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Orlando Massacre: Mental Illness and Guns

June 14, 2016
Plain English Version
HONG KONG - JUNE 13: A man holds up a 'we stand together with Orlando' poster. as people take part in a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Vigils were held in cities throughout the world. Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

A man holds up a poster. as people take part in a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong. Vigils were held in cities throughout the world. Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Eyewitnesses describe chaos. Shots ring out, people start falling. Forty-nine victims are dead, and 53 are wounded. It was a massacre. This all took place this past Saturday night. The scene was a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Most of the people in the club were gays or lesbians.

The killer was born in America. His parents are immigrants from Afghanistan. The killer earned a degree from a community college. The degree was in criminal justice technology. He was 29 years old.

He was a security guard in a court. He had an ex-wife and a child. There was no sign he would do what he did. Some who knew him said he supported the Islamic State. They also said he had a hatred of gay people.

Some said the killer was more withdrawn and agitated in the last few years. His father supports the Taliban. He said he saw nothing that would lead him to think his son would conduct a mass killing.

There is no way to undo the tragedy. As the facts unfold, the country will now begin to find whom or what to blame.

A vigil in downtown Seoul, Korea. Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

A vigil in downtown Seoul, Korea. Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Donald Trump says the shooting means he was right to want to ban Muslim immigrants. He also said if the people in the club had guns, they could have killed the gunman. It sounds like he thinks people who are dancing to loud music and drinking in a nightclub should all carry arms.

The weapon was an AR-15. It is an assault rifle that fires many rounds. A law kept people from owning one from 1994 to 2004.The law expired. No one can find a reason why someone should own one. Except, they say, that the Second Amendment allows it.

It is clear this killer was mad. Extreme politics and hatred of gays do not lead sane people to murder innocent people. In this case, mental illness and the easy access to weapons were the likely causes of the massacre.

There are Muslim terrorists. At this point, there is no proof that the Orlando killer was one of them.

Source: The New York Times June 13, 2016

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