There will be a vigil for the victims of the Orlando terror attack in Cal Anderson Park tonight at 8 PM.
A gunman killed 50 people and wounded 53 in a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday, officials said, in the worst mass shooting slaughter in American history, and law enforcement officials said it was an act of terrorism. The gunman was Omar Mateen, an American citizen living in Port St. Lucie, Fla., federal law enforcement officials said. The killer stormed the Pulse nightclub armed with an assault rifle and a handgun — investigators were still looking into the possibility that he had explosives, as well — at about 2 a.m., when more than 300 people were inside dancing and drinking.
Last night's mass murder comes on the heels of the shooting death in Orlando of Christina Grimmie, a contestant on “The Voice,” who was gunned down by a deranged stranger after a concert in Orlando on Friday night. And it comes two years after a man attempted to murder scores of people in a packed Seattle gay bar on New Years Eve. And it comes one year after a white supremacist gunned down nine African Americans prayer group members at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. And six months after a gunman — cranked up by rightwing lies about Planned Parenthood ("baby parts") — killed five people at a clinic in Colorado Springs.
Black people targeted during worship at church
Women targeted at Planned Parenthood
Queer folks at a gay club
Like... these things matter
— Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones) June 12, 2016
Pulse was hosting an 18+ night for the Latinx community when Mateen burst in, shot scores of people, and took a large group of hostages.
Gay bars exist b/c they are safe places in a world that remains unsafe for LGBT. Heartbroken for all the victims who should've been safe.
— Bryan Safi (@bryansafi) June 12, 2016
Mateen was killed by a SWAT team that moved in to rescue the hostages. Omar Mateen reportedly used the same weapon — an AR-15 assault rifle — that was used by the killers at Sandy Hook and San Bernardino. The NRA has already come to the defense of this innocent gun:
Federal law enforcement officials said they had found no indication so far that the attacker was linked to any wider organization, though they and the police were investigating several possible terrorism angles, both overseas and in the United States. Past terrorist attacks, like the massacre in December in San Bernardino, Calif., were carried out in the name of Islam by people who were “self-radicalized,” apparently having no direct ties to any organization but inspired by groups like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda. The Islamic State in particular has encouraged “lone wolf” attacks in the West, specifically the United States, a point reinforced recently by the group’s spokesman in his annual pre-Ramadan speech. Noting that some supporters have lamented that they cannot strike at military targets, he took pains to explain why killing civilians in the land of the infidel is not just permitted but encouraged.
The gunman who opened fire at a gay Florida nightclub early Sunday, shooting over 100 people, had called 911 moments before to pledge allegiance to the leader of ISIS, law enforcement sources told NBC News.
You know they're doing backflips at Fox News, Drudge, and Trump HQ. And so they are:
Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Mass shooting Twitter:
Liberals: It's Guns
Conservatives: It's Terrorism
Trump: Thank you, I'm awesome
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) June 12, 2016
Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S.-born citizen, has been identified as the suspect in Sunday's mass shooting that left at least 50 dead and more than 50 others wounded at the Pulse Nightclub, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Mateen's parents were born in Afghanistan, and he was "on the radar" of U.S. officials for some time, but was not the target of a specific investigation, law enforcement officials told ABC News.
The shooter, a resident of Port St Lucie, Florida, was killed after a “gun battle” with police officers in the early hours of Sunday morning. Now Mateen’s father has apologised for the incident, saying he did not think his son was religiously motivated. He also said that his son, 29, got angry a few months ago after he saw two men kiss in Orlando.
The father of the Orlando night club shooter says his family apologizes for “the whole incident.” He adds that the shooting had nothing to do with religion, but added that his son “got very angry when he saw two men kissing” months before in Miami.
The men reportedly kissed in view of Mateen and his three-year-old son. The shooter was incensed because... how do you explain two men kissing to a three-year-old boy? Um... how do you explain that same little boy that his father is—was—the man who committed the deadliest mass shooting in US history?
“We call on the members of the clergy to pray for…this community for healing.” — Orlando Sheriff on CNN just now
— Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins) June 12, 2016
We call on members of the clergy—imams, priests, rabbis, pastors—to examine their own hands for evidence of blood. This kind of murderous homophobia doesn't come from nowhere.
Oh, look. A couple of religious bigots took to Twitter this morning to celebrate the carnage:
I have no idea who @falconqaeda is. But Dan Patrick—who blamed the victims for their own deaths—is the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, a Republican elected official. Patrick deleted the offending tweet and replaced it with this equally offensive tweet: "Have a blessed Sunday!"
In the coming days, there will be a lot of discussion about terrorism and mass shootings and the relationship between these categories. And it’s growing harder to separate them: Terror attacks in the U.S. increasingly involve guns.... Experts say the increased use of guns in terror attacks is an alarming trend. Arie Perliger, director of terrorism studies at the U.S. Military Academy, said that U.S. terrorists are turning to guns because since Sept. 11, the federal government has monitored the use of explosives and the trade of materials that can be turned into explosives.3 People on the terrorism watch list aren’t barred from buying guns, by contrast, although such a ban probably wouldn’t have stopped the Charleston or San Bernardino shootings, because the suspects weren’t on the watch list.
Here's the advice Adam Gadahn, senior adviser to Osama Bin Laden and top al-Qaida propagandist, gave to wannabe Islamic terrorists living in the United States in 2011:
America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle without a background check and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?
Ban assault weapons — not just for people on the terrorism watch list, but for all people, period. And mentally unstable people who commit acts of domestic violence shouldn't be allowed to purchase or own guns of any sort.