Orlando attack was not a tragedy

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, June 16, 2016

Like most Americans, I was shocked, saddened and dismayed when I woke Sunday morning to the news that dozens of people had been slaughtered in a nightclub venue in Orlando, Florida.

The number of killed was staggering, and the number of injured fighting for their lives was just as overwhelming to comprehend.

Dozens of people gunned down by an individual whose sole purpose was to cause as much carnage as he possibly could at one site as patrons enjoyed their evening at a venue known to be frequented by the gay community.

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When I turned on the TV Sunday morning and watched the coverage of the events in the aftermath, I could not help but think this was more than a hate crime. Unfortunately, my instincts have proven to be correct.

In the hours and days that have followed, we have learned more about the gunman and his hatred of homosexuals. But it has also come to light he had become radicalized through his religious belief as a Muslim. A security guard, he had access to weapons that could do serious harm and used them effectively in killing and maiming more than 100 people.

This was a terrorist attack and the worst committed on U.S. soil since 2011.

I was expecting President Barack Obama to come out Sunday afternoon and say enough is enough and we will no longer tolerate terrorist attacks from a perverted view of religion within our country.

But rather than condemn the violence of an ideology bent on the destruction of our nation, our president decided to use the opportunity once again to champion his cause for stricter gun control laws.

I personally do not favor assault weapons in the hands of anyone except law enforcement or the military, but tougher gun laws are not going to prevent terrorists from committing a similar act in our country in the future. Doing our best to prevent them from getting within our borders in the first place is the most logical solution.

I know that this individual was born and raised in the U.S. and many question whether he belonged to the terrorist group ISIS, but does it really matter if he was inspired or a member of ISIS? It was a terrorist attack regardless if he was a member of ISIS or inspired by the terrorist organization.

On social media, many people have been confused by why this gunman committed this dastardly act.

I don’t know what’s so confusing. It’s simple: there is a group of people who have infiltrated our borders who want to kill Americans, whether they were born here or came here legally or illegally. This particular terrorist hiding behind the religion of Islam targeted the gay community.

And this wasn’t a “tragedy,” as some have suggested. A tragedy is when a school bus full of children die in a wreck. What happened in Orlando was a systematic killing of people and is an atrocity to all Americans. This cannot be combated through “love,” as many more have encouraged.

This terrorist attack must be  answered with determination of finally ending the reign of terror that has been ongoing for too long all over the world. And that begins with President Obama taking action.

My prayers are with the families of the victims and the first responders and law enforcement who have been dealing with this atrocity all week, but it’s also time to fight and our commander-in-chief needs to lead and organize the fight against an enemy that has attacked us on our own soil once again.

Rob Sigler is managing editor of The Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at rob.sigler@oxfordeagle.com.