In the Wake of Orlando…

I rolled over this morning at about 6:30 AM and saw through my bleary eyes the initial reports of the shooting in Orlando. At that point all that was being reported was that “at least 20” had been killed and more than 50 had been injured. In the hours since then, the outlines of this terrible tragedy have come into sharper, more specific view.

There’s so much that could be said at this point – the insensitivity of Donald Trump in making the shooting a moment of self-congratulations, the hypocrisy of those who criticize the Obama administration for not doing enough to protect the homeland but oppose any restrictions on firearm purchases even for those on no-fly lists, the frightening suggestion made on Fox News today (which I can’t find but was made by a member of Congress) that we should be detaining Muslims who “could be” planning something (a comment that was so shocking that even the Fox host was flustered and said something to the effect of “I’m sure you’re only talking about the very, very small number of Muslim where there’s proof of illegality”), the tragic intersection of mental illness, economic and societal alienation and susceptibility to radicalization (of many stripes) – but the reality is simply that 49 people who did nothing to deserve it are dead today.

My heart is heavy and my thoughts are with the victims and their families.

– Austin

2 thoughts on “In the Wake of Orlando…

  1. We level cities across the Mideast. We kill manyfold the number of victims of 9/11 – that event that supposedly justifies out actions. Our actions manufacture refugees, some of whom land on our shores, where some of them kill some of us. Good vs. Evil, anyone?

    1. I’m not ready to accept the moral equivalency argument. We don’t target people at random and I believe we go to great effort to minimize harm to bystanders. That said, we are imperfect in both our moral stance and in our execution and there’s no question that our continued attacks and our mistakes are tremendous recruiting tools.

      As an aside, I highly recommend the recent movie Eye in the Sky for a gripping, lightly fictionalized look into the decisionmaking and infrastructure that are part of the drone wars.

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