The Orlando Shooting Shows How Hypocritical American Lawmakers Are

by Alexandra Svokos
Elizabeth Svokos

Forty-nine people were killed at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning. This is the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

The father of the shooter said his son acted after becoming angry seeing two gay men kissing (not because of religion).

It's obvious from the location of the shooting alone: This was driven by homophobia.

LGBT clubs are important spaces for the community to be together and be free.

As one of Elite Daily's writers, Zara Barrie, wrote,

Pulse was a home, a safe home where people grew up and found themselves. And an outsider came in and destroyed that home with the ugliness of hatred and violence.

The LGBT community in Orlando was targeted and hurt.

To add insult to injury, the members of that community couldn't legally help each other with blood donations. The FDA bans sexually active gay men from donating blood.

This is just one of many anti-LGBT pieces of legislation across the United States.

The Pulse shooting put into sharp detail the hypocrisy of American laws.

A man who was investigated by the FBI was able to legally purchase a semi-automatic rifle, which is the same gun used in the shootings at Aurora, Newtown and San Bernardino.

The Senate stopped a bill in December that would have prevented people on terror watch lists from being able to buy guns. From 1994 to 2004, there was a ban on assault-style weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines, but Congress allowed the ban to expire.

The FBI-investigated shooter was legally allowed to purchase the weapon he used to kill 49 people in Pulse on Sunday.

But, the survivors of the Pulse shooting could be fired today for being gay. Twenty-eight states do not have legal protection against employment discrimination for sexual identity.

Meanwhile, North Carolina's HB 2 bathroom bill targets the LGBT community and threatens the safety of transgender people.

Lawmakers insist it's to protect other people from being attacked, despite no evidence of that being a thing that actually happens.

Lawmakers tell people where they can and cannot go to the bathroom, but then gun advocates say taking away assault weapons would be too invasive of personal rights.

Day after day, we hear that members of our community pose a threat to children in bathrooms. We also hear gun control is too much to ask. — Kevin O'Keeffe (@kevinpokeeffe) June 12, 2016

Advocates cry out for the right to own a gun, but many people don't think it's an attack on personal rights to limit people's bathroom use or threaten their right to employment or prevent them from donating blood to help their community or tell them whom they can and cannot love.

Violent rhetoric leads to violence, and politicians stigmatize, dehumanize and discriminate against sets of people, like the LGBT community (and the Muslim community and abortion providers and so on).

And then, those politicians do nothing to limit the violence that can be inflicted on those communities, such as banning assault weapons and keeping people on terror watch lists from being able to legally purchase guns.

All of that is on top of the lack of protection LGBT people are afforded by lawmakers.

This is hypocrisy, plain and simple. American laws are not protecting the LGBT community, and 49 people died this weekend because of that.

Citations: Omar Mateen, Terrorist Who Attacked Orlando Gay Club, Had Been Investigated by FBI (The Daily Beast), Omar Mateen Probed for Terror Ties but Legally Purchased Weapons (NBC News), The Most Wanted Gun in America (The New York Times), GOP blocks bill to stop terrorists from buying guns (MSNBC), Assault rifle used in Florida shooting drives gun control debate (Reuters), Non-Discrimination Laws (Movement Advancement Project), Employment discrimination: The next frontier for LGBT community (USA Today)