I want to talk about guns, but let’s talk about hate first.
We do this thing, as a society, where we start calling someone a terrorist, and that makes it really easy to think of them as some kind of alien. A terrorist materialized in our midst and caused great suffering. In our lexicon, terrorist is basically the antonym of American.
But the majority of these shooters are Americans, born and raised. Most of them white. They speak English. They had jobs, cars, phones, bills. They lived in our society for decades. Often we hear every variation on the phrase “we never would have suspected” from friends and family. And I bet most of them weren’t lying.
We’re so hung up on ISIS and Islam. But maybe this guy, and the guys before him, just followed the lead of our culture, the examples of our role models and aspiring leaders. We had 29 years to talk this guy out of it. He spent his life in America. Maybe he learned his hatred from us.
Can we not find daily examples of homophobia broadcast across all channels of life? This last year has seen the campaigns of Cruz, Rubio, and Carson – people actively denying basic truths about sexual identity and promoting draconian ideals about gender and sexuality. More explicitly anti-LGBT laws have been proposed in state legislatures this year than ever before.
Why should we be surprised when someone takes to heart the messages from our society that some people are less deserving of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?