Orlando (updated)


Two (Update: three) quick thoughts about Orlando:

1) Can we please stop branding anyone who might have some issues with same-sex marriage or transgender bathroom use a homophobe? It detracts from our ability to adequately label someone who goes into a gay club and guns down 50 people, because, according to his father, he “became angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a few months ago”.

Not that I will be holding my breath; it has been a true and tried tactic (for the left in particular) to label people racists, fascists, homophobes, Islamophobes, bigots, etc. if they disagree with your particular take on things and your agenda. No better way to delegitimise your opponents, silence them, and excuse yourself from the need to debate, argue and persuade.

2) Nobody mentions Islam! (imagine if the shooter was a Christian evangelist, imagine if you can) As I wrote here a few days ago in a different context:

“Islam is a religion of peace” is as at best as meaningless a platitude as “Christianity in a religion of peace” and at worst an outright moral and intellectual evasion. It tells you very little about how the religion has been interpreted, practiced and used and abused over the centuries. There has always been a violent, intolerant, supremacist strain of Islam… How influential is this supremacist strain in the modern Islam? At some points in the history of Islam it might have been the dominant interpretation; it is not now, but a significant minority still subscribes to it.


Muslims around the world overwhelmingly find homosexuality morally wrong. In fairness to Muslims, so do many other people around the world, even if not nearly to the same extent. But combine the popular attitudes with the prevalence and acceptance of state-sanctioned repression to punish homosexuality, and you get a more dangerous mix. You might find a useful visual aid this chart, produced a few weeks ago by the Geneva-based International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association on the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. IlgaNot all of Islam is a problem, and it’s not the only problem, but it is a problem.

3) Guns. I know that most people outside of the United States hate guns, but for cultural and constitutional reasons I see zero chance of more restrictive gun control laws coming in, never mind gun bans or confiscations.

In any case, you’re kidding yourself that more stringent gun laws will stop terrorist attacks like this one. Sadly, where there is a will (and there is plenty of it), there is a way. Neither the significantly more stringent French or Norwegian gun laws stop the Paris attacks and the Breivik massacre. People who want to get their hands on guns will get them. Or they will use airplanes, bombs, or even knives (like the Uighur terrorists who stabbed 50 Chinese miners to death less than a year ago). The left loves talking about the “root causes”. Usually they talk about the wrong ones, but I agree with them in principle – you can’t stop terrorism by focusing on the means.