Slaughter in Gay Club in Orlando, Florida

After the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Photo: dw.com
After the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Photo: dw.com

HAVANA TIMES – At least 50 people died and 53 were injured in a shooting spree early Sunday morning at a gay nightclub in Orlando in Florida, said Mayor Buddy Dyer. It was one of the most serious shootings in modern US history, reported dpa news.

Of the 53 injured many are in critical condition after the attack of “unimaginable” dimensions at the club “Pulse,” said the mayor. The attacker was killed in a shootout with police.

US president, Barack Obama, said that the massacre in Orlando is being investigated as an act of terrorism.
“For all we know, this was an act of terrorism, an act of hate,” said the president, who warned however there is still an ongoing investigation into the shooting.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency to facilitate investigations involving local and federal authorities. Likewise Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called on people to donate blood.

Speculation began to circulate in the US media: television broadcasters NBC and CBS and the newspaper “The Washington Post” identified the aggressor, based on legal sources, as Omar M., a US citizen born in 1986 whose parents are from Afghanistan.

A native of New York and Port St. Lucie resident, 170 kilometers southeast of Orlando, he was not on the government’s terrorist list.

The father of the alleged perpetrator, Mir Sediqque, told NBC that the attack “has nothing to do with religion” and pointed instead to homophobic motives. He said his son was angry to see two men kissing some months ago in Miami. “We are saying that we apologize for the incident. We were not aware of anything he was doing. We are in shock like the rest of the country,” he told the station.

The authorities said they are investigating moves in all directions. An FBI agent said that the facts are being investigated as a possible “act of terrorism” and no hypothesis is discarded, even a possible connection with Islamic terrorism. “We are investigating all aspects,” he said.

The president of the Islamic Society of Florida, Mohammad Musri, told the media and the public today not to jump to conclusions.

Orlando Police chief, John Mina, said many corpses were still inside the building and that “it will take time” to clear the crime scene. Mina said that the author had an AR-15 assault rifle, a handgun and an “unknown number of charges”. He noted that he acted alone and that there is no evidence of any foreign assistance.

According to police the attack began at 2:00 (local, 0600 GMT) when a police officer confronted the author in front of the club, who then opened fire. Then two other officers came to the scene, and one of whom was wounded. The attacker then entered the club and began to shoot indiscriminately and took hostages.

A SWAT special force stormed the club three hours later, at 5:00 (9:00 GMT). According to Mina, the police entered with the help of explosives. The assailant was near a doorway and died during the shooting.

“At least 30 hostages were freed in the operation,” said Mina, who also said the assailant was carrying with him a “suspect device” that is being investigated.

On the assailant, police said he is not from Orlando. According to the evidence, “He was well organized and well prepared.” Mina further said that at the moment there is no indication that the assailant had acted out of hatred against homosexuals, although it is also investigating in this direction.

The club was packed and there were more than 300 persons for what was promoted as a Latin party on Saturday night. Witnesses said the shooting began shortly before closing time, when many people were still dancing. The club itself hung on his Facebook page the message: “Get out of Pulse and run.”

Witnesses reported that dozens of shots were fired in quick succession. There were at least 40, said Christopher Hansen to CNN. “At first I thought it was music. Then I saw people thrown to the ground and I too,” he said.

Many fled the building. The TV showed some of the wounded helping other persons out of the club who were still inside. Some of them had blood on his clothes.

Several city hospitals were involved in attending the victims as relatives and friends arrived. A crying mother said: “My son is there I don’t know how it is.”.

Police set up a barrier around the club shortly after the shooting. Trained dogs were brought to the scene to detect explosives.

Another crime shocked people in Orlando on Friday. A man shot singer Christina Grimmie, known for her participation in the TV talent show “The Voice”, and then committed suicide.

The head of the Mina police ruled out any connection between the two crimes.


39 thoughts on “Slaughter in Gay Club in Orlando, Florida

  • June 20, 2016 at 10:06 pm
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    Psst! Read the comment from Ben Weaver that much comment rs responding to.

  • June 20, 2016 at 2:42 pm
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    Well said brother, well said!!

  • June 20, 2016 at 2:32 pm
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    Moses, Moses, Moses! Where does the Castro Tyranny comes into this? Brother, I have said it already and I will say it again, “You are a nuclear weapon of hatred for the Castro’s, When you are ready to explode, please journey to outer space and explode there.

  • June 19, 2016 at 4:57 pm
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    “When the Castro regime obtained power following the revolution only two nations in the Americas maintained diplomatic status,they were Canada and Mexico. Cuba’s largest customer by far for tourists is Canada with well over 1,000,000 a year equivalent to 45% of the total. When the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau a Prime Minister of Canada and also father of the current one visited Cuba he ingratiated himself with a gift of Canadian taxpayers money of what thirty years ago was a substantial sum of $5 million and $5 more as an interest free loan. When speaking publicly in Havana, Trudeau said in support of the regime and with no concern for the plight of Cubans about whom he knew little and obviously cared less:
    “Long live Cuba, long live President Fidel Castro.”
    Such admiration by one Jesuit for another is not to be unexpected and both in their political decisions followed the Jesuit axiom that the end justifies the means. Unusually Fidel’s final response as a friend was to travel to Canada to attend Trudeau’s funeral. Both shared that Jesuit religious link with Stalin who studied for the Jesuit priesthood for four years in a seminary prior to pursuit of power through politics.”
    and:
    “It will be interesting to observe whether as Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau’s son Justin will carry on the tradition of Canadian Liberal Prime Ministers currying favour with the Castro family, having already pleased them by announcing the withdrawal of Canadian air support for former allies in Syria where the Castros long term friend President Bashar al-Assad struggles to retain power as President controlling only some 15% of Syria’s land mass, although now aided by another friend, inevitably Vladamir Putin.”
    Extract from the chapter on Friends and Allies in “Cuba, Lifting the Veil”
    Written by one who has a deep admiration for the people of Cuba, whose home is there and who is married to a Cuban.
    Anyone who professes a love for the Cuban people cannot logically admire, support and extol the virtues of the repressive communist regime of the Castro family.

  • June 17, 2016 at 6:50 am
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    Really? Canada loves Cubans. Then why do they need a visa to enter the country? As an American, I don’t need a visa. To me, it seems like you love Cubans as long as they stay in Cuba.

  • June 16, 2016 at 10:27 am
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    If only the trains ran on time.

  • June 16, 2016 at 10:26 am
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    A few facts: the AR-15 ‘assault rifle’ — the weapon of choice in recent mass murders in the US — is not a ‘sub-machine gun’. It’s semi-automatic, not automatic. That is, you have to pull the trigger for each shot. In fact, it’s no more lethal than a hunting rifle, except for its magazine capacity, typically 20 rounds. That’s the only real difference between an ‘assault rifle’ and an ordinary high-velocity deer rifle (i.e. not a .22). The rest is just cosmetic appearance: if you’re a maniac or a militia member or a ‘survivalist’ (most of whom avoided military service but want to play solider) they look scary, which is a large part of their appeal.

    The guy who did the latest mass murder was known to the FBI as a radical Islamist sympathyzer; he openly speculated about committing mass murder to a fellow employee of the security firm they worked for, and this man reported him, but said the firm was afraid to fire him because he was a Muslim and they would be accused of discrimination. (I don’t know if that’s the full story.)

    Many people on the Right have deep distaste for homosexuals, so they’ll be shedding some crocodile tears here. The Left will of course do everything in its power to push the discussion away from the Islamist roots of the killer, and talk about guns and homophobia instead. So expect a lot of humbug and cant and hypocrisy as a result of this.

  • June 16, 2016 at 10:12 am
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    The US should pass strict gun control legislation, like Belgium and France have, so that, like those countries, it wouldn’t have any Islamist terrorism.

  • June 15, 2016 at 8:53 pm
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    I do and its true. Our current Prime Minister is Justin Trudeau. His father Pierre Elliott Trudeau was our Prime Minister in the late 60’s and 70’s. He was the head of the Liberal Party of Canada. He visited Cuba several times and we have had a close diplomatic relationship with the Cuban Government ever since the Revolution. He also had a close personal relationship with Fidel. When he passed away a number of years ago Fidel came to Canada for the funeral.
    Each year some one and a half million Canadians visit Cuba as tourists. As a Canadian I love Cuba and the Cuban people. Friends forever! Solidarity forever!

  • June 15, 2016 at 5:11 pm
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    Do you live in Canada?

  • June 15, 2016 at 5:09 pm
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    No!

  • June 15, 2016 at 5:08 pm
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    You obviously don’t know Cuba, don’t know the people of Cuba and don’t appreciate the freedom of expression which enables you to write here. Your contributions are continuously fatuous and untruthful.
    Can you explain why in a country where the population is down to 11.1 million, there are no immigrants?
    Can you explain why refugees from Syria do not seek to go to Cuba or Russia?
    Can you explain why Fidel Castro was lying when he promised freedom of the press and open elections in Cuba?
    Time for you to address reality rather than joking at the expense of those suffering the oppression of communist Cuba.
    Why not try answering a few questions rather repetitive bleatings in support of repression for others, but not for yourself?

  • June 15, 2016 at 4:57 pm
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    I can only contribute to these pages when I am not at home, liberty and freedom is confined to the democratic countries of the capitalist western world, that is why you are able to express your views – not possible in Cuba.
    I am an opponent of dictatorship, irrespective of whether it is of the right (Pinochet) or of the left (Castro). How about you? Do you favour freedom for the people of Cuba, freedom of the media, freedom to vote for whom they choose?
    The alternative is that you approve repressive dictatorship, that you approve mothers and fathers being jailed for three years for teaching their own children in their own home anything which is contrary to communism!
    it is you who are an opponent of the people of Cuba!

  • June 15, 2016 at 4:11 pm
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    Despite the topic, I owe it to the publisher of Havana Times to at least try to make my comments relevant to Cuba. Besides, I talk huge sh*t when other commenters don’t tie their comments to Cuba. Finally, it chafes my hide when pro-Castro types jump on anything negative in the news that takes place in the US with a third-grader comment like “at least that doesn’t happen in Cuba”. In effect they are saying that you have to pull your pants down and bend over and let the Brothers from Biran do their thing in order to avoid mass murderers, drug dealers and the Kardashians. As I said before, that’s a false dichotomy.

  • June 15, 2016 at 1:54 pm
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    Moses, you don’t have to surrender yourself to tyranny to feel safe. Just ban all military style assault rifles and make it a little harder to buy a gun. I see were the Congress is trying to have members agree to consider a law which says if you’re on the ‘no fly’ list you should also be on the ‘no buy’ list. Apparently there is even opposition to this small step. . Please don’t bring up the situation in Cuba. Not helpful in this discussion. Aside from the loss of life in Orlando, how can the American people accept the loss of approx. 32,000 people each year from gun violence. I guess they are just getting numb to it. Its up to Congress to finally act and bring some sanity and common sense to the interpretation and meaning of the 2nd. Amendment.

  • June 15, 2016 at 1:34 pm
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    I did. It sucked. I like clean streets, soft toilet paper, red meat and the freedom to scream F*CK YOU Mr. President in the town square too much to put myself back into that crap. Nope, I’d rather save my shekels and visit once or twice a year. But I am a “friend of the People”.

  • June 15, 2016 at 1:29 pm
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    Hahaha! That’s nuts! And you know who agrees with me? The Castros! That’s why they don’t permit an opposition party to exist. To be clear, there was a time long, long, long ago when the dictatorship would have won in an open and free election. But not now. Nonetheless, Cubans are voting with their feet and leaving Cuba in record numbers.

  • June 15, 2016 at 10:35 am
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    This type of “stuff” coming out of the US is exactly why the Cuban people continue to support their revolution with such great enthusiasm. They have no interest in the gun culture of the USA. They prefer to live in safety and peace, where there is order and genuine human respect and dignity. By the way, Canada is one of the closest friends Cuba has past and present. Canadians love Cuba, Fidel, and the Revolution. Friends forever. Solidarity forever.

  • June 15, 2016 at 10:26 am
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    Fidel and the Revolution was and is overwhelming supported by the Cuban people. You are out of touch, my friend.

  • June 15, 2016 at 10:25 am
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    Why don’t you live there IF you are such a friend of the People?

  • June 15, 2016 at 10:24 am
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    Since you CLAIM to live in Cuba, why are you there? You have the liberty and freedom to say anything you want, obviously. Are you an enemy of the revolution? Explain yourself.

  • June 15, 2016 at 9:08 am
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    Honestly no. While I personally do not share the fascination, I am fully aware of the love affair Americans have with guns. I have no idea what it will take to stem this reoccurring tragedy. If the massacre of Sandy Hook didn’t do it, I fear nothing will. But again, if your comment is a backhanded way to justify Castro tyranny, I continue to disagree. I do not believe that a society must surrender itself to tyranny to feel safe from these kinds of problems.

  • June 14, 2016 at 5:45 pm
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    As I said Ben, viewed from other Western countries the views expressed by the Republican candidate appear to be madness. But he got 10 million supporting voters! The same candidate has been endorsed by the NRA.
    It just so happens that I disapprove of shootings in the street, even by gangsters shooting other gangsters. The gun culture of the US is a mystery to the rest of the Western World, but there are apparently millions of US citizens who think that the answer is for everyone to carry a gun to protect themselves.

  • June 14, 2016 at 3:04 pm
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    I support the US Constitution’s 2nd amendment as I believe the Constitution’s framers intended.To that end, if there were more guns in the hands of law-abiding Cubans, the Castro dictatorship would have long ago been cast upon the dung heap of failed socialist dictatorships.

  • June 14, 2016 at 3:00 pm
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    It sure reads like you are gloating.

  • June 14, 2016 at 11:45 am
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    Brother Moses,I do not want to sound callous, disrespectful or uncaring, for the sanctity of human life far outweigh everything else.. I mourn for the loss of those lost lives; but, isn’t this a wake up call for America? The mass loss of lives every where should be a touching and saddening event. Life is not only sacred in America; life is sacred all over the Planet. When America invaded Iraq in 2003 illegally when the UN Inspectors reported that there were no weapons of mass destruction, innocent lives were lost. When America dropped napalm bombs on innocent little children in Vietnam on the pretext of a shooting incident on August 02,1964 involing an American warship and North Vietnam gunboats, which led to the Vietnam war where hundreds of lives, Vietnamese and American lives were lost. Those lives were sacred. Those who were tortured under the Pinochet regime in Chile,fully supported by the American Government were sacred. Those lives which were lost through the School of Latin America in Virginia which trained death Squads for the military juntas in Latin America, causing assassinations, torture, disappearances, were sacred too and mothers mourned for their loved ones for all lives are sacred. There is a Universal Law called the “LAW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT.” If you do good, good will follow you> If you do evil, evil will eventually catch up with you. No one can ecape this Law.and you will pay whether in this world or in the other wold to come. No one escapes it! What has happened in 9/11 and in Orlando should be wake up time for America. What has happened should be a time for reflection: but , can the high and mighty America take time out to refflect? Can the Great America which says that God Blesses it, shed some of its arrogance and clothe itself with some humility to ask itself what is really going wrong with it? Can the great Arrogant land along with its inhabitants cloak itself with some humility to ask itself why the same God Who blesses it is allowing these things to be happening to it? The simple answer to these querries is, “ou reap what you sow! You cannot plant corn and reap potatoes: You spit up in the air and it falls right back into your face: You do good and good will always follow you: You perform evil deeds and they will eventually catch up with you. When Russia was invited to Afghanistan by the Socialist Government, America supported the Alqueda terrorists and armed them with the most modern weaponry. Years later, America was attacked 9/11. They eventually hunted down and killed Alqueda’s leader, Bin Laden. After the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, America armed and trained all kind of terrorist groups to destroy that Revolution. There is a man who bombed a Cubana Airline and America gave him shelter after all the passengers and crew were killed. All of us will someday be rewarded for the good deeds we have performed to our fellowmen and condemned for the evil we have done to our fellow men. Is America’s day of reckoning at hand? Is America’s pay back day at hand? Is America prepared to cloak itself in Humility and perform a post mortem on itself anf change its course? As I said earlier, ALL Human Life Is Sacred; therfore, I cannot gloat over the tragic loss of any lives. There are many lessons to be learned fronmevery tragedy which strkes us! I hope America is taking cognizance of its hypocritical foreign policies, is America prepared to abide by the U.N. Charter by showing respect to the sovereignty of all member states.

  • June 14, 2016 at 10:36 am
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    Moses, what manner of man are you brother? The right to carry a weapon in Cuba? I am awfully sure that the Cubans do not need or cherish that right

  • June 14, 2016 at 9:00 am
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    Preventing Muslims from entering the US would not have prevented the horror of Orlando. The shooter was a security guard working in Florida and born in New York not far from Donald Trump’s birthplace .Apparently he had a violent temper, was homophobic and had mental health issues. The influence of radical Islam obtained over the Internet is also a factor. There’s many more like him out there. The nut that shot all those young children at Sandy Hook was not a Muslim.
    Al Capone and the Mafia didn’t shoot ordinary people. They shot and eliminated rivals. The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre is a good example of that. The movie “The Godfather” and others clearly depict life in the underworld where they spend most of their time going after rivals. Not ordinary citizens.
    I still don’t understand why the Congress can’t pass a law to ban the sale and possession of all military style assault weapons. Most of the mass shootings lately involve the use of these weapons. That’s the problem begging for a solution.

  • June 14, 2016 at 1:20 am
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    Go live there! Then you might have some basis for your views. You may have heard of Jose Marti known as the Apostle of Cuba.
    Marti said that in the the US he had:

    “profound admiration for those many basic liberties and opportunities open to the vast majority of American citizens.”

    he also sought:

    “the welfare and prosperity of all Cubans”

  • June 14, 2016 at 1:10 am
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    Ben, read my third and fourth paragraphs. I said with reference to the use of a sub-machine gun:

    “That’s a long way from the firearms available when the US Constitution was written.”

    I think that from all that has been reported, the killer at Orlando was a radicalized Muslim who was able to walk into a shop and openly purchase the weapons and ammunition he used. Concerned followers of Islam ought to be examining how to introduce reform into those purporting to be of their faith who are not only murdering innocent people in a wide number of countries, but are murdering each other. Suicide bombers in Muslim countries are busy murdering other Muslims. It seems to me that only those of that faith can remedy these problems.

    The Republican candidate for the Presidency of the US considers that the answer to the daily gun killings in the US, is not to control gun sales, but to prevent the entry of Muslims to the US. He got some 10 million votes in the Republican primaries. Viewed from other Western countries, such views appear to be madness. I don’t think that when Al Capone and the Mafia were busy shooting people that there were any Muslims in Chicago.

  • June 13, 2016 at 7:18 pm
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    Moses. Do you think its possible that now, finally, the American people will agree to give up their freedom to own and possess a military style assault weapon that can fire 100 rounds into a crowd before reloading? Or is that too much to ask? The problem of keeping guns out of the hands of mass murders is that they are not a mass murderer until they kill a whole bunch of people. The Orlando shooter was not a mass murderer until Sunday. He had a legal permit to carry an assault rifle.

  • June 13, 2016 at 7:10 pm
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    Not if you’re hungry, or want access to news and information, or want a house, or a car (or any reliable transportation) or are looking to express yourself (counter to what the regime finds acceptable). Then no, not so much. I prefer my freedom, with all the challenges it brings.

  • June 13, 2016 at 3:09 pm
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    This is NOT an ‘either/or’ situation. Keeping guns out of the hands of mass murderers does not demand that we give up ALL OF our personal freedoms as is the case in Cuba. The US can do better without turning into a tyrannical dictatorship.

  • June 13, 2016 at 3:06 pm
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    Cuba, lacking only the relative easy access to weapons, I will agree. But this is owed to the Castro dictatorship’s police state which severely limits individual freedoms, including the right to gun ownership. In Cuba, only the Castros have guns.

  • June 13, 2016 at 12:13 pm
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    This all makes Cuba seem pretty good, doesn’t it.

  • June 13, 2016 at 12:12 pm
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    Something like this could never have happened in Cuba.

  • June 13, 2016 at 11:51 am
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    I don’t know if we can put all the blame on the influence of the radicalism of Islam. Based on the reported approximately 32,000 deaths across the US each year from gun violence there has already been over 90 such deaths since the massacre Sunday morning in Orlando. Of course the Orlando massacre will make the headlines because of its suddenness and numbers. Its beyond me how they can allow the sale of military style assault weapons to anyone with a permit. I don’t think the writers of the Constitution had this in mind when they wrote “the right to bear arms”. In any event, in my opinion, there is just too many guns around period. I agree that Canada does have common sense restrictions on the availability of guns. Assault rifles are illegal. We are forever confiscating guns from people entering Canada at our border crossings.

  • June 13, 2016 at 7:16 am
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    Often on this website we compare Cuba with the US as to how democratic they are. In the wake of this horror Americans felt free to go into the streets to express themselves. One sign that I saw said “NRA = Death” The person with the sign felt free to publicly criticize a powerful group.
    But this also underlines how powerful groups are able to subvert democracy in the US. Most Americans would agree that the killer should not have had such easy access to assault weapons. But a powerful lobby, the National Rifle Association, has been able to stop common sense amendments to US gun laws.

  • June 12, 2016 at 3:11 pm
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    One must first express horror at this massacre with sympathy for the relatives of the slain and hopes for the physical recovery of the survivors.
    For those who profess to be followers of Islam, the challenges of addressing the radicalism which appears to be rife in those following their faith are ever increasing and they have to find means of restoring faith in themselves to persuade their fellow Muslims to accept and learn to live with those of other or no faith. So far there is only evident failure.
    The difficulties are compounded in the US by a Constitution which permits – or indeed encourages – “the right to bear arms.” The apparent multi-murderer although previously subjected to FBI interrogation was able to openly purchase both firearms and a form of sub-machine gun. That’s a long way from the firearms available when the US Constitution was written.
    The US Constitution is very evidently in need of much revision, not just about the right to bear arms, but the appearance of purchasing election. There is a need to limit the amount of money that any individual or company can contribute per year to any political party and all that is necessary is to copy the restrictions which are applied in Canada.

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