When you become a parent, everything takes on new meaning.
Especially when it comes to what your every action teaches your child. You start thinking about everything you do, and what your kid is going to learn from it.
I may now be in charge of a little human being, but I’m still learning, too. So what did I learn from the heinous tragedy in Orlando?
Children visit a memorial down the road from the Pulse nightclub on June 17, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Omar Mir Seddique Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 53 others at the popular gay nightclub early Sunday. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Let’s dig in:
1. I learned that “radical Islam” is just a political talking point that doesn’t help us defeat evil.
"What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIS less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away,” President Obama said.
Imagine for just a moment if we had taken this sort of shrugged-shoulders, “gee, I dunno” approach after Pearl Harbor. Imagine if we had simply refused to address the cause behind the effect.
Perhaps shocking to some (our president included) there is a military strategy served by this: it’s called identifying the enemy. People have been doing that for millennia.
And it works.
2. I learned that we can’t wage war against “radical Islamic terror” because only a teeny weeny portion of Muslims worldwide are “radical.”
Some estimates place this “portion” at 15-25 percent of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims. But for argument’s sake, let’s say it’s far smaller. Say, 5-10 percent.
That’s 80,000,000-160,000,000 million people.
You don’t have to blow yourself to be radical. Think about those who aren’t actively radical, but won’t renounce Islamic terrorism.
Think about the Islamists who work to shift the world to violent Sharia law through government.
Think about the fundamentalists who engage in honor killings, stoning of gay people and adulterers, female genital mutilation, underage marriage (read: rape), and other barbaric beliefs.
Calling out those who do believe in violence is not a condemnation of EVERY single Muslim on the planet. It’s a condemnation of the violent beliefs that lead those violent people to violence. Where’s the lunacy in that?
And, as Brigitte Gabriel rightly puts it, that violent minority outweighs the peaceful majority by a long shot. And that’s what counts
3. I learned that terrorists will stop attacking us if we get the guns.
“There is something profoundly wrong with a nation that allows its citizens to be slaughtered the way we have,” said actress Bette Midler in the wake of the Orlando attack. “We are ill. Maybe terminally.”
If only we had a ban on the AR-15 in place, as talk show host Andy Cohen recently pleaded. If only, then maybe 49 people would be alive today.
Never mind that - Omar Mateen didn’t use an AR-15 in Orlando.
Ok, tell the victims of the Boston Bombing that banning guns will end evil. Tell the orphaned son of the two French police officers stabbed to death by an Islamic State jihadist that banning guns will end evil. Tell the victims of EgyptAir Flight 804 that banning guns will end evil. Heck, tell the victims of the largest terrorist attack in U.S. history - 9/11 - that banning guns will end evil.
4. I learned that we need to do some soul searching.
President Obama called for the nation to do some “soul searching;” specifically about how “easy” it is for terrorists to get guns.
While I’m going to let TheBlaze's Dana Loesch handle the bulk of this one (as she does so epically well here), I will say this:
However “easy” or “hard” it is to get a gun doesn’t change the intent of a killer. Never has, never will.
5. I learned that if you’re under FBI investigation, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun. But you should totally be able to run for president.
Sounds about right. If you’re being investigated for being a danger to this country, you probably shouldn’t own a gun.
And if you’re being investigated for being a danger to this country, you probably shouldn’t have control of the country’s nukes, either.
The reality is simple: whether you’re actively supporting terror like Omar Mateen seems to have been, or you’re astonishingly careless with our country’s national security like Hillary Clinton was - you’re a danger to this country.
And I’m thinking you belong nowhere near a gun, or the Oval Office.
6. I learned that it’s conservatives that stem anti-gay hate.
“While the precise motivation for the rampage remains unclear, it is evident that Mr. Mateen was driven by hatred toward gays and lesbians. Hate crimes don’t happen in a vacuum. They occur where bigotry is allowed to fester, where minorities are vilified and where people are scapegoated for political gain. Tragically, this is the state of American politics, driven too often by Republican politicians who see prejudice as something to exploit, not extinguish,” the New York Times Editorial Board wrote.
In other words, Mateen did what he did because we’re a bigoted nation. And that motivates crazies like Mateen.
Actually it’s the Koran and the Hadith that teach punishment and even death of gay people. And the Islamic world, gay people are routinely targeted for abuse, torture and death for no other reason except their orientation.
You want a quintessential example of what Christianity does in this country? Look no further than Chick-Fil-A, the Christian-owned fast food chain that faced hefty scrutiny, defamation and hassling over their pro-traditional marriage stance.
The chain is closed on Sundays, and yet they opened their doors to deliver food to the people standing in line to give blood in Orlando.
THAT is our nation. Gay people didn’t die in Orlando because of Christians; they died because of violent ideology that, YES, forms part of the Muslim faith.
7. I learned that if you’re supportive of the Tea Party, you’re automatically suspect; but if you’re supportive of the Taliban or al Qaeda, then, “meh.”
Remember when certain pundits tried frantically to pin the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on the Tea Party with absolutely no proof whatsoever?
Meanwhile in Orlando, we’ve got a guy who’s been raised by a man who openly supports the Taliban; a guy who praised the 9/11 attacks; a guy who watched Anwar al-Awlaki videos and had connections with a suicide bomber in Syria, a guy who “swore allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi” - and there’s nothing to see here? No connection to an ideology? No race to connect the dots?
8. I learned that if you’ve been twice investigated by the FBI for terroristic threats, you can still get a job pulling security for the U.S. government.
Omar Mateen was not only twice investigated by FBI (cases that were eventually dropped because of bureaucratic agency guidelines), but worked for G4S Secure Solutions, a private firm that has pulled security for everything from the Olympics to the federal government to nuclear power plants.
And yet instead of deal with how the FBI is allowed to investigate potential terrorists, or deal with how background checks let this one slip through the cracks, we’re still going to sit here and talk about how to curtail the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding American citizens who’d rather not be at the mercy of a government that doesn’t want to call our enemy what it is?
9. I learned that I’m prouder of the openly socialist French president than I am our own.
That’s right. Francois Hollande came right out after this last week’s attacks on the two French police officers and called it “unquestionably a terrorist act.”
For all the flaws in his economic ideology, Hollande’s got this one right - and isn’t afraid to say it.
It’s not the first time he’s openly called it what it is. And in fact, in one instance, his remarks regarding Islamic terror were reportedly even censored by the White House - which claimed a technical glitch was responsible for the “omission.”
Then again, the socialist leader hasn’t been able to put two and two together and end the mass refugee migration into his nation - but that’s another story.
10. I learned that people today are more afraid of being judged by the world for standing up against evil than they are of being killed BY that evil.
What else explains the utter unwillingness to call this what it is?
Let me ask you this: if it were Jews, Christians, Tea Partiers, Hindus, NRA Members or anyone else running around the world staging countless attacks in the name of their beliefs, would we be as reticent to question their belief system? It’s a thought.
Yup, lots to learn from what happened in Orlando.
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show (TheBlaze Radio Network, Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m. ET). She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree
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