Orlando Terror Focus Already (Predictably) Pivoting to Debate over Radical Islam, Gun Control
You can see the narrative already forming on Twitter…
If it’s terrorism involving a shooter (Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen) with “leanings” (FBI characterization) toward radical Islam, it’s a Trump issue. Or maybe it’s a gun control issue and therefore Hillary’s issue. And for simple proof (and there’s thousands of examples already), here’s an unfortunate microcosm of the kind of conversation of what’s all over social media this morning… simply click on the CBS News Tweet below to see the reaction to it and what qualifies as mourning and sober perspective in this country:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 12, 2016
It’s what we’ve been reduced to as a society… this whole process of horrific events like what happened at an Orlando nightclub early this morning that left at least 50 dead and more than 50 injured. But after the sober, serious process of standard reporting is complete — and that will happen quickly here with the suspect now dead (unlike the Boston bombings, which went on for days after with the suspects on the run) — the focus will quickly turn (and it has already) on what this means for the presidential election: Who will ultimately benefit from this kind of tragedy? Who reacted more swiftly and/or quickly? Which party is responsible for X, Y, Z?
We saw it after Charleston and witnessed it after Oregon, after Paris, after San Bernardino, after Brussels. It, of course, is the act of placing lunatics into nice, neat, political and/or ideological boxes. Dylann Roof waved a Confederate Flag? It’s somehow a Republican problem. The president didn’t respond passionately or appropriately after Paris? That could be a problem for the Democrats/Hillary in 2016…
It’s just the way we’re many are programmed now. We’re numb as a society when it comes to mass shootings and terror attacks… the shock and anger has turned to resignation and, after initial dismay, almost apathy. We move on emotionally much faster from these kinds of stories as a part of the human condition when an event — even as unspeakable as what happened in Orlando with a heavily armed man taking human lives like it was some kind of video game in his deranged head — keeps happening over and over. Just look at Chicago, where 69 people were shot in one weekend just two weeks ago. 69. And it barely registered on the media map because of the echo of it all. Orlando will receive much more coverage only because of who and what was behind it… it just the way it works.
So as a default, we look for something or someone to blame. Was Orlando ISIS inspired or directed? Who is to blame for the rise of homeland terror? Can the next president regardless of who wins really stop something like this from happening via gun control measures or stronger borders and tougher immigration policy?
These are the questions you’re already hearing on cable news and social media this morning. It’s the way we respond now:
Shock, yes… but not nearly as much.
Anger, of course… but at anyone but those actually responsible.
Apathy… because we’ve seen this movie in various forms dozens of times before.
And if you’re looking for a fairly typical reaction from Twitter, here you go:
Orlando shooter identified as Omar Mateen
Trump will blame Islam
Hillary will blame guns
Obama will give a speechhttps://t.co/YcxOtx4eHU
— Ram Prasad (@ramprasad_c) June 12, 2016
Yup… that basically sums up the narrative you’ll be hearing for the next week.
Follow Joe Concha on Twitter @JoeConcha
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.