Prosecute the torture.

June 13, 2016

Senator Toomey, You Do Know It Was A GAY Nightclub, don't you?

By now everyone knows the basic story:
ORLANDO, Fla. — It had been an evening of drinking, dancing and drag shows. After hours of revelry, the partygoers crowding the gay nightclub known as the Pulse took their last sips before the place closed.

That’s when authorities say Omar Mateen emerged early Sunday, carrying an AR-15 assault-type rifle and spraying the helpless crowd with bullets. Witnesses said he fired relentlessly — 20 rounds, 40, then 50 and more. In such tight quarters, the bullets could hardly miss. He shot at police. He took hostages.

When the gunfire finally stopped, he had slain 50 people and critically wounded dozens more in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
And so on.

I will leave it to each of you to grieve in your own way.  Whoever you are reading this at this very moment, you certainly don't need me to tell you how horrible it must have been or how heartbreaking it must be for members of the LGBTQ community and their allies.

But this being a political blog and this being a political season, we have to look at the politics of the shooting.

At least at this one sliver of this story.

For a frame of reference, in a set of tweets about the shooting, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton included this:
See those letters?  They'll become noticeable in their absence in a few minutes.

Think progress has noticed their absence, in some obvious places:
The largest mass shooting perpetrated by a single gunman in U.S. history took place early Sunday in Orlando’s Pulse gay club. As the terrible news circulated, Republican members of Congress responded with lots of “thoughts and prayers” and no discussion of the role easy access to an AR-15 might’ve had in the massacre.
Sadly, this seems to be the case in Pennsylvania.

At this point, Senator Pat Toomey has two twitter accounts; one his Senate account and the other his campaign account (did you know he's running for reelection??).

His campaign account had three tweets on the mass murder at the gay night club in Orlando:

His Senate account has the same three tweets.

He does know it was a GAY nightclub, right?  And does he know that at present it seems that it was targeted precisely because it was a gay night club, right?

I wonder why no mention of that.

Remember this is the guy who, in 2010 according to the Christian Coalition, supported a:
  • "Federal Marriage Amendment to prevent same sex marriage."
  • "Enforcing the 1993 law banning homosexuals in the military."
So it's hardly surprising that he can't seem to bring himself utter the phrase "gay nightclub" when expressing sympathy for those slaughtered at one.

But the day is still young.  Pat might still do the right thing.


Omega Cuck Supreme said...

Why should He mention the LGBTQXYZ+ aspect?

The left is avoiding the words Islam and Muslim. Instead they say Trump (Latin Night) and Christian conservatives ("created this anti-queer climate,") are really to blame.
Congressmen who are tweeting their prayers but voted against protections for LGBT americans and against gun control, please take a seat.

From Dan Savage, I thought the LGBTQXYZ+ community hated those you believe in prayer.

Joy said...

It should be mentioned because some on the right, including the lt. gov of Florida, of all people (!) are now, smugly, going all (pseudo) religious, posting "you reap what you sow." Seen in that sickly light, stating that you sympathize with the families of the victims--but not with the victims themselves--becomes an extra kick in the teeth.

Let's also mention, actually, that is was Latin(o/a) night, and indeed, as the interviews with survivors presaged, the list of the dead (slowly being released) is strongly skewed to that population.

Anyone who talks out of one side of their mouths about respecting the individual, but out of the other side of their mouths when it comes to respecting individual minority individuals, should have their noses rubbed in it. if someone treats dark-skinned queer non-whites are a scourge on western society…it they can't express sympathy for the actual people murdered… they're actually on the wrong side of this act of domestic terrorism.

Because there should be no space, today, for people to get away with coded statements that work out, taken together, as: 'too bad some good people are sad, today, but at least the gunman killed teh brown Spanish-speaking flashy gays."

Lets also recognize that this was an act powered at least as much by general anti-gay-hatred (and armed because we still let known-domestic-abusers get guns) as by any sort of connection to Islam. Shooter was a clean shaven, bare-headed guy who purportedly does all sorts of stuff Islamic fundamentalists don't do. He's "Islamic" like the guy who shot up the abortion clinic is a "Christian"--in other words, not very. (And formally, he's actually a social reactionary, not a radical.)

As far as prevention, and 20/20 hindsight: This guy was born in the USA. Banning immigration would have had no effect. Banning gun purchases by people who've abused their wife or domestic partner? That might have worked. He was an abuser. Someone who has demonstrated that he feels justified taking his opinions and feelings out on the body of another person. That's a bigger red flag--in practical terms--than any other philosophy. Religious or otherwise. If filing PFA's and documenting abuse really stopped abusers from getting personal weapons that kill, hyper-effectively, at a distance, more abused partners would feel safe (or safer, anyway) filing those PFA's, and documenting the abuse.

Joy said...

In case there's any question whether this man led with religious dogmatism or with generalized hatred of others:

from the NYT:

"A former co-worker, Daniel Gilroy, said Mr. Mateen had talked often about killing people and had voiced hatred of gays, blacks, women and Jews."


"According to Mr. Gilroy, who said that he had repeatedly complained to G4S, the security company that employed them, Mr. Mateen was a loud, profane presence who was prone to using racial, ethnic and sexual slurs. […] 'He was just agitated about everything, always shaken, always agitated, always mad,' […] with Mr. Mateen badgering him with text messages 20 or 30 times a day."

Religiously devout muslims (radical or otherwise) are emphatically not racist against people for having darker skin. Also not loudly profane. This is someone with power issues (desperately wanting to be a policeman), anger issues (domestic violence and inappropriate expressions of anger in an employment setting). He may or may not have been clinically mental ill (his ex-wife says "bipolar"). Instead of being investigated and labeled for being violent (which he demonstrably was) and unstable (which he apparently also was) he was instead investigated for having links to terrorist organizations (which he apparently did not have). Investigating him 20 times, or 100 times, or waterboarding him, would not have turned up a link that didn't exist.

When violent, unstable people who are nominally christian blow up clinics or federal buildings, it's not "Radical Christian Terrorism"--even if they say they're doing it because social security is the "number of the beast," or because Jesus said to save the children. When violent, unstable people who are nominally muslim shoot up gay bars on Latino because they have a strange preoccupation with gay minorities, it's not "Radical Muslim Terrorism."

There has been Radical Christian Terrorism on occasion (including attempts to blow up gay bars). There has been Radical Muslim Terrorism against all sorts of targets. But not every action by a member of the group "considers himself Christian" is Christian terrorism. Not every action by a guy who "considers himself Muslim" is Muslim Terrorism. It's anti-gay, hate-based domestic terrorism. And it's largely carried out by people who have a history of violence in their personal lives, and aggression in their school or workplace. That's where we ought to be shining the light, if we want to prevent future acts.

Maria Lupinacci said...

Agree with everything you said but would amend this sentence, "And it's largely carried out by people who have a history of violence in their personal lives, and aggression in their school or workplace." to say "men" instead of people. We can't solve this if we don't also recognize that these mass shooting acts are overwhelmingly carried out by men -- usually youngish. That's not saying all men are violent, but it is saying that something in our society is contributing to this.