Conversations: Orlando


Helena
There is every reason to assume that, in a period of time leading up to the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, the perpetrator was dealing with severe feelings of repression and rejection from both men and women. In time, these feelings were converted into anger, which he then directed specifically at homosexual men, culminating in the shooting of 102 people, of which 49 were killed. Although we know the he was not aided by a terrorist organisation, it is obvious that, in the weeks leading up to the shooting, the perpetrator found comfort in hate-driven dogma which not only intensified his anger, but also justified violence. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the perpetrator must have been filled with confused anger and pious indignation when he legally purchased a semi-automatic assault rifle two weeks before the shooting. Can the reasonable worries expressed by reasonable people be any more graphically illustrated by the events that followed?

Sappho
I see what you mean. Suppose the perpetrator’s budding motivation to kill stemmed from his own feelings of inadequacy but were fuelled by a dogmatic disgust of homosexuality, this begs the question: at which point should the society in which he lived have altered the destructive course of such a troubled individual? – Not the legislator who criminalises the relationship of two consensual adults. Not the populist who stigmatises “gays” and “fags”. Not the newsreader who promotes a homophobic Christian agenda. Not the downtown shopkeeper who is allowed to sell semi-automatic assault rifles.

Helena
Exactly. It should worry us that people who cannot rightly be described as religious fundamentalists are easily capable of committing crimes such as these. Anyone with an internet connection can easily come into contact with extremist Islamic online recruiters or wander into a church and hear that homosexuals are “evil people” and that it’s a “tragedy” that not more are killed. These are sad facts. How is a society obsessed with the “sins” of same-sex relationships and the possible bans on weapons of any help?

See other: Philosophical Conversations


[1] Lindsey Bever, Washington Post (15 June, 2016) Pastor refuses to mourn Orlando victims: ‘The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die’

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3 thoughts on “Conversations: Orlando

  1. I have every reason to believe the boy had his own homosexual tendencies that he was fighting, and every “fag” he killed was actually that tendency within himself, over and over. Sadly, many people are now dead, yet he will get every opportunity to release those sublimated urges while spending his life in prison.

  2. Following the deadliest shooting in U.S. history, a Baptist preacher stood at his pulpit Sunday night in Northern California and delivered an impassioned sermon praising the brutal massacre at a gay nightclub in Florida.

    Pastor Roger Jimenez from Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento told his congregation that Christians “shouldn’t be mourning the death of 50 sodomites.”

    “People say, like: Well, aren’t you sad that 50 sodomites died?” Jimenez said, referencing the initial death toll in Orlando, which authorities later clarified included 49 victims plus the gunman. “Here’s the problem with that. It’s like the equivalent of asking me — what if you asked me: ‘Hey, are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?’

    “Um, no, I think that’s great. I think that helps society. You know, I think Orlando, Fla., is a little safer tonight.”

    He added: “The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. The tragedy is — I’m kind of upset that he didn’t finish the job!”

    – Courtesy of washingtonpost.com, (14 June, 2016)

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