My heart & prayers go out to the Pulse victims & their families.
Things came to a near standstill as we watched in horror the breaking news and it came clear to most in the space as the music was turned down to hear the coverage that it is so easy for some persons to simply enter and shoot up an otherwise safe space. One of the first questions was why was this man not searched properly as automatic weapons are not too small to be detected enough to have stopped the shooter from entering.
As news also emerged since that the shooter of Afghanistan descent was monitored, suspected and even questioned and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI as he was suspected for making disparaging remarks why was this man who obviously has a record of antigay remarks and so called jihadist links why was he not more closely monitored. Negligence on not only the Pulse club management and logistics outside the door that a man should pass scrutiny with weapons is one thing but the FBI and other agencies should have kept a closer eye on him. As an event planner for twenty plus years in Jamaica I am all too aware of the need to secure the space(s) here and searches are a must for patrons and new faces in particular; weapons such as knives, ice-picks and even other drinks in bottles purchased outside the event are taken and not allowed in so as to avoid any fights with such items being employed as weapons. So again why this man was allowed to enter the club with weapons and or was his person searched properly? I am sure he could have been stopped in the discovery of the items on him or at least keep him outside the premises even if he discharged his weapon far less lives could have been taken.
Shooter angered by kissing men in car park!
Reports have since emerged also that the man in the presence of his son had seen two men kissing in a car park some time before; and to this the man found time to purchase a gun only in the week to carry out this obvious pre-meditated act. He had not seen two men kiss before as a US citizen! This now raises the long standing matter of guns and the rift between powerful lobby groups such as the National Rifle Association NRA and Washington. Now that the also powerful LGBT population has been hit due to the same concerns of guns on the loose directly one wonders if there will be a meeting of the minds with the NRA, government and the LGBT voice on this or more strife of the gun laws. The near nonsense coming from Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has only served to anger persons and put persons into distress as instead of offering condolences as President Obama did as the true statesman Trump was more concerned about scoring political points with his comments on calling for the resignation of Obama as if it was his fault the shooting took place, whilst claiming he was right on planning to ban Muslims coming into the US.
President Obama was a true leader in instilling calm just by his cadence of speech as he delivered his take at the press conference soon afterwards. Americans and LGBT persons in particular worldwide are now going to have to take note as we say in Jamaica ‘tek sleep and mark death’ after this and not take for granted scrutiny at once held sacred safe spaces. The weird reactions from some who suggest the shooting was justified and gays are too open with their ‘lifestyle’ while using the deceptive victim-hood ploy of saying freedom of speech is suppressed and heterosexuals will be silenced. I have to agree in some sense with Kalilah Henriques Reynolds of Nationwide radio as one of the few voices thus far on the airwaves is trying to bring some sense of it all when she said among other things:
“Why is that more important than anything else he does in his life?” she continued “As a heterosexual woman my preference for men is not what defines me as a person, as a human being; I am Khalilah, I am a mother, I am a journalist, I am a writer, I like seafood, I love chocolate, my sexuality is way down on the list that defines who I am”
“And who determines the hierarchy of sins anyway, and decides that being gay is the worst of the worst worthy of death?”
“Why should the penalty for being gay be worse than that for adultery, fornication and paedophilia and should be equivalent to the penalty for murder; I don’t understand that and I don’t think I ever will.” She concluded.
Some Jamaicans have shown some support by donating blood and a prayer vigil was held near the site which is commendable and shows some maturity; the upcoming Diaspora conference slated in two weeks nearby the organizers have said they will be putting in strong security measures. Meanwhile antigay group Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship came out on some pretentious footing in my view via its puppet President Helen Coley Nicholson where she said that the LCF condemns the use of violence against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation (they finally accepted that sexual orientation is real ... oh wow!) or in disagreement over moral and religious issues.
“Guns have never been known to kill ideas; only people, change in opinions, lifestyles and beliefs can only come with respectful dialogue which acknowledges the sanctity of life and common humanity; our weapons in the struggle for change are not carnal, those who think and act otherwise are on the wrong side and will never win the battle ..... “
Maybe the LCF should give these same platitudes to their colleagues only a week ago used the airwaves to spew hate camouflaged as piousness; see: HERE they are guilty of pushing the moral panic in Jamaica for so long with such effect to remove the protection of discrimination due to sexual orientation in the Charter of Rights in 1999/2001. It seems to me the LCF is only using this as a platform to amend their public image to a less condemnatory outfit, but hypocritically so. Where is the LCF on other societal atrocities, deafeningly silent, nothing on the recent murders and crimes, the things that are so visible such as the fallout from lotto scamming or gun crimes the LCF is not forthcoming but is so pre-occupied with things on the dark or conspiracies that cannot be proven openly while misleading the public on many fronts.
Rest in peace to those taken and I hope this can be used as an opportunity to solve the gun matters both locally and abroad.
Peace & tolerance