Opinion – TIME: Why Did They Die? (Orlando)

For issue 74 of TIME magazine, the cover lists all forty-nine victims of the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. It’s printed over a solid black background with a question written in red bold letters beside it, “Why Did They Die?

For the second deadliest attack on US soil since 9/11,  the Orlando massacre is the tipping point for so many issues in America, and the world at large. In particular, issues towards the LGBT community; homophobia, gun control, and mental illness.

The news media is trying its best, along with the FBI and the right-wing, to make this story about terrorism, because it’s sensational and it feeds into the agenda of the arms race and war overseas, and it’s bad for the National Riffles Association – one of America’s most powerful lobby, if not THE most powerful. The news media were quick to use “TERROR” in their tickers, because it draws attention, while “HOMOPHOBIA” does not.

It was reported that the attacker called 911 a few times, where he pledged his allegiance to a terror group. Even if there is no hard evidence that he’s one of them, all a sudden he’s a terrorist. As if he was trained overseas in the terrorist training camp grounds. Now there are talks of stepping up offensive against the terror group. And of course, the terror group gladly accepted the undue credit and immediately took advantage of it, posting recruitment propaganda. US allies were quick to chime in. The left-wing were quick to point fingers at all Muslims – whom they accuse of being “terrorists.” The unfortunate thing is, the massacre has nothing to do with any of this. It’s all twisted propaganda aimed at serving left-wing interest.

The massacre was driven by hate and homophobia. The killer was mentally ill, and unfortunately, he was able to buy weapons easily. His religious belief and “pledge of allegiance” to the terrorist group has no bearing whatsoever with his actions. The fact that he was already mentally ill, he could’ve just as well been encouraged to do harm by watching violent video games or movies. An unarmed mentally ill person is just a mentally ill person. An armed mentally ill person is a potential killer. Gun control is a serious issue in America, and it’s made difficult to reform because of three things: the National Riffles Association’s lobbying against legislation that makes buying weapons difficult, the archaic 2nd Amendment – which was passed at a time when America was in turmoil, and people who strongly believes that the government is after them, who believes they need guns to feel safe.

Homophobia is a global issue for the LGBT community, it’s more serious in some countries. It’s driven by fear and ignorance. Religion has a lot to do with it, and exacerbated by lack of education and die-hard believers who act out on their fear. Even if mental illness and gun control issues persist in America, if people with different beliefs learn to respect and keep to themselves, this tragedy could’ve been avoided. Problems arise when a group attempts to impose their ways or neutralize another group because they’re against it.

When it comes to basic human rights, we all deserve it, all humans do. What we do in our own backyard is our business. If only this were the case in modern society. Humans may have progressed technologically, but as a species, we never really evolved. Just watch the news, the evidence is all there.

Everyone needs to demand change, in America and the world. We need champions to make change happen through good leadership and sound and fair legislation. But most of all, people’s mentality needs to change – and this will take generations. We need to evolve as enlightened human beings.

#WeAreOrlando #Orlando 

Keep the conversation open. #GunControl #Homophobia #MentalIllness #RejectTheSpin


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