thank you for posting

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Lisa M
Lisa M7 months ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M7 months ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M7 months ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M7 months ago

Noted.

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hELEN h
hELEN hEARFIELD7 months ago

tyfs

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Cindy S
Cindy Smith7 months ago

sad

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago

Assault rifles are already banned.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees2 years ago

Update:
"The Orlando Shootings: Police SWAT Team Involved in the Killings?"
"The official FBI police report acknowledges shootings at 2am, it does not confirm the occurrence of killings of hostages prior to 5am. The killings started when the Police SWAT Teams stormed the Building at 5.13am."
"“The Orlando Chief of Police John Mina and other law enforcement officers offered new details about the shooting, including the possibility that some victims may have been killed by officers trying to save them.” (Naples Daily News, June 14, 2016)"
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-orlando-shootings-police-swat-team-involved-in-the-killings/5533620

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