Obviously any time murder is committed, hate is probably a factor (at least a basic disregard of the sanctity of life anyway). Further, if you decide to shoot folks indiscriminately, I think likely the hate is more broad-based. The Orlando shooter pledged allegiance to ISIS on the night of the shooting. Certainly ISIS hates America. And they flat do the worse you can think of to those in the LGBT community. So it’s not a stretch to think that a LGBT nightclub in American was specifically chosen. (Since he’s dead and can’t ask him, I guess we can’t totally rule out that he just picked the nightclub because he knew it would be crowded and knew he could easily pull off a mass murder and that it was LGBT was coincidence. He may have even been gay himself, though even if true doesn’t necessarily preclude him from still hating the LGBT community. That said, it’s clear he was an ISIS fanboy and wanted to make it clear that this was for them, so I would assume that he would have known that the fact it wasn’t just any club but a LGBT club would score major points with ISIS.)
- Most people are basically good and kind, but there’s still too much hate in the world. For sure, it only takes one person with massive hate in their heart for a terrible event to happen (just think, at the night club, we can pretty much assume that hundreds were there just to have a good fun time and only one was there to cause pain and death, but that’s all it takes). Still, there are also levels of hate. Some hatred is in and spread by people who would never ever shoot a place up or anything even close to that. But I think with enough hate, it kind of becomes like a petri dish that allows hate to grow. And in a very few, it grows to destructive levels.
- Extremist groups tend to eventually reach a point that they hate everyone that’s not in the group. That actually leaves a lot of common ground between extremist groups, regardless of religion or whatever cause is bringing the group together. After all, most people are not members of extremist groups.
- To wit, Eric Rudolph committed a series of bombings in part to ‘fight against the homosexual agenda’ while citing passages of the Bible as justification. Staff and former students of a Catholic school violently beat a gay couple in Philadelphia. In fact, assaults and murders outside gay bars are all too common. The common thread between all these seem to be violence and hate.
- At least one Christian preacher in Sacramento and one Christian preacher in Fort Worth praised the Orlando murders. These preachers would likely be called on the fringe (though once again, it’s more evidence that the thoughts and views of those on the extreme look a lot alike). Most people have/would repudiate those remarks. However, there is certainly a larger group that think homosexuality is a “sin” and “evil”. They may say things like ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’. But it’s clear that the viewpoint is that these people are doing something wrong and need to “repent” and change. That seems to me to be one step closer to ‘needing to do something about that’ than a more ‘live and let live’ viewpoint and in my opinion, the more widespread that viewpoint is, the easier it is for somebody to justify to themselves into taking that next step to end the “sin” and “evil”.
To once again refer to something the Dalia Lama says, on a fundamental level, we are the same. I’m not sure we can ever prevent every single person from building hate in their heart, as there are many, many factors. Still, to the extent we can remove some of those factors, it seems to me that if we became more focused on what makes us all common and realize that (at least to my knowledge) no harm has ever come from love and respect, maybe, just maybe, the petri dish would be a little less fertile.