Orlando, FL – “People who use the tragedy in Orlando to promote their own political agendas should be ashamed and must stop,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.
As we learn more about the assailant, Omar Mateen, in the mass shooting in Orlando, we now understand he had a longstanding hatred for America. On 9/11, Mateen boarded his school bus and celebrated the horrors of that day when planes crashed into the Twin Towers. We know that during the massacre at the Pulse nightclub, he called 911 three times pledging allegiance to ISIS, to a known ISIS terrorist, Abu al-Baghdadi, and praised the Boston bombers. Department of Homeland Security agent Philip Haney revealed that Mateen frequented a mosque that has ties to terrorism. In addition, we now know that Mateen visited the Pulse nightclub a number of times and that his current wife, Noor, drove him by the club to scope it out. While saying she tried to talk him out of the massacre, she failed to report her husband to authorities. We know he visited other potential soft targets at several Walt Disney Orlando sites where many people gather. We know Mateen had been investigated by the FBI in 2013 and 2014 and was temporarily placed on a no-fly list. We know his father has very close ties with Afghanistan and is running for president of that country.
“We know for sure that Omar Mateen was inspired by radical Islamic ideology. Neither religious liberty laws, bathroom bills, or religious leaders inspired Mateen to celebrate 9/11, frequent a mosque with ties to terror, pledge allegiance to ISIS, or abuse his ex-wife,” said Staver. “Yet, we keep hearing irresponsible political rhetoric from people, like Nadine Smith of Equality Florida, who are using this tragedy to advance their divisive agendas. This must stop,” said Staver.
“Truth is irrelevant to people who want to use the tragedy to advance their own agenda,” noted Staver. One such example of twisting the facts is the tweet by Anita Staver regarding the boycott of Target over its transgender bathroom policy. Earlier this year, fresh from self-defense training with a rented Glock .45 and en route to a Wal-Mart in Oklahoma, Anita tweeted: “I’m taking a Glock .45 to the ladies’ room. It identifies as my bodyguard.” She added “#BoycottTarget” as the trending topic. Anita followed up the tweet, saying she was not afraid of transgenders, “I want protection from the perverts who will use the law to gain access to women.” As a woman who has experienced two attempted sexual assaults as a teenager, her concern was about men abusing these laws to prey on women.
But the truth just gets in the way of those intent on using this tragedy to distort reality. “Deal with the facts of this tragedy and do not use it to promote false statements or political agendas. No gun law would have stopped this killer. Timothy McVeigh used common fertilizer to kill 168 people and injure more than 600 people. Christians, religious liberty laws, conservative leaders, and the bathroom bills had nothing to do with Omar Mateen’s massacre of innocent people. Now is the time to pray and offer support in the wake of this calamity. Stop using this tragedy to promote self-interest and political agendas,” concluded Staver.
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.