It’s terror. Period. | Planet Ryan - Republic-Times | News

It’s terror. Period. | Planet Ryan

By on June 22, 2016 at 8:20 am

Like everyone else Sunday morning, I was shocked and saddened to learn that 49 American citizens were slaughtered and 50-plus more were wounded in Orlando, Fla., while simply trying to have a fun night out with friends.

Given the nature of my full-time job, at roughly 2:10 a.m., I began receiving notifications of a mass shooting incident in Florida. I immediately jumped out of bed, bee-lined to my computer and got to work. Information was sparse at that time, given that it was taking place in the early morning hours.

Most news rooms – even the big guys – are empty or running a skeleton crew at best.

As the hours passed and the gravity of the situation became clearer – especially when the death toll jumped from 20 to 50 – it became obvious that America had just experienced an act of terror.

During my research in those first hours, I read hundreds of comments on various social media platforms in an attempt to get a feel for what was happening and also to glean any tidbits of new information that wasn’t being reported in the news at that time.

It’s rather difficult to shock me these days, but comment after comment carried the same theme – that the shooting was probably carried out by a  right-wing extremist hell-bent on taking out as many homosexuals as possible (the nightclub is Orlando’s premier gay bar). It’s as if they wanted that to be the story.

As we obviously know now, it wasn’t. The shooter — Omar Mir Seddique Mateen — was an angry, radicalized terrorist hell-bent on killing American citizens. The fact that it took place at a gay bar was icing on the cake for him, given that radical Islamists are well-documented murderers of homosexuals.

It was stunning to see the left-leaning media and many politicians on the left immediately push the “hate crime” narrative – as if this killer only committed mass murder because he couldn’t stand the thought of the homosexual lifestyle. But by doing that, it made it that much easier to steer the course to the left’s favorite knee-jerk reaction after a mass shooting – gun control.

As if any gun law anyone could enact in the world would stop a terrorist from doing terrorist things.

Give me a break.

The prime objective of terrorists like Omar Mateen is to strike “soft targets.” A soft target provides lots of bodies with minimal resistance. A popular gay bar in Orlando was as ripe a soft target as the Inland Regional Center was in San Bernardino, Calif.

I can’t even fathom how some people consistently ignore the fact that a majority of these shootings are happening in “gun-free” zones. Paris has some of the most stringent gun laws in the world, but look what has happened there in recent years. When terrorists want to strike, they’ll strike. Be it bombs, guns, knives or running cars into crowds – you can be sure they’ll get the job done. They rarely fail.

It’s a shame these tragic events are immediately politicized by our President. I have to wonder what the narrative would be had the same attack taken place in a non-homosexual venue with, say, a suicide vest? Would he have immediately called for a ban on vests in his predictable, politically motivated press conference?

I wish I were kidding.

Look, I know some readers won’t agree with me and that’s fine. It’s America. We’re entitled to our opinions. I just wish that instead of exploiting terrorist attacks for political expediency, we could find common ground and tackle the roots of the real problem – a global infestation of radically motivated terrorists itching to kill Westerners.

Ryan Ledendecker

Ryan is a biweekly columnist for the Republic-Times newspaper. When he's not working, he enjoys a good movie, bass fishing, and CrossFit.