Recently, one of the worst mass shootings to take place on American soil occurred in Orlando, Florida. A so-called Muslim “terrorist” opened fire in a gay night club, killing 49 people and injuring 50 more. This is a travesty – imagine being in a public place to have fun when some miscellaneous person decides to kill you because of how you live your life. The shooter, now known to be Omar Mateen, was eventually killed by the police. According to reports, he had previously seen two men kissing and decided to be judge, jury and executioner.
It is interesting that these mass shootings continue even though the shooters almost always end up losing their own lives. And the fact that these mass shootings seem to be happening more frequently is frightening; in these situations both the hated and innocent by-standers get caught up in the cross-fire.
When you think about it, the world has bequeathed a legacy of hatred on world citizens. All over the globe people have, for one reason or another, decided that they have the right to murder people; to get rid of them. Sometimes it is done in the name of “God,” Allah, or as some have claimed, the “Devil.” What we can be sure of, however, is that the message that these murderers claim to receive is just plain wrong! No “god” that sanctions mass murder is on the right side of ethical behavior.
This brings us to the next point – there is a growing divide in America between groups of people. Xenophobia seems to be on the rise, but this did not start recently; America has a history of violent behavior. America’s leaders came to this continent and basically committed near-genocide on the indigenous population. They also spearheaded the murder of millions of Africans that they brought to these shores to work the land as slaves. It doesn’t stop there – popular culture is literally saturated with violence of all kinds. The average video game targeting youth is based on the ability to efficiently kill an enemy. Murder is all over the silver screen; and war is heavily glorified. Violence sells in America, and we will continue to have mass shootings as long as guns are readily available to a violence-prone population.
Regarding this last point – a lot of people decry the availability of guns as the chief culprit in the violence that is visiting America. Though it is true that people with guns kill other people, it is also true that guns do not in themselves kill people. And people who are inclined to murder others will always find a weapon to do the job, whether it be a gun, knife, baseball bat, poison, or other implement of mayhem. The actual problem that we are facing is a spiritual devolution encouraged by mean-spirited individuals in high places. It is becoming “grunge-chic” to knock political correctness in order to express hatred and disdain for others. People are actually proud to hate loudly. A situation like this has only one ultimate consequence – violent acts. When people are whipped up emotionally due to some bias and enjoy the company of an audience while in that state of agitation, violence is often the ultimate outcome.
The latest violence in Orlando, Florida, therefore, is far more than one deranged soul venting his anger on a maligned group of people; it is a bellwether for more of the same to come if the spiritual direction of the country continues on a downward spiral into the bowels of psychological Hades. This same spiritual devolution is evident in the Black-on Black shootings that are now out of control in Black communities. As a people and as a nation we seem to be careening headlong into self-destruction, and if we don’t stop and realize what we are doing before it is too late, the human race might end up being just a footnote in global history. With that said, we offer sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in Orlando, Florida, as well as to all other victims of senseless violence. A luta continua.