Orlando And The Tales We Tell About Terrorism

Gun agenda
Observed on S Street NW, between Connecticut and 20th, Dupont Circle, D.C.

And the disappearance of the narrowly-avoided massacre in Los Angeles.

After watching a fun Gay Pride parade in D.C. (it’s sort of like a laid back Carnival) Saturday afternoon/evening, it was awful to find out the next day about the Orlando shooting. As has become routine, various arguments ensued about gun control versus Islamofascismterrorismboogabooga (it now appears Mateen was possibly a conflicted bi- or gay man. Not your typical ISIL member). But what has gone missing in most of the coverage is that Los Angeles luckily avoided its own anti-LGBT massacre on Sunday (the police happened to stumble across him before he could act). As best as one can tell, this almost-murderer sounds like something from wingnut Alex Jones’ comments section. Definitely not an ISIL supporter.

Yet much of the conversation is focusing on terrorism–which is to say Islamist–and so on. But suppose Orlando had had the near miss and the spree happened in L.A. (mind you, either would have been awful). It would be ‘just’ another mass shooting.

The common feature in either scenario would be deadly weaponry. But we’re not going to do anything about that, so we will just engage in cargo cult politics and pretend that will avert the next massacre.

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