And yet another cycle of utilizing tragedy to enact policy changes begins. One day after the devastating events in Colorado Springs, Colorado, President Joe Biden released a statement calling for the prohibition of “assault weapons.”
On Saturday evening, an armed gunman walked into Club Q, an LGBTQ hotspot in Colorado Springs, and began firing. Ultimately, due to the heroism of the patrons of the establishment, the shooter was subdued after killing five people and injuring at least 25 others.
Wasting no time, the Biden White House sent out a statement on Sunday calling for wide-sweeping policy changes that would ban what Biden called “weapons of war.” The statement expressed solidarity and concern for the victims and their families only after Biden had fulfilled his political duties.
The statement began by saying that the motive of the gunman was unknown, but then immediately asserted that the “LGBTQI+ community” was intentionally targeted by the assailant.
“While no motive in this attack is yet clear, we know that the LGBTQI+ community has been subjected to horrific hate violence in recent years. Gun violence continues to have a devastating and particular impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our nation and threats of violence are increasing,” Biden stated. Authorities are currently investigating whether or not the attacks were part of a hate crime.
Biden then repeated the erroneous claim that the events of Saturday are reminiscent of the mass shooting of 2016 at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. The two events are similar in their tragedy, devastation, and their irrational loss, but these are characteristics of any mass shooting. President Biden is making the claim that these two events are linked by motive even though as he had just stated, the motive of the Club Q gunman remains unclear. Furthermore, the claim that the Pulse shooting that killed 49 people was a hate crime has been debunked and is categorically false.
Politicians and pundits are so determined to create a narrative and construe events in a manner that aids their agendas, they will seize upon the first tragedy they deem appropriate for the policy change they’ve been wanting to promote.
After Trump elevated anti-immigrant & anti-Latino rhetoric, we had the deadliest anti-Latino shooting in modern history.
After anti-Asian hate w/COVID, Atlanta.
Tree of life. Emanuel AME. Buffalo.
And now after an anti-LGBT+ campaign, Colorado Springs.
Connect the dots, @GOP.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 20, 2022
We must address the public health epidemic of gun violence in all forms. I signed the most significant gun safety law in nearly three decades, but we must do more.
And we must drive out the inequities that contribute to violence against LGBTQI+ people. We cannot tolerate hate.
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 20, 2022
The hate crime narrative of the Pulse shooting persisted until evidence came out to the contrary in the trial of the gunman’s wife, yet it is still the prevailing story of the unfathomably tragic event.
Biden then offered his call to action asking when Americans will decide that they’ve had enough.
“We must address the public health epidemic of gun violence in all of its forms. Earlier this year, I signed the most significant gun safety law in nearly three decades, in addition to taking other historic actions. But we must do more. We need to enact an assault weapons ban to get weapons of war off America’s streets.”
The term “assault weapons” is controversial in itself. Biden’s usage of the term is indiscriminately vague as the call for the ban proposes no specific type of weapon but uses the category as a catch-all.
According to police, the gunman used a long rifle during the attacks but further details of his weaponry are currently unavailable.
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