Florida – 50 dead in attack on LGBT club

Written By: - Date published: 6:19 am, June 13th, 2016 - 204 comments
Categories: crime, human rights, International - Tags: , , , ,

Coverage and image from The Guardian – extracts in chronological order.

What we know so far

A shooting at a LGBT nightclub in Orlando has killed about 20 people and sent 42 to the hospital, after Florida police and Swat teams ended a hostage situation with a gunman, killing him, in the early hours of of Sunday morning.

At a morning press conference the FBI described the shooting as an act of terrorism, saying: “Whether that’s a domestic terrorist activity or international, it’s terrorism.”

The press conference also gave details how the shooting began, the raid, and what few details police know so far about the gunman.

Shooter identified as Omar Mateen

Several news outlets have identified the gunman as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old from Fort Pierce Florida. …

The shooter was killed during a shootout with police, as they broke into the night club to rescue 30 people held hostage there. No motive for the attack has been offered by police.

The Guardian has not been able to independently verify the identity of the shooter.

50 dead, 53 wounded in attack, says mayor

Mayor Dyer confirmed to a press conference that there were 50 killed and 53 hospitalised in the shooting, not 20 killed and 42 hospitalised as initially reported by police.

State of emergency declared – Orlando mayor

A state of emergency has been declared across the city of Orlando, Mayor Dyer has announced, to allow law enforcement officials to focus on the investigation of the shooting at Pulse night club overnight.

A knowledgeable US official told the Guardian that an unfolding federal investigation was in the earliest stages, but an initial hypothesis regarding the shooter’s motive leaned closer to a hate crime than an act of terrorism.

Muslim leaders around the US have condemned the attacks and urged Americans to donate blood for the 53 men and women in hospitals, many in dire condition.

“We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured,’ the head of the Florida chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, Rasha Mubarak, said in a statement.

“The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence.”

NBC’s Pete Williams is reporting that Omar Mateen called 911 before the attack and when the operator answered, “swore his allegiance to [Abu Bakr al-]Baghdadi”, the leader of terror group Isis.

Williams cites unnamed law enforcement sources for his report.

Barack Obama: this was an act of terror and hate

“As Americans we grieve this brutal murder” of dozens of innocents, Barack Obama begins his remarks to the nation on the worst mass shooting in its history.

“We stand with the people of Orlando, who have endured a terrible attack on their city,” he continues. “This is an especially heartbreaking day for all of our friends and fellow Americans who are lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual.”

He says the attack was against more than just a nightclub, but a place where “people came to dance and to sing and to live” and “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”.

The massacre, he says, is a “sobering reminder that attacks on any American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, is an attack on all of us.”

“Although it’s still early,” he says, “we know enough to say this was an act of terror and an act of hate.”

Further live coverage in The Guardian.


UPDATE: Barack Obama speech video here.    Donald Trump exploits deaths for political gain here.




[RL: Moderation note: This thread will be moderated tightly for anti-Islamic bigotry. Make an argument about ISIS or fundamentalism if you want, but generalised assertions about Islam, and all Muslims by association, will attract the wrong kind of attention.]

204 comments on “Florida – 50 dead in attack on LGBT club”

  1. “Some segments of the media, of course, will focus on Mateen’s Afghan parents, but he — just like Brock Turner — was born, raised, and made a man right here in America. Early reports say that he had (possibly aspirational) links to ISIS, but this is no way undermines his American-ness. This was terrorism, yes, but it was domestic terrorism: of, by, and aimed at Americans.”

    “…Let’s mourn and let’s share our sadness. In doing so, let’s keep front-and-center the threads that tie these tragedies together, so that we can perhaps feel a little less helpless. Cultural change is both indescribably difficult and surprisingly easy. It requires massive coordination, but if enough of us decide to disinvest in a toxic ideology, it disappears. Just like that. So, let’s cry. Let’s gnash our teeth. And let’s fight.”


    Kia kaha to all who are suffering the loss or injury of a loved one – I am sorry this has happened to you, I am so sorry and sad that this has happened.

    • It’s Islamist terrorism. This guy didn’t get his murderous hatred of homosexuality from his local rationalist society.

      • marty mars 1.1.1

        Yeah no one else hates that group in the old US do they – grow up

        • Psycho Milt

          Any groups other than Islamist ones have followers that think God will reward them for murdering gays? Not so’s you’d notice. Even the worst of the regular gay-hating crowd in the States, Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church, hasn’t gone that far. And if one of its followers had, would anyone be dumb enough to say “this has nothing to do with religion?”

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            What causes hate-crimes against the LGBT community in NZ? Are you confident that whatever it is wasn’t a factor in this case? Looking at other hate crimes, what do you suppose drives Anders Breivik, for example? Dreams of Valhalla?

            • Psycho Milt

              What causes hate-crimes against the LGBT community in NZ? Are you confident that whatever it is wasn’t a factor in this case?

              Do you figure that being a Nazi wasn’t why Heinrich Himmler gassed all those Jews, because, after all, people in the US wouldn’t let Jews join their golf clubs? Are you confident that ordinary anti-semitism wasn’t a factor in that case? Yes, it’s a factor, just not the most important one.

              Looking at other hate crimes, what do you suppose drives Anders Breivik, for example?

              Breivik’s beliefs (political rather than religious in his case) fairly obviously had a lot to do with him murdering all those people. Anyone really want to make a case that they weren’t a factor?

              • McFlock

                It seems to me that Islam, like any other religion, has a diverse enough body of scripture to justify any course of action one could imagine.

                Was the murderer’s homophobia religious or cultural (if cultural, which culture)?
                Was the murderer’s willingness to act on his homophobia so violently religious, cultural, or even the result of emotional or mental stress?
                Was the murderer’s willingness to act on his homophobia so publicly incidental to the act, or was significance and power motivation for the act?

                As fr Himmler, did he gas the Jews because he was a Nazi, or did he become a Nazi because he hated Jews?

              • RedLogix

                All of these factors can be reduced to one common core; the deeply held habit of thinking that problems (real or imagined) can be resolved by violence.

                I think you and I (and most thinking people here) can agree on this.

                Now if we worked carefully upwards from this we might, with time and patience be able to construct a map of exactly how and why this happened.

                But sadly we also both know this is not how politics works. The crucial risk is political leaders exploiting the faultlines and prejudices for their own gain. This empowers and emboldens the sociopaths and dysfuntional bigots who always infest the crawl spaces of every society. They appear in the open and first one tragedy leads to another abomination … and rapidly a society can unzip from the bottom up.

                Right now the crucial question is not ‘who did it, why did they do it?’ … but what will we do? What will harness the natural grief, fear and anger into eventual healing and positive change?

                Because labelling this as “Islamic terrorism” and harnessing the fear and hatred, by dehumanising all Muslims opens the gates to a global hell. With a body count so vast, this moment in Orlando would be as nothing in comparison.

                • As with Brock Turner’s apologists, it starts with not making excuses for the attitudes that lead to people like him to imagine they’re not bad people for carrying out this particular serious crime. In this case, that means Islam and its more obnoxious attitudes. Stop making the excuses and start making clear to people that religious totalitarianism is not welcome and not acceptable.

                  • RedLogix

                    You are welcome to that conversation on religious zealotry and fundamentalism. And you know my feelings on that.

                    But to extend your comparison … there is a fine line between condemning bad attitudes and labeling ‘all men are rapists’. Do you want to step over that line?

                    • Beliefs are subject to review and revision – your sex isn’t. But I’m not peddling “all Muslims are murderers” either.

                      Even in Shakespeare’s time, people could be and were burned at the stake for heresy. Most Christians were OK people who weren’t murder enthusiasts, but that’s not really the point, is it? The fact that most Christians are nice people wouldn’t have been much comfort to the “heretic” being tied to the stake, and we’d raise our eyebrows if anyone tried to make a case it was nothing to do with religion. (Which you could, with premises as foolish as the ones in this thread, eg “You could be gruesomely executed for all kinds of things back then,” “This other religion was just as bad,” “Only a few hate-filled bigots burned people at the stake,” etc.)

                    • RedLogix

                      But I’m not peddling “all Muslims are murderers” either.

                      That’s good … because up until this point that may have been easy to miss.

                    • Gosman

                      Except there is a problem with Islam that needs to be addressed if it is to live peacefully among people of other beliefs and disbeliefs. Without addressing this rather large elephant in the room there will continue to be people like this lon e gunman using Islam to justify their actions.

                    • RedLogix


                      If you re-framed that as “a problem with a radicalised, politicised and fundamentalist Islam” I would not have too much quibble with you.

                      But up front you need to lose the idea that this is innate or fundamental to the religion … and by association the values of all Muslims. Down that path lies demonisation and de-humanisation.

                    • Gosman []

                      Why are you afraid to confront Muslims to deal with a fundamental issue within their faith? I’m pretty confident that you wouldn’t be if it was the Roman Catholic Church that was advocating that secular authorities should be subservient to religious power (which they used to quite recently). Why this puss footing around Muslims but not others?

                    • The problem is innate to the religion. Any religion that comes with a repressive legislative programme and says once you’re in you’re not allowed to leave, and by the way you’re in if your parents are, is by definition a problem by the standards of modern civilisation. That says nothing about the merits of individual Muslims.

                    • RedLogix

                      Complicated topic:


                      There is no hard and fast rule; for instance the Bahai’s in Iran were for many decades generally tolerated (and many were highly successful and visible in Iranian society) but in the aftermath of the 1980 Iranian Revolution the zealots who seized power immediately branded them apostates, inflicting much suffering on that community.

                      In practice accusations of apostasy are generally more about local politics than religious conviction.

                    • Gosman []

                      You miss the point RL. Why do they have a law against this at all?

                    • Gosman

                      Many people think discissions about rape should include rape culture. Do you think that is a legitimate point of view?

                  • McFlock

                    It’s not being an apologist to try to understand why this guy did what he did, in either case.

                    But blaming Islam for what was probably a complex set of motives behind these murders is like blaming a gold swimming certificate for rape.

                    • It’s not being an apologist to try to understand why this guy did what he did, in either case.

                      Sure. However, it is being an apologist to arbitrarily reject the idea that the belief system a person is raised with might have a strong effect on their motivation, especially when there’s such clear evidence that said beliefs did motivate the perp in this case.

                    • McFlock

                      How do you know how he was raised, and what precise belief system he was raised with?

                    • It is of course within the bounds of possibility that the Mateen family are communists and Mateen jr became a Muslim fundamentalist in a fit of youthful rebellion – regardless, it’s the Muslim fundamentalist bit that’s the problem.

                      You wrote further down “Just maybe he’s a guy whose marriage fell apart because he couldn’t adequately process his emotions without violence, and he became more and more isolated, and religion was purely incidental to that (beyond legitimising his opinions).”

                      Sure, maybe. The problem is his religion does legitimise his opinions, his and every other frustrated Muslim loser who wants to kill someone. If his family were Buddhists, atheists, pretty much everything else apart from Muslims, he wouldn’t have had a value-set that tells him yes God totally does want him to go and deal death to the unbelievers/shameless perverts and will be very pleased to welcome him to heaven if he gets killed doing it. Regular violent losers have to commit to carrying out their crime in the full knowledge that no-one apart from themselves thinks they have a point – Muslim violent losers can tell themselves no less a personage than almighty God himself wholeheartedly endorses their planned murders. That’s not a situation we ought to be satisfied with.

                    • McFlock

                      Buddhists, atheists, pretty much everything else apart from Muslims, he wouldn’t have had a value-set that tells him yes God totally does want him to go and deal death to the shameless perverts and will be very pleased to welcome him to heaven if he gets killed doing it. Regular violent losers have to commit to carrying out their crime in the full knowledge that no-one apart from themselves thinks they have a point


                      Ah, dear me, I needed that, it’s been a shit day.

                      Buddhists: Sri Lanka.
                      Atheists: Khmer Rouge. No god or afterlife, sure, but it didn’t slow them down.
                      Catholics: IRA.
                      Protestants: the other chaps in Ireland.
                      Catholics and protestants: murders of abortion doctors.
                      Hindus: they’ve opened whoop-ass once or twice.
                      Oh, Shintoism: Japan in WW2.

                      Want to show me the non-violent nature of any other groups?
                      Any belief system can be turned to justify, or sidelined to allow, violence.

                    • You seem to be confusing political conflicts with religious beliefs.

                      The Sri Lankan, Irish, Indian and Japanese examples you provide are all ethnicity-based political violence – religion is relevant only in that the ethnicities involved had different ones. Still, working with what you’ve given: do you think the belief systems of the Khmer Rouge or the WW2 Japanese military government are ones that we should welcome and tolerate in western countries in the name of diversity? Or should we be glad they’re no longer welcome?

                    • McFlock

                      Shintoism isn’t so bad since then. KR’s belief system was/is far too nuts, and burned itself out (but yes, in NZ it’d watched like neoNZ1 groups).

                      The point was that even if the causes of the conflicts were ethnic, the fact is that people from any or belief system can do some pretty full on shit.

                      You might say that there were ethnic or political causes to the violence, but that just smacks of convenience: when Catholics do it, it’s ethnicly based, but when Muslims do it it’s religious. Christianity has just as much bullshit about not suffering others to live as Islam does. Islam has as much about peace love and mung beans as Christianity does.

                      Blaming Islam blinds us to any cultural and (dare I say it) personal motives behind every dickish or noble act.

                    • Christianity has just as much bullshit about not suffering others to live as Islam does.

                      The “plague on both your houses” approach to religious bullshit is appealing, but inaccurate. What’s the penalty for apostasy in Christianity?

                    • McFlock

                      What’s the penalty for apostasy in Christianity?

                      At the moment? Not much.
                      500 years ago? Burning at the stake after torture.

                      And yet Christianity 500 years ago and today both use exactly the same source material to justify their different behaviours.

                      The only plague common to the Quran and the Bible is that they are read and interpreted by people.

                    • At the moment? Not much.
                      500 years ago? Burning at the stake after torture.

                      That’s a penalty applied by Christians because they could. Christianity doesn’t proscribe apostasy. Islam very clearly does – the only dispute is over whether apostasy should carry the death penalty or not.

                      Still, leaving that aside – is the Christianity of 500 years ago really a model for the kinds of attitudes we want to welcome into our countries now, not-500-years-ago? Most Christians of that time were very nice people who didn’t feel any inclination to murder people for no reason, but their religion was very much a problem and we wouldn’t it back, would we? It cost us a lot of dead bodies to get a society in which it’s not OK to murder people for deciding they’d rather not participate in their parents’ religion, and some of us would really not like to flush those centuries of progress down the toilet for the sake of pretending that shit ideologies are actually OK.

                    • McFlock

                      You really need a refresher on Deuteronomy.

                      The Spanish Inquisition didn’t need to invent any scripture to operate, it just added editorial emphasis.

                      And especially when we’re talking refugees, we’re talking about people trying to get away from the psycho fundy nutbars.

                    • Deuteronomy expresses no opinions on Christianity whatsoever, for obvious reasons. And refugees bring their religion with them and raise their children in it. Taking Muslim ones involves taking a serious risk – it’s a risk we have to take, but we shouldn’t pretend there’s no risk involved.

                    • McFlock

                      Deuteronomy is part of the Christian Bible, no?

                    • D'Esterre

                      McFlock: “But blaming Islam for what was probably a complex set of motives behind these murders is like blaming a gold swimming certificate for rape.”

                      Have a look at this translated Arabic twitter page. It might give you pause for thought:

                      View post on imgur.com

                    • McFlock


                      Before I respond to that, gosman, is your assertion that a couple of dozen christians around the world haven’t made tweets with similar sentiments?

          • Rae

            It is the EXACT same sentiment, handed down by “God”, plenty of LGBTs will have been killed in the name of a God or other, just not in that number

            • D'Esterre

              McFlock: “….is your assertion that a couple of dozen christians around the world haven’t made tweets with similar sentiments?”

              Say what? The shooter was Muslim. What the hell have christian views on homosexuality got to do with anything? In an apparent rush to defend the indefensible, you’re missing the point here.

        • Karen

          +1 Marty.

          Bigotry is bigotry – this has nothing to do with being Muslim. And the USA gun culture that makes it easy for mass shootings to occur is promoted, and often committed by white Christians.

          Francisco-Luis White
          Each time I leave my house, Black and nonbinary and queer as I am, my chances of not coming back are too high. And it ain’t the Muslims.

          • Karen

            Nobody seems to be talking about religion when looking at the white guy who was caught heading to the Gay Pride march in LA with guns and explosives.


          • Richardrawshark

            Killing civilians if your part of any army action anywhere is a war crime. That’s what anyone like that is, simply a war criminal and they should be treated as such by the UN and united action should(and is) being taken.

            This thing.. is just a low life war criminal same as the rest of them.

          • Psycho Milt

            Each time I leave my house, Black and nonbinary and queer as I am, my chances of not coming back are too high. And it ain’t the Muslims.

            That’s because Muslims are a small minority where he lives. If they were in the majority, he wouldn’t putting his real name on a post that “admits” to being queer.

          • NZ Groover

            There are seven countries in the world where the punishment for homosexuality is death. All of them are Muslim.

          • D'Esterre

            RefLogix: “If you re-framed that as “a problem with a radicalised, politicised and fundamentalist Islam” I would not have too much quibble with you.”

            The point that both Gosman and Psycho Milt are making is that, not only is it not necessary to invoke radicalisation and fundamentalism in the context of these shootings, it is actually wrong. Hatred of homosexuality, and adjurations to kill homosexuals, is mainstream Islamic belief; it isn’t considered to be a crime at all, in societies where Sharia law prevails.

            Stephen Franks was on RNZ this afternoon making exactly this point. He made the further point that unless the crime is seen for what it is, the response to it will be the wrong one.

            Karen: “… this has nothing to do with being Muslim.”

            It has everything to do with being Muslim, as I noted above. Don’t conflate it with the bigotry of Christians, white or otherwise.

            McFlock: “Catholics: IRA.
            Protestants: the other chaps in Ireland.”

            You’ve made a wrong connection here; the conflict in the six counties was political, not sectarian. One’s religion was simply a reasonably accurate marker of who was on which side of the political divide.

            I note RedLogix’s threat to come down hard on “anti-Islamic bigotry”. The problem with this characterisation of any critique of Islam is that it simply becomes a stick with which to beat people whose views you disagree with. And it squelches debate. Commenters here pointing the finger at Islam and the Quran as being the underlying problem are correct. Go look at what’s happening in contemporary Muslim societies in many parts of the world.

            We here in NZ nowadays are generally protected from excesses of this sort by the fact of our society being secular, and our having the rule of law (and not sharia, either). I’m not sure that US society is quite as secular, but they surely believe in freedom of speech, so I guess the debate over this will be spirited.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2

        A murderous bigot needs a book to read?

      • Rae 1.1.3

        So those people standing on the streets yelling “God hates fags” were Moslems, hey thanks for putting me straight on that one.
        While Islam has its share of the blame to take for crappy religious attitudes toward LGBTs, they certainly don’t stand alone in it.

        • D'Esterre

          Rae: ” While Islam has its share of the blame to take for crappy religious attitudes toward LGBTs, they certainly don’t stand alone in it.”

          Nobody’s suggesting otherwise. But you miss the point: this murderer was Muslim, and Islam is notorious for its prescription of death for gays.
          It’s mainstream Muslim belief, not seen as a crime at all.

      • Andre Prassinos 1.1.4

        Plenty Christian fundamentalists that are a hair trigger away from loading up their high-capacity magazines and blowing away some LGBT. It is not Islamist terrorism (the shooter’s dad’s comments support this assertion.) it is homophobia underpinned by ignorant fundamentalism.

        The funny thing is the USA was founded by a bunch of guys whose views on Christianity, and religion in general, were of the finest Enlightenment intellectualism of the time. The USA has regressed as have most of the territories that it has bombed in recent decades.

        It is regressive paranoid intolerance. Fueled by ignorant fundamentalism and supported by eternal global war.

        If you have ever spent 15 minutes in Florida you would not suggest that the local society is in any way rational. A peninsula of bigoted reactionary wingnuts of every variety. Best avoided on your tour of the N. American continent.

      • miravox 1.1.5

        The murderous hatred exists without a specific ideology or religion. Ideologies and religions simply give the haters permission to murder just as guns give the means.

        It seems possible that this murderer was so hate-filled he would have found another way of excusing his crime if extreme Islam didn’t exist. I don’t believe this is what taught him to hate, only an cover to act.

  2. The killer’s father has given some background to what may have been his motivation:

    “We were in Downtown Miami, Bayside, people were playing music. And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry,” Mir Seddique, told NBC News on Sunday.

    “They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, ‘Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that.’ And then we were in the men’s bathroom and men were kissing each other.”

    “We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident,” Seddique said. “We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country.”

    Seddique added, “This had nothing to do with religion.”

    I’d have to say that the last line is unduly optimistic. Any religion that promotes or even just tolerates bigotry is part of the problem.

    Just as an aside, the National Rifle Association appear to have slightly more sense than Donald Trump; they’ve said a big fat zero about the shooting so far.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Unfortunately Islam is slowly being taken over by extremist Wahhabism spread from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia being funded, enabled and protected by the United States.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        Wahhabism is truer to the original concept of Islam than most other forms. In that regard I can see why it is taking over.

        • Colonial Viper

          No, Wahhabism used to be a very minor sect of Sunni Islam, until it got super-charged with US$$$$$$$$, weapons and training (e.g. Afghanistan).

          And Sunni Islam some would say is in itself a far cry from the form of Islam that the Prophet himself would probably have been more likely to support i.e. Shia Islam (followers of the Prophet’s household).

        • RedLogix


          I absolutely refute that absurd and deeply wrong statement. That is the kind of inflammatory bullshit this tragedy does NOT need right now.

          • Gosman

            What does Islam mean RL?

            • RedLogix

              Simple and uncluttered:


              Now I understand you will object and point to any number of fundamentalist distortions, cultural accretions and political exploits that have been layered over the top of this since AD 600.

              And I accept that Islam as a religion is in the middle of a troubled period, fraught with political and economic difficulties. It’s future could be more dire than any of us might wish.

              But none of these are innate or essential to the religion itself.

              • No need for any objections – the guy provides an excellent definition:

                “Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law.”

                Exactly. It means submit and obey, and nobody in a western country has any business greeting the invitation with anything other than “Fuck that.”

                • RedLogix

                  And therein does lie another roiling kettle of fish. Because your first question should be … what does “the Will of God” mean in the modern era?

                  Emphatically it is not helpful to remain stuck on a definition expressed in terms that made sense to people living almost 1400 years ago in an entirely different culture and era.

                  Remaining stuck on literal scripture that cannot be updated is the core problem Islam faces, and is characteristic of ALL fundamentalists everywhere.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Also worth recalling how the Islamic world was once first amongst equals in developing science, mathematics and technology.

                    Also worth recalling how the west destroyed a generation of secular democratic Middle East leaders while supporting tyrants and strongmen.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yes Western philosophy prefers submission to the Almighty Dollar.

                  Dmitry Orlov recently wrote about how the west has come to worship at the altar of Mammon:

                  To get at the reason for this, we have to ask a slightly more profound question: What is money? I think that money is the cult of the god Mammon. Look at the following symbols:

                  € $ ¥ £

                  Don’t they resemble religious symbols? In fact, that’s what they are: they are symbols of faith in money.

                • Li

                  I don’t think you understand what spiritual submission is. Empty yourself of your self. Let the love in.

                  • These guys aren’t hippies. When they talk about submitting an obeying, they mean submitting and obeying. Bullshit about emptying yourself of your self is for less authoritarian flavours of irrationalism.

                    • Li

                      A Sufi would disagree. As would a lot of other Muslim people. Just cos your own form of irrationality is more worldly and based on demonizing the other doesn’t make it any better.
                      Frankly, you don’t know what they mean. You’re not a Muslim and with your calls of bullshit I doubt you have must spiritual understanding either. Whatever, continue being all hysterical.

                    • Oh yeah, Sufis, that’s mainstream Islam alright. Who are all these Muslims who think Islam doesn’t quite literally mean submitting to the will of God and obedience to His laws? I’ve never met one among either Sunnis or Shi’ites.

                    • Li

                      Again mate. I doubt you have much clue as to what a Muslim means when they talk about God or talk about his laws. Sufism may not be mainstream Islam but neither is Salafism. Jihad can be recognized as a psycho-spiritual pursuit or a physical one.
                      Just learn about Muslim from Muslims. Don’t go to sources like breitbart or Sam Harris or whatever. Hazrat Inayat Khan is a good boy if you wanna see more of the spiritual side of Islam. Reza Aslan’s “No God But God” and Seyyed Hossein Nasr’s “Heart of Islam” are both fantastic introductions to general Islam and it’s history and future.
                      Aslan also recently co-authored an open letter to American Muslims on the matter of same-sex marriage which is also worth a read if you wanna gain some insight into how Islam is evolving in the west, http://religiondispatches.org/an-open-letter-to-american-muslims-on-same-sex-marriage/.

                      I get that you’re fixated on the narrative of Islam vs the West but it’s just kind of backwards and down right regressive. Islam is not the enemy and it never was. Fear and miscommunication will always be the precursor to violence. You have a choice between closed fear or open understanding. I get that it all sound hippyish and what not but I implore you to reconsider your stance. There’s that great Martin Luther King Jr. quote which is always appropriate with tragedies like this, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”.

                • Uh, you do realise that all the Abrahamic religions have similar requirements, right? They’ve just been re-interpretted to mean less by liberal religious movements over time.

                  While I agree anyone should dump any religion that requires them to submit to a mysterious higher power without good reason, that’s because I’m an atheist and don’t generally think that religion has met its burden of proof overall. Islam is no weirder than Christianity, and in fact, the translations of the Koran actually seem more reasonable than the old testament in general.

                  • While I agree anyone should dump any religion that requires them to submit to a mysterious higher power without good reason, that’s because I’m an atheist…

                    Something you can indulge yourself in because you weren’t born to Muslim parents in a Muslim-majority country. If you had been, fancying yourself an atheist would be regarded as a serious crime.

                    …overall. Islam is no weirder than Christianity…

                    Not that that’s a very high bar to clear, but please – Islam’s “prophet” tells the world that one of the five most important things almighty God has to impart to humankind is that everyone should try and visit the city where almighty God’s prophet has his commercial interests. Joseph Smith seems almost credible by comparison!

                    • Actually the weirdest stuff is generally the things that the Jews, Christians, and Muslims agree on- eg. god trying to get a father to sacrifice his son, not eating shellfish, shaming sexuality, (which has been re-interpreted as shaming hookup culture specifically as opposed to non-procreative sex in general) and so on.

                      Great examples of Christianity’s specific weirdness are for catholics, the transubstantiation, where wafers and wine are supposed to literally turn into the flesh and blood of Christ, and the trinity, where god comes in three parts that are simultaneously different and distinct (the God, the Holy Ghost, and Christ) while also being the same.

                      Mainstream NZ Christianity only seems saner to you because it’s well-established. If Catholicism didn’t exist here and we suddenly started getting missionaries, it would seem about as strange as Scientology. (Well, perhaps a little less weird, because their belief in ancient aliens is a little unique)

                  • Gosman

                    Islam is weirder than Christianity. Christianity was not founded by a man who thought a religion could be legitimately spread by force.

                    • You do know that Christianity is the origin of “Just War Theory,” the idea that war can be morally justified, right? And there was that whole Crusades thing, too.

                      Christianity absolutely believed in spreading faith by violence back in the day. It’s just that Christian-dominated countries are currently ascendant and have no little or no use for violence, so the religious interpretations have largely evolved along the same trajectory.

                      Religion is largely a cypher in that respect. It says so many contradictory things in an effort to encourage identification that you can interpret it to mean practically anything.

                    • Gosman

                      Neither Jesus nor the person who had the biggest influence on shaping the religion in the early days (Paul) advocated spreading the religion by force. Muhammed certainly did promote that path. As Muslims revere Muhammed above all other Prophets of God it is problematic to try to argue this is not a valid approach now.

                  • D'Esterre

                    Matthew Whitehead: “While I agree anyone should dump any religion that requires them to submit to a mysterious higher power without good reason…”

                    Er… that would be all religions.

                    “Islam is no weirder than Christianity”

                    OK: so where are those groups of young, fanatical Christians taking up arms against other Christians who aren’t Christian enough, and against Muslims, because they aren’t Christians at all? Unless, of course, you had in mind what’s left of the Coalition of the Willing?

                    “….. and in fact, the translations of the Koran actually seem more reasonable than the old testament in general.”

                    That’s not a very high bar you’ve set there, if I may say so, young man. Though in truth, both draw from many of the same sources.,

              • Gosman

                That is correct. Islam means surrender to God/Allah’s will and law. The trouble is those laws were set down by a man who thought it was acceptable to kill ones opponent’s. That is the fundamental flaw in the religion. Until Muslims face up to that and accept that you cannot have killing other people as any part of a religious faith then tragedies like Orlando will continue to happen.

                • McFlock

                  What happened to the Canaanites again?

                  • Gosman

                    Your issue is with the old testament. If you know anything about Christianity (which seemingly you don’t) you should know that Jesus came to complete and circumvent the old covenant the Jews had with God. This allowed non Jewish people to embrace the faith and also meant that whayt Jesus had to say about topics became far more important than what went before. The old testament is important to Christians in so far as it predicts the coming of Jesus but even early Christians weren’t promoting Jewish laws as being central to the faith.

                    • McFlock

                      Soooooo – the ten commandments are bullshit then, according to Christianity?

      • Richardrawshark 2.1.2

        Bullshit, Islam is NOT being taken over by extremist, they are but a spec on the arse of the pimple.

        • Li

          That was good and I agree – apart from the possible connotation of Islam being a pimple 😛

      • Sabine 2.1.3

        The same can be said about Christian Evangelic Fundamentalists.
        Also coming from the States, also funded in the states, and those too, if given half a chance would burn anyone who does not adhere to their interpretation of the bible (especially the old testament, cause the new Testament….is so full of Jesus preaching forgiveness and love, and feeding the hungry and clothing the poor and such).
        Bigots that would excuse murder, wanton cowardly murder with what the bearded skyfairy may or may not have said are simply just excusing something that they did not have the guts nor the balls/ovaries to do.

        • Gosman

          You have evidence that people are being turned in to killers after reading Christian fundamentalist literature do you?

        • D'Esterre

          Sabine: ” the old testament…”

          Of course, the old testament is pre-christian. Yet the christian fundy types really depend on it as a prop for their belief systems.

      • Chooky 2.1.4

        +100…good points CV

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      “Just as an aside, the National Rifle Association appear to have slightly more sense than Donald Trump; they’ve said a big fat zero about the shooting so far.”

      What’re the odds of them saying “if everyone else in that nightclub had guns, he wouldn’t have been able to kill that many people”?

  3. Puckish Rogue 3

    So as an observation this’ll be worth say 5-10% points at least for Trump, though not entirely sure what changes he’d have made that would have stopped this

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Radical islam is funded and spread by Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is funded, armed and politically protected by the USA.

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        The US doesn’t fund Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is also protected by the vast majority of the world Muslim community. If they actually stood up and stated that the country did not deserve to be the guardian of the Islamic holy places the religious influence would be diminished substantially.

      • Richardrawshark 3.1.2

        Bull shit.

  4. Esoteric Pineapples 4

    The third place getter in The Voice US in 2014 was shot dead while signing autographs after a concert the other day in Florida.

  5. Steve Wrathall 5

    Another day, another atrocity committed in the name of Islam. Another refusal by Obama or Clinton to name the ideology that inspired it and to blame it on lack of gun control. Rinse. Repeat.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Bigotry isn’t an ideology, although I do understand why a piece of shit like you would get confused about such matters.

      • Steve Wrathall 5.1.1

        Bigotry against, gays, Jews, women, apostates, unbelievers or the wrong type of Muslim is part and parcel of islam-mandated in the koran.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          So what’s your excuse? Ayn Rand?

        • RJL

          Steve, bigotry is universal. As is tolerance and kindness.

          ISIS et al are to Islam as the KKK is to Christianity.

          • Richardrawshark

            Good analogy.

          • Steve Wrathall

            [RL: I’m not letting you use The Standard to spew ignorant, inflammatory bullshit. Personally I have very, very good reason to understand how intolerant and dangerous fundamentalist Islam is. More than I’m prepared to write here. But what I am NOT prepared to tolerate is an equally dangerous and utterly wrong assertion that this fundamentalism is an innate feature of Islam as a religion. It is not and you are banned for one month.]

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Whereas Objectivists tend to commit atrocities like market theory, and the resulting death and misery is slower, and involves far more people.

              • Richard McGrath

                So free trade between willing participants is an “atrocity”? Really?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The World Bank, IMF etc are quite clear about it: “neoliberal” economic drivel kills people and economies, just like you were warned it would right from the get-go.

                  What’s your excuse?

                • Li

                  lmao @ “willing”

            • McFlock

              About 5,000-8,000 today, according to wikipedia.
              As for the last KKK murder, it looks like maybe thirty years – they got hammered by the FBI and a load of civil actions. But they’re still around and active.

          • Gosman

            Where does the founder of the Christian faith advocate for ideas promoted by the KKK?

            • Colonial Viper

              But those flaming crosses on the front yards!

            • RJL


              It is totally insane to think that the KKK is a sensible interpretation of Christian belief; and yet the KKK thought it was.

              Likewise, ISIS is a totally insane interpretation of Islam. But it isn’t the mainstream.

        • McFlock

          That’s the trouble with the Abrahamic religions: “mandated on the koran” often also means “mandated in the Torah” and “mandated in the Bible”.

          In this case, the bit about Sodom and Gomorrah.

          You’ll need to work harder on your bigotry.

    • Brutus Iscariot 5.2

      Gun control is no doubt a huge part of the problem.

      But no-one can turn a blind eye to the illiberal nature of Islam. They want everyone to conform or burn.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1

        Bigots spew hate speech whether they’re from Islamabad or Cabinet Club. It’s the bigotry that’s the problem, and here you are.

        • Brutus Iscariot

          That’s fine dissimulation. Of course there are are bigots of every stripe.

          But Islam, practiced correctly according to its founder, involves the death or conversion of every human being on the planet. No other ideology is anywhere near that.

          [RL: No it does not. You are repeating ignorant bigotry, and this is your only and last warning.]

          • RJL

            @Brutus Iscariot “But Islam, practiced correctly according to its founder, involves the death or conversion of every human being on the planet. No other ideology is anywhere near that.”

            That’s an extreme, minority interpretation. That’s not what mainstream Muslims believe at all. Most people killed globally by ISIS, for example, are Muslims.

            It’s like claiming that extremist, anti-abortion campaigners in the States are representative of Christianity.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            I’m sure it seems convenient to you to wrap your bigotry up in this fine sophistry. It probably even fools some of your peers.

            You aren’t among your peers.

          • Li

            What a bullshit claim. It’s easy to blame something you don’t know or feel comfortable with. Stop taking the easy way out ya dork

    • adam 5.3

      Religion is not an ideology.

      You can have an ideology with a religious component.

      But a religion is not an ideology, look at the dominate Christian religion, you would be hard pressed to get them to agree on a set of ideas.

      • Rae 5.3.1

        Sorry, but religion is pretty much ideology. It’s a bit like the horse and pony analogy. A pony is always a horse, but a horse is not always a pony.

  6. Don't worry. Be happy 6

    Love to all my gay family and friends. Love and strength.

  7. NoThanks 7

    Bleeding heart refugee loving Standard is now confused…

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Whereas the Right has no confusion about hate speech and bigotry whatsoever, not even a little bit, honest, why don’t you believe me?

      • NoThanks 7.1.1

        I have never pretended I care to use my tax to salvage these things.

        I have always preferred the way GAIUS JULIUS CAESAR dealt with the Helvetii who were the barbarian ‘refugees’ fleeing the Germanic tribes.

        People should learn history.

        • dv

          You must be a Maori then in NZ.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Yet another right winger projecting their stunted intellectual and emotional desert onto others. Too much hate speech at the breakfast table.

          • NoThanks

            Interestingly I have just finished Caesar’s biography and am amazed at how foresighted his way was in dealing with barbaric refugees in the Gaullic war comparing with the bleeding hearts’, Merkel’s and Little’s.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Meanwhile, on Earth, bigots just like you are the problem.

              • NoThanks

                I didn’t do anything.

                I just want my idyllic life free from unsavory ppl like such.

                NZ is the mini Downton Abbey in the southern hemisphere, unsavory ‘refugees’ should go to Manus Island and stop polluting our Downton Abbey.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  You don’t know how you revealed your bigotry, and that doesn’t surprise me at all. Your gutter ethics are also on display; you don’t understand that either.

                  Go on, mess yourself some more.

                • McFlock

                  If we have to put up with unsavoury people like you, you should put up with refugees.

            • dukeofurl

              The word you are looking for was barbaric, just like you.

        • McFlock

          People should learn history.

          It’s one thing to learn history, but quite another to learn from it. Your preference is abhorrent in any civilised society.

  8. Vinnie 8

    Some excellent articles written by Puddleglum.

    To get a taste…
    “In the first part of this post I argued that beliefs held by individuals are not a good basis on which to analyse geopolitical events. Both beliefs and their associated collective-level behaviours are the result of other forces operating in the environment within which individuals act. I conclude the argument by asking what ISIS is for”


  9. Ovid 9

    My first thoughts this morning were an exasperated, resigned sympathy for the victims in the US. Gun violence, mass shootings and hate crime is nothing new there. I doubt the ISIS link holds much water – I don’t think the shooter gained support or funding from them – although clearly he professed his allegiance to them. An AR-15 and a pistol are hardly difficult to procure over there. There’s already been one attempted copycat in LA, there may be more.

    In respect of the political ramifications, this article is worth a read. I don’t think there’ll be any move on gun laws, though. If the deaths of preschoolers at Sandy Hook couldn’t motivate change, I don’t think the deaths of 50 gay people would, either.

    Wired: The Orlando night club shooting just redefined the race for the presidency

    To his critics, Trump’s tweets look like knee-jerk self-adulation; to his supporters, they’re a show of strength. Clinton’s supporters will see her statements as signs of experience and a judicious nature; her foes will see naivety and an inability to properly defend the country. Either way, with just 148 days until the presidential election, the campaign just got redefined.

  10. millsy 10

    [RL: Deleted. Banned for one month.]

  11. Bill 11

    Obama isn’t helping.

    Has any other mass shooting in the US been called out as terrorism by el Presidente? No.

    But now there’s a Muslim who has shot people up and it’s terrorism.

    Cue random members of the Muslim community being expected to apologise …

    • Given that the killer claimed it as being done on behalf of a terrorist organisation, Obama is correct to refer to it as terrorism. How could he not? Obama has also regularly referenced terror when talking about mass killings in the States. Lord knows he’s had to make the same or similar speeches on a number of occasions and he’s been very consistent in his position that gun availability is a fundamental problem.

      • Bill 11.1.1

        No trp, he hasn’t regularly referenced terrorism when talking about mass killings in the states. There was a lengthy discussion on that very point some time back – ie, why mass killings by “white dudes” are not referred to as terrorism. I can’t remember the specific incident, meaning I can’t point you to the post, but there’s a thread commenting on the hypocrisy or inconsistency on display by labeling “white dude shootings” as ‘unfortunate’ or whatever, yet defaulting to the description of terrorist when there’s a Muslim angle to be exploited.

        It’s crass propaganda.

        edit – is the claim that he references daesh of any more relevance than in the case of the guy in the Australian chocolate cafe claiming connections to daesh?

        • McFlock

          I tend to agree.

          The thing about “terrorism” and “ISIS” is that they’ve been built up as powerful symbols, so anyone who wants to achieve significance can reference them and get an automatic boost in notoriety.

          That’s what I liked about the Australian response to the cafe seige: they refused to call it “terrorism”.

          Similarly, anybody who will machine-gun a nightclub has bigger influences on their behaviour than a subscription to Fundamentalists’ Quarterly…

        • te reo putake

          “No trp, he hasn’t regularly referenced terrorism when talking about mass killings in the states”

          I didn’t say he had.

          • Bill

            You said he had referenced terror on a regular basis when taking of mass killings in the US… and that wasn’t to be taken as inferring that he was speaking of terrorism? Uh-huh.

            Anyway, not that I’m about to search and read his speeches, but I’d be very surprised if he so much as used the word ‘terror’ in relation to “white dude” mass killings in the US.

            It wouldn’t fit with the propaganda framework everything gets hung from these days.

            • te reo putake

              Well, I can’t help how you read things, Bill! But the fact remains he has referred to terror on previous occasions. And why not? These incidents are meant to terrorise. I’m guessing today’s guy has no formal links with ISIS, but he sure knew that doing it in their name would add to the horror. Given the self proclaimed link, it will obviously be investigated as a terrorist attack, but I’m guessing he’ll just turn out to be a saddo with easy access to firearms, not a genuine ISIS style jihadist.

              And yes, Obama did speak of terror in at least one “white guy” shooting. This is the 14th mass shooting he has spoken about as President. Look the speeches up. Obama is consistent, nuanced and not afraid to call them for what they all are; acts of terror.

              • Bill

                You wrote – Obama has also regularly referenced terror…

                I wrote – No trp, he hasn’t regularly referenced terrorism…

                You wrote – I didn’t say he had.

                I wrote – I’d be very surprised if he so much as used the word ‘terror’ in relation to “white dude” mass killings…

                You wrote – Obama is consistent, nuanced and not afraid to call them for what they all are; acts of terror.

                I’ll leave it at that. You’re going to have to do your word and meaning dance solo trp. Have a good day.

    • Are you thinking maybe the Sandy Hook massacre happened because the perp had been brought up in an ideology that taught him to hate schools? Or that the Aurora movie theatre massacre happened because the perp had a very strong set of beliefs that movie-goers deserve death? Because, otherwise, it looks like Obama gets this and you don’t.

    • Nic the NZer 11.3

      The attitude you are exhibiting is not helping actually. The argument that this crime has nothing to do with religion and that looking at immigration policy is something akin to raceism will be and is taken as ‘all you guys and your concerns can piss off’. And they will, they will go right over to trump and the republicans who have a plan for their concerns.

      • McFlock 11.3.1

        Wow, how to take a thin thread and run with it.

        Obama called it an act of terror. That invokes the idea of terrorism before any real motive or connection is known.

        Maybe he’s a full, card-carrying ISIS agent who snuck overseas for training and was successfully reinserted into florida for the purpose of shooting up a nightclub.

        Maybe he’s a “radicalised” guy who was indoctrinated by a fundamentalist teacher in a suburban Florida mosque (apparently this is not so likely).

        Just maybe he’s a guy whose marriage fell apart because he couldn’t adequately process his emotions without violence, and he became more and more isolated, and religion was purely incidental to that (beyond legitimising his opinions). He had access to better guns that the last guy who walked into a bar and started shooting queer people, and his religion gave him access to a scarier brand of the time from which he could borrow infamy.

        • RedLogix

          Just maybe he’s a guy whose marriage fell apart because he couldn’t adequately process his emotions without violence, and he became more and more isolated

          Nicely put. In the absence of more information I’d back this explanation too. But as you and I know this is going to be too much subtlety for most people.

        • Nic the NZer

          Whats that? The plan for addressing this will be put on hold until we have completed our scemantic discussion of if its terrorism or a run of the mill hate crime? Well that certainly sounds like a constructive plan you have going there.

          • RedLogix

            OK let’s skip the careful analysis and go with your definition that this is ‘radical Islamic terrorism’.

            What is your plan? And what body count do you think it might involve?

            • Nic the NZer

              Why would anybody assume the response has a body count.

              In fact Donald Trump has been excellent on this already. First you discriminate against imigrants from places which harbour this kind of extremism. Two he has been highly critical of the neo-con elements in the republican party and their prior endeavours in Iraq. In fact its quite likely they are quietly joining the Clinton camp in some form do as not to be completely isolated.

              You can clearly see why that is popular.

              • RedLogix

                And secondly? What do you want to do about all the immigrant already in country?

                You need a plan with a clear end-goal and does not trap you into unintended consequences.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Wait and see if Trump offers a pathway to normalisation. He knows he desperately needs more hispanic votes in the Presidential. But it is the kind of thing he can only offer after he has formally clinched the Rep nomination.

                • Nic the NZer

                  The point of my comment wasn’t actually that there is an obvious or long term plan for dealing with this mess, it was simply that large swathes of the left refuse to really look at addressing these issues at all. This is typically achieved by dragging commentary on the issue into a swamp of accusations of racism and bigotry.

                  But objectively i actually think from what Trump has said he is the better candidate on many of these issues. Maybe you didnt notice but the main neo-con elements have been ostracised by him and on the otherhand Hillary has form on this.

                  If the US wants fewer home grown islamic terrorists it should stop destabilising Islamic governments. All the domestic terrorist events i can recall appear to be from groups who perceive that their governments are attacking their compatriots at home somewhere.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                places which harbour this kind of extremism

                Before or after a US invasion and/or bombing of weddings? Or do you mean France?

          • McFlock

            Well, given that they have completely different causes and objectives, it might be an idea to avoid formenting bigotry.

            Especially as, if it was a terrorist act in the strictist sense, then the thing that would really piss off any sponsors or heroes in the afterlife would be to simply portray it as the last desperate act of a sad, inadequate individual.

            But if it’s simply the last desperate act of a sad, inadequate individual, then promoting him to the status of “terrorist” is exactly what he wanted when he claimed connection to ISIS.

  12. joe90 12

    Jim Wright –


    It’s been two three four years since I first wrote this on the day after a madman stepped into a darkened movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and started killing people. Since then more than ten twenty sixty thousand Americans have died from gun violence, three seven twenty times more than died on September 11th, 2001, more than all the military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than all the Americans killed in Vietnam. There have been so many mass shootings between the day I wrote this and now that I’ve lost track, one killing blurs into another and the bloody rampages seem to be our new national pastime.


    Anyway, before we get started, I just wanted to say: Way to go America. We can’t build spaceships any more, or ensure every American has access to healthcare and food and clean water and a warm place to sleep, but we’ve got the world beat in bloody murder.

    Bang Bang Bang, fuck yeah, America!



    • RedLogix 12.1

      Yes I’ve followed Jim for quite a few years now. Several things:

      1. I wish I could write as well as he does!

      2. His background in the military qualifies him to speak on this issue in a way few others are.

      3. His logic and maturity of mind are impeccable.

      A challenging man. I imagine having a beer with him would be an interesting experience. It could go either very well or very badly.

  13. whispering kate 13

    I realise that owning a gun in the US is probably there to stay with such a strong pro-gun lobby and the long held belief that people should be able to carry arms for protection but what I cannot understand is why people are allowed to buy and carry assault rifles which are capable of firing off many bullets like mini machine guns. Please someone explain to me why there is a use in civilian life for these types of weapons. If you must have laws to protect yourself surely a single loading gun is sufficient, even for hunting in the bush for game you only need to get a good shot with one bullet leaving the gun at a time. Shot guns are another problem I realise, as shooting game in the air needs a scatter gun for the obvious result.

    Having the type of gun limited to single loading types would lessen the impact on mass shootings as the shooter would have to reload each time he fired. The US is screwed in the head that it allows its citizenry to carry these assault type weapons. It’s bad enough that the Defence Forces have to use them but allowing ordinary people living in civvy street to have them is beyond madness. And, they, the US are meant to be the guardians of the world, give me a break.

    • Lanthanide 13.1

      In the US, it is even legal for a private individual to own tanks, anti-aircraft missiles and any sort of automatic chain gun you can imagine.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Like a flame thrower, you can own them, but you can’t use them. Details may vary by state.

      • Lanthanide, It is not legal for private individual in my home country of the US to …”own tanks, anti-aircraft missiles and any sort of automatic chain gun”. Where the heck did you read this?

        And whispering Kate, you are largely on the money. If I could remember the dates, sorry I can’t today, assault rifles were banned in the US. You can probably Google this. The Act expired, and our gutless, bought and paid, for Congress did not renew it. Such is the power of the NRA lobby in the best democracy that money can buy.

        And to be clear, all “machine guns”, where you hold the trigger and the rounds just keep pumping out one after another, have been banned in the US for a long time.

        Sadly, until you live amongst these rabid US 2nd Amendment crazies for a while, you will not be able to understand why the US is awash with guns, nor the crazy gun culture. To the unending despair of probably a majority of the US people it’s not going to change.

      • Rae 13.1.3

        There’s guy in Ross owned, maybe still does, a tank

    • Puckish Rogue 13.2

      Ok so my understanding of automatic weapon usage in the USA for criminal matters is that its very, very low.

      This is because the laws around automatic weapons is extremely tight (yes even in the USA)

      So like in NZ theres not much gun crime with MSSA rifles because its harder to get an endorsement for them, automatic weapon usage in crime isn’t great in the USA.

      So you’ve heard the term assault rifle and think its like a machine gun, its more likely the terrorist used a MSSA (military style semi automatic) which is where you have to pull the trigger for a round to come out

      So getting back to NZ, the reasons for owing a MSSA in NZ are as follows:

      Pest controllers use semi-autos and AR-15s because they’re generally paid to go out and kill x-amount of animals (goats, possums, rabbits etc etc) and because they’re not hunting or doing it for sport the AR-15 is the most efficient rifle to use because its accurate and fast loading

      Three gun shooters use MSSA as well because its a sport where speed and accuracy are paramount and because of the distances in shooting, again the MSSA in AR-15 reigns supreme (ok that’s my personal opinion) along with semi-auto shot guns and semi-auto pistols

      So there are two reasons why in NZ MSSA rifles, shotguns and (why not) pistols are used in NZ

      Now personally I wouldn’t use a semi-auto for hunting (maybe one of these https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browning_BAR) but that’s me, others might and good on them as long as they follow the laws concerning firearm usage

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        I’m sure the AR15 style rifle is a decent rifle, even the Chinese knock offs, but I don’t think its much superior to many other standard semi auto rifles except its got a bit of that pseudo-military vibe that some like.

        • Puckish Rogue

          The American ones are pretty decently made and for a light, accurate rifle in 5.56/.223 you’d go along to find something better

          As I say though I wouldn’t take one hunting because its not my thing but for 3 gun shooting definitely

        • Stuart Munro

          All the hunters I know prefer Rugers.

        • Rocco Siffredi

          “I’m sure the AR15 style rifle is a decent rifle, even the Chinese knock offs, but I don’t think its much superior to many other standard semi auto rifles except its got a bit of that pseudo-military vibe that some like.”

          There is a massive array of after-market parts that means you can tune an AR-15 for just about anything, and cheaply too.

      • Sorry Puckish, there are no reasons for a private citizen to own an AR-15. They were designed for military use to kill as many people as possible quickly. A private citizen does not need this capability. Pest control and target shooting can be conducted quite adequately with weapons intended for civilian use. Having these military macho AR-15’s in the hands of civilians is a recipe for disaster.

        • whispering kate

          Thank you Dennis, you seem to be the only person on here tonight who understands my logic about civilians and using guns. In a real world they would not be permitted for personal protection but at least in the US they should be guns that do the least damage and limit the fatalities. There are enough loose cannons (what a pun) running loose on the planet without giving them the freedom to use lethal weapons. The human race needs to be saved from itself it would seem, it sure cannot be responsible to lead a good life and keep our societies safe. By the way do we ever hear of women who go crazy and kill multiple citizens, it seems you menfolk have a penchant for weapons and do the Rambo thing – just a musing for the end of the evening.

        • Rocco Siffredi

          All civilian firearms are civilian versions of military weapons.

  14. joe90 14

    If this is correct it’s pretty fucking low.

    Matthew Chapman

    Matthew Chapman Retweeted Phoenix LGBT

    Trump is now setting up fake accounts for made-up LGBT associations claiming to endorse him. That’s pathetic.


    ((Vivian Vacca))) ‏@ViviVacca 5h5 hours ago

    @jbradythompson @fawfulfan the website is from an LGBT foundation in Manchester UK
    3 retweets 4 likes
    brady ‏@jbradythompson 5h5 hours ago Kentucky, USA

    @ViviVacca @fawfulfan even though it’s allegedly based in Phoenix! Caught ’em.

  15. Bill 15

    Due to distance and the usual human reaction of it’ll never happen to me (or anyone I know), the shootings in the US don’t bother me too much. By the same token, the Paris bombings and what have you didn’t mean much to me. Neither did the numerous IRA bombing campaigns in Britain. They have all been events very far removed from my world and experience….like that 30 car pile up on the motorway; or like that plane crash…

    But the knee jerk reaction; the ignorant finger pointing at the adherents of an entire religion is getting fucking sickening and just a bit scary. Here’s why. The commentaries and comments that embody what I might call a low level though not quite articulated ‘baying for blood’, are coming from people I might be passing in the street or working beside, and are shaping the perceptions of people I might be passing in the street or working beside.

    And the main proponents behind the demonising of an entire group of people in order to smooth the roll out of their own ‘less than laudable’ designs (eg – mass surveillance, military adventurism) absolutely want those around me to be fearful ignorant, finger pointing fucks…and they seem to be succeeding, albeit incrementally, with every new story or tragedy they hi-jack in order to push their terrorist hype.

  16. Slippery 16

    Omar Mateen, who murdered fifty (50) people at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando this morning, did NOT act alone; at least one additional male perpetrator assisted in the attack by holding the exit door SHUT so victims could not get out.

    An eye witness named Janeil (male), who was inside the club at the time of the attack, personally saw this other individual holding the door shut, and reported this fact on national television . . . but as soon as he uttered the information that there was another man holding the door shut to prevent people from leaving, the news network cut-off his interview!

    The important thing to take away from this Breaking News is that the narrative being presented to the public — a “lone gunman” — is not true. This was clearly a planned attack and at least one additional perpetrator participated, holding the exit doors shut to prevent victims from escaping!

    UPDATE 10:09 PM EDT —
    We now have brand new full video confirmation from an eye witness who was inside the Pulse Nightclub when today’s mass-murder took place, that the story being told to the public about a “lone shooter” is not true.

    This man in the video below says there were definitely “Two shooters” because he could hear multiple gunshots coming from different directions. He also confirms there was a THIRD perpetrator, who intentionally HELD THE EXIT DOOR SHUT so people inside the club COULD NOT ESCAPE.
    link to see it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/HZ35V0etHiM

    • McFlock 16.2

      No, he said he could hear two guns at the same time.

      As for the guy who held the door shut, who knows wtf that was or what was in his mind. The witness sure didn’t.

      edit: bloody quick with the internet conspiracies, though.

    • Rae 16.3

      One man held the door shut against an entire club full of terrified people? Shouldn’t be too hard to figure out who that was, I understand he might go by the name of Clark Kent by day.

  17. Chooky 17

    and why didn’t the FBI do anything about this individual…fat lot of use all the USA surveillance

    ‘ISIS-inspired citizen known to FBI: Facts behind deadliest US mass shooting in Orlando’


    • Instauration 17.1

      Probably cos they thought it was “Unimaginable” – I know this expression is only attributed to the Orlando PD – but it appears to be a simple and palatable narrative to explain FBI and leadership neglect.
      This act was definitely “imaginable” and very “predictable”
      Time for the USA to “understand” that the best form of defence is to not furnish the Genesis of enemies.

  18. Slippery 18

    bloody quick with the pre prepared narrative too huh, problem reaction solution

    • McFlock 18.1

      I simply watched the video you linked to. It was quite short, and didn’t say what you thought it said.

  19. joe90 19

    Off you go Eddie and see what happens to gay men in Putin’s Russia.

    Edward Snowden Verified account

    If he murdered because he saw two men kiss, I say: find someone to kiss. #ChooseLove

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  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
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    23 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
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    2 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
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    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
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    3 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
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    3 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
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    3 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
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    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
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    5 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
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    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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    6 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
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    6 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
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    7 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
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    7 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
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    7 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
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    7 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
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    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
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    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
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    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
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    1 week ago