US Opinion and Commentary

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Islamic State’s Terror Spree

Posted July 5th, 2016 at 4:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Carnage marks the end of Ramadan 2016. Attacks on the airport in Istanbul, a bakery in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a market in Baghdad and a suicide bombing in the holy city of Medina punctuated the final week of Islam’s holiest month.

Blood was shed in the name of Islam throughout Ramadan: the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando; suicide bombers at an army post in Jordan as well as in Yemen and Lebanon; the shooting of an Israeli man in a road and stabbing of a 13-year old Israeli girl while she slept in the West Bank.

Whether carried out or inspired by Islamic State or other actors, the blood-letting is unlikely to abate. And that leaves all of us to wonder what to do next.

A Gun Law that Could Have Prevented the Orlando Massacre

Posted June 22nd, 2016 at 4:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Under a GVRO policy, family members and/or law enforcement officials can petition a judge to have firearms temporarily removed from an individual in crisis for a period of one year. This would allow those who are a threat to themselves and/or others the time they need to get help and heal.

The L.G.B.T Case for Guns

Posted June 22nd, 2016 at 10:52 am (UTC-5)
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Since the attack in Orlando, Fla., many L.G.B.T. groups have been calling loudly for laws restricting gun ownership. But if anyone should be concerned about protecting the individual right to bear arms, it’s L.G.B.T. people. We need to stop preaching nonviolence and voting for politicians who don’t protect us.

Bullet Points

Posted June 20th, 2016 at 2:41 pm (UTC-5)
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Media stories in the wake of mass shootings typically feature a laundry list of mistakes that reflect their writers’ inexperience with guns and gun culture….treat guns like any other beat,,,,Media outlets tend not to send sports writers to cover the Supreme Court or style writers to cover a murder. Ignorance undermines authority.

Orlando: The LGBT Debate

Posted June 20th, 2016 at 2:29 pm (UTC-5)
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Omar Mateen said he “did the shootings” in Orlando during a 911 phone call just after the initial gunfire took place.
Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier and demanded the U.S. “stop bombing Syria and Iraq” according to partial transcripts of three calls Mateen placed to the emergency hotline.
While experts and pundits parse the transcripts and argue over the need to release them in their entirety to determine whether or not Mateen was radicalized on his own or directed by Islamic State or other group, there is strong evidence that homosexuals were Mateen’s target.
For America’s LGBT community, it’s not the first, nor will it be the last time.

If Islam Is a Religion of Violence, So Is Christianity

Posted June 16th, 2016 at 2:53 pm (UTC-5)
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I am tired of hearing…that Islam is inherently violent. I am even more tired of hearing that Christianity is inherently peaceful….inherently a religion of love. With all due respect to my many Christian friends, I seriously beg to differ.

Orlando: The Gun Debate

Posted June 16th, 2016 at 12:39 pm (UTC-5)
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There is movement, a pulse, in Congress after all.
After the slaughter of 49 people at an Orlando gay nightclub, there were the usual expressions of sorrow, moments of silence and verbal posturing. But instead of the usual inaction by Congress on gun laws, Senate Democrats took action by grinding the deliberative body to a noticeable stop.
The 15-hour filibuster by Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy forced Senate Republicans to agree to votes on Democratic-backed gun control measures: expanding background checks and preventing suspected terrorists from buying guns. It will put senators on the record about gun laws before the November election.
Democrats efforts got a boost from the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Donald Trump tweeted he would meet with the politically powerful National Rifle Association about banning gun sales to those on the terrorist watch list or “no fly” list.
No matter which way the votes go, the debate over guns in America has both sides locked and loaded.

Omar Mateen, American Monster

Posted June 16th, 2016 at 9:25 am (UTC-5)
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The massacre in Orlando, where 49 people were gunned down at an L.G.B.T. nightclub and dozens of others were wounded, came at the hands of a coward and a monster, but make no mistake: This was our monster.

Orlando Shooting Reaction has the Feel of Eternal Recurrence

Posted June 15th, 2016 at 4:29 pm (UTC-5)
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Whether the culprit is American imperialism, guns, Guantanamo Bay or, this week, homophobia, we instantly race to comfortable excuses and comfortable arguments. The true nature and scope of the challenge is too unpleasant to contemplate, and so we return to our scripts and read our lines until the next slaughter…

The Real Terror Threat in America Is Homegrown

Posted June 15th, 2016 at 10:26 am (UTC-5)
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Every lethal terrorist attack in the United States in the past decade and a half has been carried out by American citizens or legal permanent residents, operating either as lone wolves or in pairs, who have no formal connections or training from terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda or ISIS.

To Say or Not to Say: ‘Radical Islam’

Posted June 14th, 2016 at 5:34 pm (UTC-5)
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What’s in a word, or two?
President Obama’s refusal to use the term “radical Islam” is back in the American political discussion, raised by Donald Trump in the aftermath of Saturday’s massacre in Orlando.
Trump demanded Obama’s resignation because he refuses to use the term “radical Islam” when referring to acts of terrorism.
Obama responded tersely Tuesday, saying “there’s no magic to the phrase radical Islam. It’s a political talking point; it’s not a strategy.”
It’s a debate that’s raged for years: “can you defeat an enemy if you don’t know what to call it?” versus “can we expect help from Muslims if we paint the entire religion with the same brush?”

Conservative for Gun Control

Posted June 14th, 2016 at 12:19 pm (UTC-5)
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Let’s not hear any more about expanding background checks, which already are comprehensive so far as licensed firearms dealers are concerned, until we start punishing the people who subvert those laws.

After Orlando, Drive Out Hate With Light and Love

Posted June 14th, 2016 at 10:50 am (UTC-5)
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The human reaction is to want to strike back…Dr. Martin Luther King taught us a different lesson…. “Darkness,” he wrote, “cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.”

Madmen and the Politics of Islamophobia

Posted June 13th, 2016 at 2:32 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin The worst mass shooting in U.S. history – at a gay bar in Orlando, Fla. – brings to mind another slaughter of innocents by a madman claiming allegiance to an ideology: the 1977 killing of 77 people, most of them children at a holiday resort, by Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik. Like Omar […]