Share this story...
Latest News

Politicians, please stop pretending you have the answers to Orlando

Eddie Desormeau, left, is consoled by Mike Post, right while holding candles during a moment of silence during a candlelight vigil mourning the victims of the Orlando night club attack on Sunday, June 12, 2016, at the Apartment Lounge bar in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Tom Brenner/The Grand Rapids via AP)

As more and more emerges about Omar Mateen, the Orlando terrorist who murdered dozens at a gay nightclub Sunday morning, it would appear that there’s not a single, neat, tied-up-with-a-bow explanation for why he would kill so many innocent people.

Of course, that shines a light on the fact that there’s not a single, neat, tied-up-with-a-bow fix to prevent terrorist acts like this from happening.

That hardly stops the presidential candidates from trying to act like they have the answers, though.

Add self-loathing to the possible explanations for the carnage Mateen created. He was a fairly well-known patron of the gay club where he would later perpetrate mass murder. And he may have had profiles on more than one gay dating app.

A guy who was known by co-workers to be homophobic — and was upset by seeing two men kiss — was also described by a club patron as spending at least part of his time in the Pulse nightclub trying to find someone to, you know, go to bed with him.

He pledged allegiance to ISIS. He may have had a history of mental illness and violent behavior towards his ex-wife.

He became radicalized. But what may have ultimately sent Omar Mateen over the top was an inability to reconcile his faith and family with his attraction towards men.

We’ll probably never know.

And that’s why the people who want to be president — and are actually in a position to become president — need to stop acting like they have the answer.

Donald Trump’s solution is to ban people from countries with known terrorist activity from entering the U.S. That would not have made a lick of difference – at least in the case of Orlando. Omar Mateen was born in the U.S.

And, by the way, America is a country with known terrorist activity. Maybe the rest of the world needs to ban Americans from coming into their country.

On the other side, Hillary Clinton’s solution is also to ban people – but in a different way. She wants to ban people from being able to get a gun. And not people who have been convicted of a crime (they generally aren’t allowed to posses a firearm). No, she wants to ban people who are simply getting looked at by law enforcement.

In a speech on Monday she said, “If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links, you shouldn’t be able to just go buy a gun.”

Notice how she didn’t say, “if the FBI is investigating you.” That’s probably because the FBI is investigating her. And I’m sure she would argue that she is innocent of what she’s being investigated for.

Darn it! That pesky due process thing that’s in our Constitution stands squarely in the way of her plan. Luckily for her, it also stands directly in the way of those who want to lock her up for exposing national security secrets. She’s entitled to be officially accused and have her day in court.

Oh, and one other thing: the FBI did look into Mateen — twice — and determined that he wasn’t enough of a threat to remain on a watch list. Another big fail for the Clinton plan to stop homophobic (possibly self-loathing) terrorists.

I wish the massacre in Orlando had never happened. It was an affront to all Americans.

But I’m sure glad that the candidates opened up their mouths about it because it’s another reminder for me that politicians have a very low batting average when it comes to actually solving our problems.

About the only thing they’re good at is getting themselves elected. And they only have a .500 chance of pulling that off.

Related Links