Orlando and the search for common ground


A lone gunman committed the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history early yesterday morning in Orlando. Depending on your personal politics, there’s a simple, totally feasible solution to preventing America’s next (act of gun violence / act of terror), and it’s (fewer guns / more guns). Our politicians need to begin work immediately on (more background checks / a giant wall and a ban on Muslims entering the country) — and never mind that (Omar Mateen passed enough background checks to be an armed security guard / Omar Mateen was born and raised in the United States).

In the long run, the only way to end this cycle of horror and numbness is to come together to create solutions, but (we can’t even agree on what the problem is / we can’t even agree on what the problem is).
At least 50 are dead and 53 are wounded after a gunman opened fire at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning. During the attack, the gunman made a call to 911 and pledged his support to ISIS. At one point he was holding hostages after the initial shooting. Police stormed the club about three hours after the attack began and killed the gunman.

The shooter was identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen of Fort Pierce, Florida, an American citizen born in New York. Though he pledged his loyalty to ISIS during the 911 call, there is no evidence yet that the traveled overseas or was directed to act by any third party. He was interviewed twice by the FBI in 2013 after co-workers said he made comments about radical Islam; he also was investigated in 2014 after an acquaintance went to the Middle East to become a suicide bomber.

Mateen’s father was interviewed by NBC News, who said his son was angered after seeing two men kissing in downtown Miami, but that he believed the attack “had nothing to do with religion.” His ex-wife said he was short-tempered, violent and abusive, and described him as “bipolar.” Islamic State radio called Mateen “a soldier of the caliphate” earlier today.

President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and many others condemned the attacks. Trump called for Obama to resign and for Clinton to drop out of the race for not using the phrase “radical Islam” in their denunciations.