When a lone gunman systematically guns down people in a nightclub in cold blood, killing fifty, and wounding roughly fifty-five, you can expect just about every media outlet on the planet to cover it. Including this online horror magazine. Especially, this online horror zine decorated with dark and eerie aesthetics. More importantly, a small space, the dark corner of the intent that this zine finds itself in creates a place where readers can have a dialog about many topics that this mass shooting will sure to bleed into.
Before we get into the thick of the matter, it is important to note that Omar Mateen, the gunman, had a personal motive. According to reports, Omar Mateen had witnessed tow guys kissing and was deeply offended. It would seem like something of a South Park episode for something like two dudes showing affection towards one another to escalate to gunning down waves of men simply because of sexual orientation.
Question: on the initial report of the tragedy, what did you think of it? When the news first broke to you, who did you think was responsible? The answer to that question says a lot about the current state of our world. I would’ve said society, and run parallel to Rush’s Tom Sawyer, but world is much more appropriate. For me, when I first heard the news, I figured we have three options as to who was responsible.
First, a radicalized Christian with an extreme hatred for them damn homosexuals. Second, a psychotic individual that had a long lapse of forgetting to take his meds. Lastly, a radicalized Muslim that sees ISIS as being the worlds coolest club complete with a supply of female sex slaves (this is a thing).
If you guessed the third option, then you’re right on the money, and guess what? You win a prize. The prize is going to be, most certainly, Donald Trump as President of the United States of America. But you also would’ve won a bet, because I bet that most people would jump to that conclusion. Honestly, I was sort of hoping that it would be someone of any other faith, but no. The shooter was in fact a Muslim that thought the members of ISIS were deserving of hi-fives. That combination of a religion that is the opposite of a religion of peace combined with idolizing those that literally and very violently take the written word of Muhammad to the extreme is dangerous and a threat to anyone in any nation at anytime.
Now, some might be quick to point out that not all Muslims, and blah blah blah, but they failed to read the previous paragraph carefully. I did not insinuate in the slightest that all Muslims are extremists, but there is an underlying message that is dangerous if taken to the extreme. True, not all Muslims practice the written word of their holy book to the exact letter any better than any other faith, let’s say Christians. As bloody and brutal as the Old Testament is, and it would make for a hard-R film with rape, incest, and body mutilation, the old book is off-set by the more peaceful, kid-friendly, and mother approved complete 180 teachings of Jesus Christ. The Quran doesn’t have a profit of peace or a more peaceful revision of the old, it literally commands followers to kill those that do not believe, to slay them where they stand, yet many try to market Islam as a religion of peace.
But, of course, some Christians cling on to the written word of the Old as if the New didn’t change anything. Especially, when the topic of homosexuality comes up. Numerous Christians are still butt-hurt about the idea of two dudes or two ladies being able to marry.
On a theological standpoint, I understand that both religions would give license for a devote and angry follower to commit such a horrible act, but the number one fact that made the first option more like hopeful wishing is that Christians aren’t the ones blowing themselves up, gunning people down in Europe, and going on a homosexual killing spree. Theologically, there is an argument that gets ugly, but stats do not lead to an ugly dirty argument. The stats lead to one point, and one point only, that there is strong correlation between terror attacks, as this was a domestic terror attack, and Islam. With any correlation the two questions are why and how?
The why is simple. You take people who are angry and feel like they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by fulfilling prophet Muhammad’s command and you’ll get people willing to slay the infidels where they stand.
The how is simple, too. These same radicalized individuals cross borders and have access to weapons, even legally. Omar Mateen worked security and had access to firearms, and no amount of reasonable gun control would’ve prevented him from having guns. Omar lived in the US as a citizen, no amount of reasonable border control would’ve prevent this tragedy.
For solutions, nullifying the how (the access to weapons, crossing border) would require to ban all of one particular faith from having guns, and barring them from entering the country. Is this the path we’re headed? Perhaps there is a reasonable way to screen for the outliers in a particular group. After all, even if these extreme bans were in place, the ideology would still spread through the freedom of speech, and I pray that the majority of us are not willing to forgo our first amendment right.
So, really, what can we do? Where do we go from here?