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Trump Has No Right to Grandstand Over the Orlando Shootings

13/06/2016 13:08 | Updated 13 June 2016

Donald Trump's already infamous tweet thanking his supporters for highlighting what they see as his correct predictions of a major mainland USA terrorist attack has already been roundly condemned across social media.

Whilst not overtly burnishing his own credibility with these horrific events, he comes pretty close to doing so, and it can only be a matter of time before he's working it into his repertoire. As is most often the case with Trump, he reacts to what are claimed to be comments from the general public which serve only to bolster his own narrow views on the world.

Even before this has been confirmed, he's claimed the Orlando night club attack, in which 50 people were killed and even more were injured, as an act of Islamic terrorism. He's predictably using it as a platform to whip up righteous outrage in support of what he characterises as his strong stance on insurrection and to further justify his oft quoted distrust of Muslims.

As we now know, the shooter called 911 shortly before the attack and aligned himself with the aims of the death cult ISIS. Yet he chose to attack a gay club which suggests a deeper personal prejudice. Yes homosexuality is opposed by fundamental Islam - as it is by many other religions - but it's also an issue that features on the hit-list for numerous hate groups and extremist organisations, many of them prevalent in the US.

Trump himself has arguably pursued an overtly homophobic agenda in much of his rhetoric. He's openly opposed gay marriage, and while he's usually careful to walk the right side of the line between lukewarm support and outright condemnation of LGBT issues, he's certainly given more than a nod of support towards people and groups that have crossed it. He's told evangelical voters they can trust him to oppose marriage equality, and attacked Chief Justice John Roberts, someone who has voted unflinchingly voted against LGBT rights, as not conservative enough for his tastes!

As we all know, Trump has, on numerous occasions, advocated violence against dissenters and protestors at his rallies, famously promising to pay legal defence fees for anyone prosecuted for an assault carried out in his name. It doesn't take much for people with an already warped mind-set to conflate these sorts of issues into a general permissiveness.

The idea that anyone different to us, or opposed to our views should be dealt with violently is arguably one of the core tenets of Trump's campaign. Whether that be a terrorist group in the Middle East, Mexicans crossing the border, home-grown insurgents, or anyone opposing the indefinable apple pie wisdom of Donald J Trump.

And in a land where assault weapons are as easy to buy as a new washing machine, the leap between thought and deed is about the width of a credit card.

Leaving aside the more sinister speculation that this act plays very nicely into the agendas of both Trump and ISIS, the shooter in Orlando will no doubt be categorised as a terrorist choosing a soft target to carry out his heinous act.

His 911 call will of course be seized on as cast iron evidence to this end. But his choice of objective suggests that he was also vehemently anti-gay, and the twisted logic of a twisted mind could easily be inspired by the kinds of cause and effect wisdom that Trump espouses on an almost daily basis.

So I hope that while The Donald is busy accepting back slaps and grandstanding on social media about how a vote for him will mean an end to this sort of violence in the US, he'll maybe consider just how his own words and reckless rhetoric could inspire such atrocities. If not in this case, certainly in others that may sadly be to come.

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