Orlando one year after: What’s happened since then?
It’s been one year since the shooting at the Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida that killed 49 people. Orlando one year after, what’s happened since then that would ensure better protection for the LGBTQ community?
Unfortunately, not much, especially under the current administration of President Donald Trump. This despite then-candidate Trump having tweeted about the shooting in the aftermath.
Orlando one year after: Trump moves
It doesn’t help that back then, Trump had linked the shooting to his favorite targets, namely immigration and Islam.
On June 12, 2016, Trump had tweeted about “being right on radical Islamic terrorism.” He added: “I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!”
Recently, Trump marked the one-year anniversary with a tweet that America would “NEVER FORGET” the victims who died in the shooting.
However, as one among the many netizens who slammed Trump’s tweet pointed out: “Remembering the victims of this senseless and hateful crime is IMPORTANT but it is MORE IMPORTANT to protect them in the first place!”
Not surprising the LGBTQ community feels ill-used, given that Trump had not only used their tragedy to score political points but also earlier positioned himself as the community’s best advocate.
(Clue: 100 days in, he’s definitely not.)
Orlando one year after: Moving against migrants
Ironically, despite having positioned terrorism as the cause behind the Orlando attack, the Trump administration has failed miserably in instituting counter-terrorism proposals.
That’s because the administration first went after Syrian refugees to the US, then instituted a Muslim ban, and later on called for more vetting of visitors from Muslim-majority countries.
For the most part, US federal courts have shut down his attacks.
It’s also good to point out that the Pulse perpetrator Omar Mateen was born in New York (though that fact doesn’t seem to register with Trump).
Orlando one year after: Other moves
In other aspects, the FBI hasn’t made any corrections to how they review possible security threats in the wake of the Orlando attack.
The FBI had investigated Mateen twice before the attack but he was not designated a security threat.
“Did law enforcement do a great job and were they heroes, or were they bumbling, inept dopes? Almost impossible to make the call unless you see the record. Who knew what, and what did they know?” said Jeffrey Danik, a retired supervisory FBI agent.
Meanwhile, there were laws proposed to restrict gun sales to people on the terrorist watch list but Congress later voted it down.
Worse of all, there is legislation on allowing silencers to be bought and forcing states to recognize conceal carry permits across state lines, warned Democratic Rep. Val Demings (Florida’s 10th district).
“How many more times do we have to see the words “mass” and “shooting” next to each other before we take action? How young do the victims have to be before we take action? How high does the victim count have to go before we take action?” Demings said.