Sunday, June 12, 2016

Florida Nightclub Shooting

People from all walks of life - given any excuse - are going postal. The solution is not gun-control. It's not about the weapons - it's the about the insanity of the people ... which is accelerating. Humans are programmed to blow things up - especially now.

This morning at 7 AM I posted the link to the Florida nightclub mass shootings - the worse mass shooting in US history. My first thought was this is a hate crime especially as this is Gay Pride Month and Gay Pride Week. This also comes on the heels of this story ... posted Saturday morning

  'Voice' singer Christina Grimmie dies after shooting at Orlando concert   CNN - June 11, 2016

I was out and about early this morning, meeting people who expressed their opinions on the Orlando shootings. Many people have become numb to this. Do you know mass shootings averaged one every day in 2015?

When I came home I called my friend MaryEllen (not gay) in Orlando. She and I had discussed me coming to Orlando to teach in November after the election - but I kept seeing violence there which I associated with the presidential election. I couldn't shake the images so MaryEllen and I never scheduled anything. She reported that she and her family are fine but it's chaotic there. She said the lines to donate blood are long but the community is uniting. She is waiting to hear from friends who may have been at the club last night and watching their Facebook pages to see what they post.

A gay male friend of mine in Fort Lauderdale emailed: "This guy went in to kill as many gays as he could. He chose a club that would have hundreds of gay people dancing, easy targets, maximum impact/causalities. I think his "religion" just made it easier for him to rationalize. Many in gay communities across the country are doing their own moments of silence and prayer - LA, NYC, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, etc."

I believe the shooter, Omar Mateen, 29, may have had sexual identity issues of his own perhaps hiding them due to his background. Mateen married Uzbekistan-born Sitora Alisherzoda Yusufiy in April 2009, and was divorced in July 2011. Following the attack, Mateen's ex-wife told the media that during their marriage, Mateen used to beat her. Mateen worked as a private security guard. He rented a car and drove to Orlando to carry out the attack, the source said. FBI teams and local law enforcement are working to clear Mateen's apartment, a federal law enforcement source said. Omar Mir Seddique Mateen (November 16, 1986 - June 12, 2016) about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from Orlando.

Mateen was born in New York to Afghan parents, and was reported to be a Muslim. He attended Martin County High School for at least one year and reportedly held two degrees in science from Indian River State College, received in 2006 and 2007. According to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records, he had no criminal record in Florida. Mateen lived in Fort Pierce, Florida, but received mail at his parents' home in nearby Port St. Lucie. Mateen had reportedly bragged about ties to "terrorist organizations" in the past, and became a person of interest to the FBI in 2013 and 2014. An investigation on Mateen was also opened prior to the attack, but ended up closing as it produced nothing that appeared to warrant further investigation. U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, stated that Mateen had pledged allegiance online to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Mateen's father said, "This had nothing to do with religion", adding that he had seen his son get angry after seeing a gay couple kissing months prior to the attack, and speculated that homophobia might have led to the attack.

The Tony Awards are tonight. Much of the Broadway community consists of gay males - so the shooting will be a theme.