The Orlando shootings were not an opportunity to talk about gun control and cry out at the system, nor was it simply a hate crime. While President Obama refuses to admit it, the attacks on Sunday were a terrorist attack.
While politicians may use their scare tactics and anti-gun angle in the following weeks, it is important to recognize that the issue in this case was in the Islamic extremist who was not under surveillance by the government, and was allowed to legally purchase firearms. A radicalized US citizen was investigated and interrogated by the FBI twice, in regards to Islamic ties and, according to Ronald Hopper, assistant special agent in charge stated that, “those interviews turned out to be inconclusive, so there was nothing to keep the investigation going.”
After seeing two men kissing in Miami, the shooter expressed his outrage to his father. His father, who kept his distance regarding the case, came forward early on Monday to give a press release. In a video posted on his social media, his father stated that while he didn’t think his son was capable of doing this crime, “God will punish those involved in homosexuality.” His other family members also have kept their distance from the press, only stating that he wasn’t a religious or violent person.
While the government stopped their investigation, new information has come to light in the hours after the incident. A coworker has come forward saying that he was a devout Muslim who prayed several times a day but also repeatedly made racist, misogynist and homophobic remarks. Both the coworkers and his former wives admitted that the shooter was mentally unhinged and unstable and violent.
In his 911 call, the shooter claimed to be performing his act in the name of the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and claimed allegiance to Boston Marathon Bombers and a Florida man who died as a suicide bomber in the Middle East that he went to a local mosque with. Not long after did ISIS news source Amaq, release a press statement that read “the attack that targeted a night club for homosexuals in Orlando, Florida, and left more than one hundred dead and wounded. Carried out by an Islamic state fighter.”
As more information has been brought to light, more politicians and gun control enthusiasts have been quick to label this attack as related to gun crimes. However, Senator Marco Rubio, in an interview stated that, “if you want to have a debate on gun control, that’s fine, but this was terrorism.” More politicians including the president should be emboldened. This was not a hate crime, or an issue with gun control. It was an extremist terrorist attack.