This is what I have to say post the Pulse massacre.
The problem is not that this man was a demon, an outsider, some sort of outlier on the continuum of human American experience.
This man was a citizen of this country. He was what is held up as the norm: young, religious, husband, father.
The problems are the systems that surrounded this man, that taught him that the normal reaction to seeing people different from himself was disgust.
The systems that taught him that his disgust was normal.
The systems that taught him to rationalize his disgust as an expression of faith. The systems that cloaked that rationalization in a rhetoric of nobility.
The economic systems that allowed him to weaponize that disgust, to turn that disgust into bullets and mutilation.
At every step he made decisions that he is responsible for, but at every step those decisions were made easier by hundreds of other people whose words and actions told him : Yes, you are right to be disgusted, and the righteous way to deal with your disgust is to deal death to people you don’t know and to crow about it. Here is a gun that lets you do that, here is a system that will laud you for doing that.
When politicians pray after these things, pray after killing bill after bill that would break these systems, pray after taking money from people whose incomes come from making it easy for these men to spray death, I can only think that they are praying that people don’t connect the dots, that people don’t try to say to them, you continue to teach people that their disgust is normal, that their violence is normal and right and good, that their deadly actions are normal. They are praying that people don’t wake up to the fact that you have said to all of those families and lovers of the people who died at Pulse that you would rather have your gun today than to have any of those victims still alive.
The killer was merely the agent of your contempt. When you put your righteousness above those lives, when you put your gun above those lives, you make a sham of the Constitution and the country and the god you claim to serve and revere.
The problem is not that the killer is beyond the pale: The problem is that the killer was an apt pupil for all the teaching that you left for him and which you are still maintaining today.