I’m bothered at myself for not being more bothered. I should be consumed with both fury and curiosity about the latest shooting here in my home state. The 49 innocent lives lost in Orlando at a gay nightclub on Latin night was a senseless and despicable act. Oh, and it’s noteworthy. After all, the scope and scale of this particular mass shooting makes it the worst in U.S. history.
However, is 49 that much different from the 32 who Seung-Hui Cho massacred at Virginia Tech, or the 26 that Adam Lanza killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut?
Is 49 that much different from the 32 who Seung-Hui Cho massacred at Virginia Tech, or the 26 that Adam Lanza killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut?
- Rick Sanchez
How about the 23 killed by 35-year-old George Hennard when he walked into a Luby’s Cafeteria and opened fire with a handgun in Killeen Texas, or the 21 killed at a McDonalds by James Huberty, a 41-year-old unemployed security guard, armed with a shotgun and a pistol.
I could go on. Our history is replete with mass shootings. No country in the world can match our ability to kill our own in sudden bursts of blood and fury.
We’ve so distinguished ourselves as a nation when it comes to this once shocking act — one wonders if the crime itself is starting to become humdrum. By the way, that is more scary as the crime itself.
President Obama, along with most responsible Americans, are asking for common sense solutions that include background checks and a ban on certain weapons. Polls conducted by Quinnipiac University from February 2013 to November 2015 show that Americans overwhelmingly support background checks. In fact, the latest poll shows 93 percent of Americans support requiring checks. Meanwhile, polls also indicate that 58 percent support banning the sale of military/assault style weapons like the one used by Omar Mateen in Orlando.
Then again, who cares what we want? Who cares what makes sense? Who cares if Congress could give a crap what some lowly citizen like me thinks? Can lowly citizens muster the financial influence wielded by the NRA and the gun manufacturers? Not even close. So shut up and sit down America. You don’t count.
America’s mass killers have come in all shapes and sizes. Some are loners. Others are mentally incapacitated; some are vengeful and/or hateful, while others have demonstrated dangerous aggressions toward ex wives or family members. And of course, some are Islamic terrorists.
Omar Mateen was the full package. He was a hateful, wife beating, homophobe who became an enraged loner and a radicalized Islamic terrorist. For any and/or all of those reasons he should not have been able to buy a weapon, much less an AR-15. The FBI was watching Mateen. He was a suspected terrorist who was reportedly investigated on three occasions by federal agents.
For all the reasons stated above, Mateen is by all accounts the exact person we would want on a watch list — the type of person we would want monitored before he’s allowed to fly. As far as we could tell, he was on both. But there is no list in our country —or, for that matter, a real limit on Mateen or anyone else from buying unlimited guns and ammunition if they want it.
That is why mass shootings in America are so frequent, which is why they’ve become just ‘ordinary’ news stories. There is no awe and the shock is long gone.
And until Congress addresses the problem, it’s only going to get worse — and by worse I mean even more ‘ordinary.’ Move along America, there’s nothing to see here.
Yep, I see this as just another boring news story, and I hate myself for that.