On Today’s Awful Hate Crime In Orlando

Well fuck this horror. Dan Savage covers the massacre comprehensively here. Jeet Heer weighs in here. The Guardian has its usual excellent coverage here. There’s a candlelight vigil at Q Nightclub in a few minutes (8 p.m., 2070 Broad St.). It’s open to all ages and everyone’s welcome.

A few additional thoughts:

1. On religion Faith-based bigotry has got to end. Doesn’t matter if its Christians, Jews, Muslims or Rastafarians — there needs to be be zero tolerance of any beliefs that any alleged deities oppose LGBTQ equality. We saw again today that bigoted religious ideas have deadly consequences for LGBTQ people. If your church/synogogue/mosque/faith community is prejudiced against queers, leave it for a better one (or if you’re tuff, fight back and change it).

2. On conservatives Both in Canada and south of the border, conservatism has become synonymous with both unrestricted gun owner rights and homophobia. Guns case in point: in 2014 then-Justice Minister Peter MacKay wore a shirt supporting ownership of assault rifles. What an asshole. And homophobia? Two words: Brad Trost. Canada’s Conservatives only reversed their bigoted official position on same-sex marriage a couple of weeks ago — kinda late, guys. I want to live in a country where conservatism is an honourable, reasoned and legitimate political position. It hasn’t been for a long time (with a few rare exceptions). Fix your shit, conservatives.

3. On guns Look at any bullshit situation and it’s almost always about the money. For example, it’s blatantly obvious the National Rifle Association and other lobby groups allegedly fighting for Americans’ “right” to own assault rifles without restrictions are doing it because there’s big money in guns and money matters more to them than people’s lives. They don’t give a shit about anyone’s rights. It’s about profits. That said, it’s also obvious a lot of individual gun nuts support unlimited gun ownership rights because they think the threat of violence their weapons create keeps the socialists, feminists, minorities, atheists, gay agendavists and “libtards” from getting too uppity. Gun nuts want people to be afraid of them. It’s the only way their bigoted ideas can get respect these days. Something to keep in mind. See you at the vigil.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

6 thoughts on “On Today’s Awful Hate Crime In Orlando”

  1. Just a little food for thought here. There is only one country in the middle east where the LGBTO community are accepted, that country is Israel. A gay / lesbian in any other country in the middle east will be tossed off buildings, stoned to death, or burned alive. The progressive / pc crowd really need to figure out who their friends and enemies are. Yet Israel is always the bad guy, wonder why that is? Perhaps a little history lesson going back about 1400 yrs. might give some answers. The Orlando massacre makes me sick and will happen again and again until we fight the real enemy, not Brad Trost or Peter MacKay. Mr. Obama cant even say the identify the enemy by name. What a coward!

  2. Pretty poor food there Indy. Read the linked Jeet Heer article. It covers the gunman’s possible motivations quite well.

    Obama’s has had way more radicalized Muslims — including Bin Laden — killed than you have so I don’t know where you get off trash-talking him.

  3. Not true, LGBTQ communities are accepted in Jordan, as well as Turkey and Albania. What Indy is correct about is the left not fully knowing who its enemies are. Conversely to that, however, is maybe Conservatives not fully knowing who their allies are. I’m sure there are no shortage of wingnut bigot pigs grappling with how much they *really* condemn this massacre, given that it was aimed at a perceptibly liberal community, much like the massacre in Paris.

    That’s what they’re trying to do: Turn liberals, and thus the whole western world, against them in the name of holy war.

  4. Good to see you still shrinking, indy: slow and steady wins the race.

    The idea that money is THE motivating factor behind the concept of unrestricted gun ownership is appealing, especially to anti-capitalists, but it’s inaccurate. Americans have the Second Amendment, which enshrines not only the American sense of personal liberty, but also the American wariness of government encroachment on that liberty. I saw an interview a couple of decades ago (before mass shootings became the commonplace occurrence they now are) which made this very clear. The interviewer asked the gun owner “But what about my safety?” The gun owner, who up until then had been personable and reasonable, lost his smile. Sternly he replied: “More important than your safety is my freedom”. Principle can have a lot more influence than you might think. The Republican rejection even of such eminently sensible restrictions on gun ownership as the presence of one’s name on an FBI terrorist watch list comes from the fear that this would be the thin edge of the wedge — comparable to the rejection, by pro-choice folks in this country, of any prohibition of gender-selective abortion. Again, the principle is sacrosanct.

    And on the topic of principle, people who are solid secularists often have a very hard time fathoming the influence of religion. They seem to lack the patience to read history or to delve into what a particular religion teaches. This has led to catastrophic underestimation of the power of an idea, and to simple-minded responses to that power. You can’t possibly understand radical Islam unless you read the Qu’ran and familiarize yourself with the principle of abrogation (which allows later, more intolerant verses to supercede and cancel out the earlier, more tolerant ones). You also have to crack a book or two to see that Islam, indeed any religion, is not a monolith (the Ahmadis, considered apostates by other sects, do not hold with abrogation, but at the same time they regard jihad not as holy war but as the inner struggle to reach full submission to the will of Allah). That would take work, and the development of discernment. If a person isn’t up to that — and Donald Trump’s followers are not — then you only make the problems of the world worse.

  5. Canadians have the right to own any kind of normal hunting rifle, but they need to pas some scrutiny, plus a Gun Safety course exam. Sort of like getting a driving license or registering an automobile.

    I have friend who own some high-powered rifles for owning a moose at a few hundred metres, and a shotgun or two for bagging his quota of geese. He seldom fail to ll whatever big game tags he is lucky enough to get. He uses every scrap of meat for his freezer. I have ha moose and venison roasts at his house, and eaten some of his tasty game salami, expertly seasoned and smoked. I know he’s a crack shot, and I also know that he is scrupulous on following all the hunting regulations and he is a stickler for safe use and storage of his guns.

    But I am perfectly happy that we have laws against the use of military-style weaponry for hunting, and don’t allow open carry unless you are a cop or work on a Brinks truck carrying large amounts of cash. Our rate of gun deaths per 100,000 is a small fraction of the US rate.

    I have not read the Quran, but I have dabbled in the Christian “holy” writings and I can’t imagine anything worse than the Levitican laws of the Old Testament. In addition, “Chrstian” countries, and the USA is the worst, have assassinated fairly elected democratic leaders of other countries and crushed democratic movements on every continent. The USA has trained, financed and armed death squads in most counties in he Americas. US is certainly NOT the global beacon of freedom and democracy they keep bragging about.

  6. Well said in re: firearms, but as for the rest, some clarification is necessary. Leviticus is, as you have said, in the Old Testament, and is not Christian. Nowhere in the Gospels is there any mention of LGBTQ folks. Unfortunately, much of the “Christianity” as proclaimed in the US is a mixture of Old Testament vengefulness and home-grown ultra-nationalism, and as such is a strong departure from the message of Jesus. There’s a Christian tradition to which lip service is paid, but the reality is post-Christian to say the least.

    “Dabbling” won’t do; you have to read in depth.

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