Seeds: On Sunday morning at around 2 a.m., Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old American-born man, shot and killed 49 people in a gay nightclub in Orlando, and injured at least 53 more. Mateen was killed by law enforcement that night. He also pledged allegiance to ISIS in a 911 phone call (though authorities have found no proof that he had any contact with ISIS militants, and that it is more likely that he was just inspired by them). He had been interviewed three times previously by FBI agents and within the last week he has legally purchased firearms. (It is not known if these were the guns used in the attack, however). This attack is considered the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
Core: With the entire country in mourning, the city of Orlando has released a list of those killed in the shooting. Stories of victims writing heartbreaking messages to family members, telling them that they are being attacked, mere minutes before being shot and killed, have fueled the grief that is gripping the nation. The attack has sparked outrage in many, reigniting arguments on either side of the political aisle. Many argue about how this is another moment in history where the LGBTQ+ community was directly attacked. Some argue that this is yet another reason that America needs more significant gun control laws. Others argue that this is more proof that Islamic terrorists are attacking the west, and thus America needs to more directly address extremism.
Skin: Donald Trump spoke about immigration policies in the wake of this attack, discussing how Mateen’s family was allowed to come to the U.S. He also talked about how in order to prevent such atrocities, Americans must fix the immigration system by banning immigrants from places where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or U.S. allies. Hillary Clinton has spoken about the need for increased gun control, specifically citing the need for an assault weapons ban. Both discussed how the attack represented hatred towards the LGBTQ+ community and how, to them, this prejudice is unacceptable.
Leaves: Democrats are proposing bills that would ban people on the no-fly list, or who have been under FBI investigation, or convicted of hate crimes, from purchasing guns.
Food For Thought: Do you think gun control could prevent further attacks? Or do you think that banning immigrants could keep such shootings from happening?