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Zinke and Trump and AR-15s

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Rep. Trump Zinke issued a statement on the Orlando massacre. Here’s an outtake:

The very plain reality is, radical Islamic terrorists have waged war on the American people, whether politicians admit it or not. As more details emerge – including the terrorist’s professed allegiance to ISIS, and years of contact with known terrorists – it becomes more clear that is exactly what this is.

Here’s what Donald Trump had to say:

When it comes to Radical Islamic terrorism, ignorance is not bliss – it’s deadly. We need to tell the truth, also, about how Radical Islam is coming to our shores. We are importing Radical Islamic Terrorism into the West through a failed immigration system — and through an intelligence community held back by our president … I don’t want them in our country.

These two are made for each other. It’s all about “radical Islamic terrorists.” It should be noted that the five mass shootings with the highest death tolls, after Orlando, had nothing to do with jihadis and everything to do with mental instability and access to firearms (Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, etc.). No mention of that in either Zinke’s or Trump’s messages.

And, of course, nothing from Zinke on standing in solidarity with the LGBT community.

Is ISIS really to blame for the Orlando shooting? Or was it just an easy way for a madman to mask his hate while getting a maximum amount of publicity? His ex-wife called him bipolar. Other stories are developing that say Omar Mateen could have been a deeply conflicted gay man, having grown up with a strict Muslim father, Siddique Mir Mateen. Dad was quoted saying, “The punishment for homosexuality is upon God and he will decide on them not humans.” Omar Mateen was spotted at the Pulse nightclub on a dozen occasions before attacking it.

I’m not denying that there are jihadists bent on causing chaos in the Western World. There’s this recent story out of France about 25-year-old Larossi Abballa stabbing a police officer and the officer’s female partner. However, Europe has twenty times the number of Muslims as the U.S. Out of 4.5 million, there are going to be jihadists or someone mentally disturbed (probably a combination of the two). The other thing to consider is what kind of carnage Abballa could have committed had he access to an AR-15.

I would argue that incoming Muslims pose a lesser threat than the deranged men who have lived here all their lives but have grudges against the world and access to military-style assault weapons.

One more thing from Trump:

I will be meeting with the NRA, which has given me their earliest endorsement in a Presidential race, to discuss how to ensure Americans have the means to protect themselves in this age of terror.

I feel much safer knowing that Trump and the NRA have my back.

I agree that we must remain vigilant but let’s put our priorities in order. Zinke’s and Trump’s xenophobia and nativism and gun pimping aren’t the place to start.

I’ll leave you with this possible scenario, as articulated by a former CIA officer:

https://www.facebook.com/ajplusenglish/videos/744058605735649/?pnref=story

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About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

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