At Least 20 Killed In Florida Nightclub Shooting

Unfortunately it’s another day another mass shooting int he United States.

This time it comes at a popular LGBT club Pulse in Orlando, Florida, where officials have said a gunmen opened fire in the early hours of Sunday morning, killing at least 20 and injuring some 40+ others. Though not being looked at as exclusively a result of religious extremism the act is undeniably terror, more probably, that of the right wing domestic variety.

As last year’s Paris attacks have shown, as well as the subsequent 2016 summer threats on several International festivals, nightlife and festival culture may be a new frontier in the ever growing practice of mass destruction.

Details on the Florida situation are still scarce but the gunmen has been confirmed as dead after exchanging fire with police during a hostage situation. Police also carried out a “controlled explosion” in the club, but did not explain why.

Reports are that the suspect used an assault style rifle, handgun as well as a “device” which was said to be attached to his body. Orlando sheriff Jerry Demings called the shooting “a domestic terror incident”. I can tell you, as a disenfranchised American living abroad, it is precisely these kind of situations that make that country such a volatile place. We’ll see what the facts are but the immediate questions that come to mind (once again, and again, and again) are: Why does a private citizen have access to military style weapons so easily? Why does Florida (one of the country’s most backwards states, legislatively) continue to vote against the best interest of its citizenry with some of the country’s most lenient gun ownership laws? Why does America continue to suffer from the epidemic of mass violence? What is it about the American culture that makes it inherently violent?

I think this is another example in a long list of others that point directly to the over need of soul searching.

UPDATE 8:54pm CET: By now the death toll stands at 50 and is being investigated as an “act of terror”. US President Barack Obama issued a statement to the press, which included the following quote: “The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live. The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub—it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights.”

Source: The Independent