I woke up on the morning of June 12th in Portland, Oregon, feeling well and content that I was able to spend some time with my family visiting from the East Coast after finishing school at Portland State University. After I received the news of the shooting at a gay bar in Orlando, killing at least 50 people, several thoughts went through my mind: How would this be covered and who would bear the blame?
Those on the mainstream right will likely use this event to attack Muslim extremists, as well as Muslims in general, on why we must continue to use force and militarism to combat the threat of ISIS in the Middle East, who supposedly took responsibility for the attack. The right will also likely use this act to dismantle civil liberties, especially those of Muslims and people of Arab descent, in the name of national security to combat this threat.
Those on the mainstream left will use this event as an acknowledgment that the government must enforce gun control legislation to prevent those willing to do harm from obtaining tactical weapons, which will likely affect gun-owners who have no intention of committing violence. The left may also acknowledge this as a hate-crime against the gay community, but are as willing as the right to use this as an excuse to promote and enact whatever legislation to continue their war on the right to self-defense, whether you are a peace-loving Muslim or nonviolent gun-owner.
Now for the group being used for the advancement of this war on natural rights, the LGBTQ community. There have been several reports that the man responsible for this act was a self-hating homosexual who took his anger out on a club where he may or may not have been a regular. Other reports espouse not only this, but that he had either ties and/or sympathies with ISIS and committed this act out of retaliation for the continued occupation and bombing of Afghanistan by U.S. forces. Whether any of these accusations are true or not, fingers will be pointed in many directions as to the cause of this massacre.
Has it ever occurred to those in power that not only our militarism in the Middle East but our worship and praise of the military at home through gung-ho propaganda and the accusations of being “anti-American” for those who do not fall in line has helped foment such a situation. Those in power are creating an environment by using a group of people that they likely hate or do not even care about as a scapegoat to go after another targeted group of people to further their agendas, as well as potentially creating an environment where people will not even be able to protect themselves from such acts of hatred.
As a member of the LGBTQ community, I will not stand by while a bunch of narcissists use this oppressed group of people as pawns to help further erode our rights. It is important for those within the LGBTQ community and its allies to not let those who do harm, whether through written legislation or the barrel of a gun, to continue to think of us as victims, but as a group of people who will do anything to protect our natural rights of existence and self-defense.