For those who are interested, there is a map detailing all of the mass shootings from 1982-2016 (including the June 12 incident). It can be found here.
On June 12, 2016 the United States of America saw the worst mass shooting in recent history. I’m specifying recent history due to the fact that the US has seen far worse during the Native American genocide, but that was in the past, yo! And let’s not even get started on what we did to the African Americans in 1917 (100+ killed), 1921 (55-300 killed), or 1932 (dozens). We can’t be blamed for what our ancestors did!
We just get to blame everybody else for what their ancestors did!
Ok, back on track. The shooting occured in Orlando, Florida around 2am, leaving 49 people plus the shooter dead and over 50 wounded. News agencies were quick to point out the shooter’s Muslim background and the fact that he had called 911 during the shooting to pledge his allegiance to ISIS. Everyone seemed ready to jump on the terrorist bandwagon and begin attacking Islam once again.
News came out later in the day that a man in California was captured carrying several weapons and materials to make a pipe bomb. For some reason, the news has yet to refer to this guy as a terrorist or even a potential terrorist. The man, James Howell, had the same intent as the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, yet only Omar is being referred to repeatedly as a terrorist. In fact, there isn’t a single article I can find that mentions James’ religious affiliation.
Is it because Omar made that 911 call? Is it because he has made comments about pledging to other Islamic terrorist groups (all of whom hate each other)? Or could it possibly be that people are needing yet another excuse to find a group of people to turn their hatred towards?
Remember, James Howell was white. We can’t go and call our lovely white men terrorists! Only brown people can be terrorists! Just look at the Planned Parenthood shooter, or the Aurora, Colorado shooter and tell me how quickly the media jumped to calling them terrorists.
Oh that’s right, they only did it on a few select outlets (mostly left leaning and feminist outlets) and those outlets were bashed for calling these men terrorists.
When it came to the Planned Parenthood shooter and to James, the news media was quick to point out that the police were trying to find a motive for the shooting. Just make sure you ignore the fact that both men actually told police why they were doing what they were doing. In the case of Omar?
TERRORISM! ISIS! ISLAM!
If you were someone like myself who tried to point out that there were other causes for what he did, or that he is in the minority for people committing mass shootings and therefore trying to place all the blame on one topic was absurd, you got a rather large wave of backlash for your comments. At one point I was forced to mute people because they were so dead set on having Islam be the scapegoat for this latest massacre that anything and everything I said fell on deaf ears (or would it be blind eyes since it was written?).
Even if it is the case that we can place the blame on religion in this shooting, how then are we to explain all the other mass shootings? Remember that the US is home to nearly a third of the worlds mass shootings when we look at the time period of 1966 to 2012. In fact, there are more mass shootings in the U.S. than any other country in the world. They surveyed 292 incidents using the FBI’s definition of a mass shooting (four or more people killed), and found that 90 of them had occurred in the US. The next country on the list, the Philippines, came in at 18. Let that sink in for a moment.
Let’s also let this sink in:
According to the Gun Violence Archive, which compiles data from shooting incidents, a “mass shooting” is any incident where four or more people are wounded or killed. That number can include any gunmen as well. By that definition, we’ve seen 136 mass shootings in the first 164 days of this year.
According to the Washington Post article “The Math of Mass Shootings”, data was examined in the worst cases (most deaths/injuries) from 1966 to 2016, and they received a total of 126 mass shootings that did not include gang violence, shootings that began as other crimes, or killings that involved only the shooter’s family. They kept to a very specific set of guidelines which can be found in their article (linked below).
Let’s take a look at some of the data from these 126 events. The specifications for these are a lone shooter (or two shooters in a few of the cases) who kills four or more people during the event.
- There were a total of 869 victims
- 144 of these were children or teenagers
- Shooters brought on average four weapons to their shooting (244 guns total)
- 140 were obtained legally
- 39 were obtained illegally
- There were 129 shooters
- All but three were male
- 72 of them died at or near the scene
- Most often by suicide
- Most of the incidents took place at either a school or a business
Add to this the fact that the US owns more guns per citizen than any other country with 88.8 guns per 100 people (Yemen is in second place), and the fact that of all of the shooting incidents the FBI reviewed between 2000 and 2013, only 5 of 160 incidents ended with an armed citizen taking down the shooter, it really brings to question the narratives of the good guy with a gun, or how if only we had more guns we would be safer.
But I’m getting off topic, back to the Islam blaming!
So we’ve got the data on the majority of the mass shootings that have taken place in the US from 1966 to the present, with numbers showing gang violence both included and excluded. We’ve seen that of all of the mass shootings, only 3 of the shooters were female. So what about religion? That is what is being blamed for the Orlando incident, so let’s see if Islam is to blame for these mass shootings!
Just from perusing the news around the various shooters, such as the Planned Parenthood shooter, Robert Dear, one can see that unless the suspect is thought to be a Muslim, his religion or religious ties are either not called into question, or are just a footnote in the story. We don’t see people going out and calling for the destruction of all Christians or how evil Christianity is (seriously, it’s a fucked up religion if you sit down and actually read the books). In fact, we see a lot of back peddling and attempts to push the shooter’s mental health as the cause of the shootings.
So then why such focus on Islam?
We constantly hear about “radical Islam” and how all Muslims need to be held accountable for the fringe minority who go out and commit heinous crimes. We see people on social media practically screaming for the destruction of Islam or to label the religion as a religion of hatred and to have it banned. Why aren’t we seeing people doing the same for “radical Christianity” or say…”radical Judaism”? Let us not forget that at least two pastors of the Christian faith have come out since the Orlando shooting not only praising the deaths of the victims, but saying that this should occur more often! These CHRISTIAN pastors are calling for people to go out and kill LGBT+ individuals, or to have the government round up the LGBT+ community and have them all executed.
Hey, is anyone else feeling the urge to go, “You know who else wanted to do this sort of thing? Hitler.”?
So um…where is the outcry for the destruction of Christianity? Where is the outcry to have all Christians held accountable for the fringe minority? Why isn’t the news media labeling every Christian shooter as a terrorist just like they do with any shooter who may or may not be Muslim? Because we need someone to hate, and Islam is the perfect boogeyman to turn our hatred towards.
Just think about this quote from Kelly James Clark of the Brooks College and Kaufman Interfaith Institute:
For every non-Muslim shooting suspect, the media never mentioned their religion. Moreover, in nearly every case, it was claimed that the mass shooters were suffering from some sort of mental instability.
Of all the mass shootings to occur, less than 1% have been by Muslims, yet the second the media finds out they were or are a Muslim, that is all that is talked about. The cause moves from anything else to ISLAM. Islam is to blame. Period. End of story. In 2015, only one mass shooting out of the 207 that had occurred was by a Muslim. From 1982 to the present, only four mass shootings have been committed by Muslims, and those Muslims are rarely devout followers. Omar was known to drink heavily (something that is forbidden in Islam), was gay, and committed many acts that are expressly forbidden by his supposed faith. The shooter in the Chattanooga shootings, Mohammad Abdul Azeez, was a known drug and alcohol abuser who had been ostracized by his family and friends, yet what was the one thing the news media looked at when it came to his crime? That he was a Muslim. Suddenly he became a “devout Muslim” and that his attack was because of his religion. The media jumped on the terrorism bandwagon and went to town on the story.
Yet we don’t see that happening with Christian shooters. We don’t see their religion being the sole reason for their shooting spree. We instead go to the good old reasons of “mental health” and “gun culture”.
The hypocrisy is strong in this.
Could religion play a part in the reasoning behind a shooting? Yes.
Could the person’s upbringing play a part in the reasons behind a shooting? You bet your sweet ass it does.
Does the availability of guns play a part in these shootings? FUCK TO THE HELL YES.
Does the person’s mental health play a part in the reasons behind a shooting? “I’ll take self answering questions for $1,000, Alex”
So why then, are we only focusing on Omar’s supposed religious background for his motive? We’ve got more than enough data spread out before us to show us that people with serious mental health problems are able to not only purchase, but own guns legally in the US ( See my video on this here), and yet we refuse to do anything about it. We refuse to fix our failing mental health system in the US (which was practically dismantled in the 1980s instead of trying to fix it), we refuse to close loopholes that allow people who shouldn’t have guns to purchase them, and we refuse to even allow scientists to study gun violence!
You’ll hear excuses such as, “If we make laws against guns, only criminals will have guns!” These are the same fucktards that think banning abortion will stop all abortions, let that sink in.
We refuse to fix the problems in front of us, instead focusing on some giant boogeyman for us to hate. I’m pretty sure we all read the book 1984 in school, and I’m hoping that we remember that they had a daily event, known as the Two Minutes of Hate where people were expected to spend that time hating on certain figures of ideas. The two minutes of hate was used to prime citizens with hatred for rival nations and ideas.
WE ARE DOING THE EXACT SAME FUCKING THING WITH BLAMING ISLAM FOR THE REASON OF THE MASS SHOOTING!
WE ARE CREATING A BOOGEYMAN TO HATE INSTEAD OF TRYING TO FIX A KNOWN PROBLEM!
And yet, I’m the one who is attacked because I won’t jump on the “Hate Islam” bandwagon? I can despise a religion all I want, but apparently unless I’m willing to turn this into a literal them vs us (Islam vs us), I’m an Islam apologist.
Because I want to look at the reasons behind the shootings instead of the buzzwords and the hate, I’m the bad guy. Because I want us to focus on the data that shows the reasons behind the shootings, I’m burying my head in the sand. Because I refuse to blame a religion that I dislike (like I dislike all organized religions) and refuse to fight to destroy it, I’m not worthy of being considered human.
If I were to point out that almost all of the shooters were white men, I would get crucified.
If I were to point out that almost all of the shooters had legal access to the guns they used, I would be slammed as anti-gun and wanting to take away people’s rights.
If I were to point out that the vast majority of the shooters were either non-religious or Christian, I would be told I’m hateful and bigoted.
Yet if I blame Islam and say we need to destroy it, I’m on the side of justice!
So why do I refuse to jump on the “Anti-Islam” bandwagon? Simple.