(Editor’s note: We bring this column to highlight an important viewpoint on Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando.)

Once again, a great city that rightly prides itself on multicultural tolerance has been shredded by a fanatical hater whose worldview is rooted in 7th Century mysticism and hero worship.

London. Madrid. Paris. Brussels. Now, Orlando. America’s getaway destination. Home.

And once again, leaders of a political party with roots that trace to the Enlightenment are blaming the tools of destruction, not the backward extremism that put those instruments to evil use.

Thus, in an otherwise down market Monday morning, did gun stocks — Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger, in particular — surge. This is perfectly understandable. When certain of America’s leaders target firearms after the ideologically-charged slaughter of unarmed innocents, Americans know they are not serious about eradicating the next potential triggerman’s vile inspiration.

Yes, I know. Among one-point-six-billion Muslims, only a statistically tiny portion are truly bad actors. But even if it’s only one percent, that’s a whole lot of radicalism for one small planet to manage.

Along those lines, it’s darn near impossible to manage that which you refuse even to identify. Alas, such is President Obama’s M.O. Once again the moment came upon him to make plain the war forced upon us, and once again he dashed to a nonsense prescription — we require more extensive regulation of inanimate objects — while aggressively ignoring the jihadi in the room.

What drivel. What insidious misdirection. Yes, we had a so-called “assault weapons” ban once upon a time, and the country didn’t collapse. Should we reinstate it? Only if we think meaningless flourishes will solve the raging trouble at hand. Studies indicate the ban made virtually no difference in gun crime. Bad dudes merely switched weapons of choice.

Wait. The president wasn’t finished. There was an outrage ahead.

Besides guns, Obama’s blame fell on, well, us. Really. Because, after all, in the president’s assessment, we all are denizens of the swamp that produced the execrable Omar Mateen. Obama:

“We need to demonstrate that we are defined more — as a country — by the way [the victims] lived their lives than by the hate of the man who took them from us.”

This blame-shifting is indefensible, even monstrous. A feverish Islamist extremist inflamed by ISIS acts on orders laid out plainly in sharia law and espoused by respected Muslim holy men, and Obama tells us to check our consciences.

Yes, the people who love “Will & Grace” and “Modern Family,” who at worst sighed in capitulation over the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling; and who adore Neil Patrick Harris playing heterosexual romantic leads — we are the ones who need to make plain what defines us.

That’s unreservedly disgusting. We didn’t establish a pattern of sweaty bigotry for Jews, African Americans, gays and women. We weren’t interviewed three times in two years by the FBI for linking ourselves to terror organizations and having had contact with a subsequent suicide bomber.

We didn’t perpetrate such violence on our spouses that they had to flee half the country away to feel safe. We didn’t make a 911 call to proclaim allegiance to ISIS before hauling a small arsenal into an Orlando nightspot and start shooting up the place.

That, and more, is all on Mateen, the vermin ISIS warrior/martyr wannabe. But that’s a subject too uncomfortable for President Obama, who called out hate and terror, but, when it came to honestly identifying the animating energy, flinched. Because blaming Americans is what he does.

Every time. Every damn time.


Recovering sports columnist and former Tampa Tribune columnist Tom Jackson argues on behalf of thoughtful conservative principles as our best path forward. Fan of the Beach Boys, pulled-pork barbecue and days misspent at golf, Tom lives in New Tampa with his wife, two children and two yappy middle-aged dogs.


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