In this clip, legendary news anchor Tom Brokaw shuts down MSNBC host Chuck Todd for leaping to conclusions about the potential role that Islamic terrorism played in today’s massacre at an Orlando nightclub.
“We don’t know, hate crime, terrorism, there’s a number of directions this could go and we know political reactions will be based on what the FBI tells us. Should it matter? It’s a terrorizing situation no matter what” begins Todd.
Brokaw responds with a beautiful quote that all Americans need to acknowledge: “It shouldn’t matter. If it turns out to be connected to some sort of international group, politicians are going to jump all over it and say ‘we gotta do something about them.’ Say its a domestic shooting. We’ve gotta do something about that. I’m a gun owner, I’ve been saying this for months now that we have to come together and say “enough. If he had an assault weapon, it was an AR-14, [General] Stanley McChrystal said it’s not to be in civilian hands, it’s designed to do one thing – to kill people. We don’t have any dialogue going on in America about all these mass shootings that have occurred since San Bernadino, three or more killed at a time. This absolutely belongs in a political debate and it ought to be a place for both parties can talk about it in a rational fashion. You got a problem? Get a gun. That’s all the dialog we have now, and it’s got to come to an end.”
It is becoming very clear that mass shooting was not an act of Islamic terrorism. Both the parents and wife of the shooter, Omar Mateen, say that he was not a practicing Muslim – but his wife did say that her ex-husband was unstable and a domestic abuser. The FBI looked into Mateen twice but ended both investigations because they found no evidence of radicalization. There is no evidence that this man was in contact with the Islamic State. This man was psychologically disturbed, but was able to walk into a store and purchase a military grade assault rifle with no question just last week. We desperately need to do something about gun proliferation in this country. How long will it be before the next massacre?
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.