Orlando Shooting

Immediately after Orlando shooting, it is shameful to see so many opportunistic partisan attacks. This is a time when Americans should stand united, says Richard Wagner.

Immediately after Orlando terrorist attack, it is shameful to see so many opportunistic partisan attacks. This is a time when Americans should stand united, says Richard Wagner.

In America, hardly a month goes by that we don’t hear of another mass murderer.  We are a big country, and statistically, somewhere in this large country of over 322 million, there is bound to be a mass murder from time to time.  But if it happens in Colorado, we hear about it in Tennessee, and my family hears about it in Florida, and people hear about it in all 50 states, and in Europe, Australia, and the world over.  The world must think the American streets are a war zone.

This recent terrorist attack, however, is the largest mass shooting in American history.  49 were killed, and 53 were injured at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida.  My heart goes out to all of the victims, their families and friends.  Before using them as pawns in our political agendas, we should remember that these are human beings.  They have communities, they have hopes, they have dreams, they love, and they are loved!  

Opportunism to the left 


Predictably, the partisans didn’t hesitate to capitalize on this tragedy.  The left immediately started pushing for gun control.

I am most disappointed in Bernie Sanders, once a renegade of the left in his support for gun rights.  He, and many on the left, are renewing their calls for a quick fix to a complex problem.  

This is the same Bernie Sanders who, during the Presidential debates, dared to stand up to Hillary Clinton and explain that gun violence is rooted in much deeper socio-economic problems. But not today.  Today, Sanders speaks as just another hack on the left.  And many  pseudo-liberals agree with him.

In a far more disgusting act of opportunism from the armpit of the left, some have spread a ridiculous rumor that Pat Robertson has claimed that this attack is God’s punishment for the SCOTUS same sex marriage ruling. Snopes has shown this to be false

I think it’s in very poor taste that Trump started attacking Clinton and Obama right now, before they’ve even had a funeral.  But that doesn’t justify the Atlantic (and I’m very disappointed in this publication I usually respect), twisting Trump’s words around claiming that he was accusing Obama of being “Involved in the Orlando Shooting”. Trump says enough nutty things on his own without them putting words in his mouth.

Opportunism to the right


On the right, the opportunism is two-pronged.  First, the opportunity for renewed Islamophobia will not be missed.  It’s those darned Muslims, right?  They all look alike.  

It isn’t a few mentally ill fanatics who could just as easily commit these terrorist acts in the name of Christ, or Baal, or Thor the God of Thunder!  No, it must be the Islamic faith.

John Fund with National Review seems to think it’s so important, a day after the tragedy, to attack Obama for not mentioning Islam in his speech.  Yes, we’re going to stop terrorist attacks by having our president say the words “radical Islam”!

The second prong is the NRA fueled “What we need is more guns!”  I usually scoff at this.  When a shooter kills 15 or 20, I can’t imagine how in a panic, in a dark, crowded place like the Aurora Theater, that a good guy with a gun could save anyone.  He’d be trying to shoot the bad guy while lots of innocents are running in all directions, while the bad guy is shooting anyone and everyone.  However, this shooting in Orlando killed 49, and injured 53 (102 in total).  Maybe, maybe a good guy with a gun could have stopped him after 20, maybe 30, and maybe 20 or 30 would still be alive.  I don’t know (let me know what you think in the comments).

After Orlando Terrorist Attack We Need to Pull Together


With all that said, I am always disgusted at those who jump on these tragedies to push their political agenda.  But I am proud that so many of my fellow Americans have showed true unity during this time.  I currently live in the Chattanooga TN area. There was a vigil for the victims at a Christian church, attended by the President of the local Islamic Society, and several Tennessee Valley Pride members.  I’m very proud that in very red Tennessee, we were able to pull people like that together.

Credit where it’s due.  I actually thought Hillary Clinton’s speech was very appropriate. She spoke like an American leader, rather than a Democratic Party leader.  Her only reference to specific policy was a very modest call for not allowing a mentally ill person with a history of violence, who is on the terror watch list, to purchase an assault weapon. Can even the NRA disagree with that?

Even though I agree with some of Trump’s points, I’m going to practice what I preach and right now, before they’ve even had funerals for the 49 slain, I’m not going to attack Clinton or Obama.  I’ll just say that I hope Obama shows resolve and pulls our nation together, one last time in his last year.

I do plan to publish another piece on Sunday explaining how I think we should handle this, and I’m sure many of my colleagues at the Pavlovic Today will share their perspectives.  Until then, keep the friends and family of the victims in Orlando in your hearts and prayers.

Everlasting be their memories!  Everlasting be their memories!  Everlasting be their memories!

Richard Wagner is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He conducts independent study on the American conservative movement and foreign policy. When he is...

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