Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama was almost salivating as he spoke with Brett Baier this morning when the topic of Second Amendment and the Orlando Mass Shooting was covered. The Trump surrogate used this chance to repeat "Radical Islam" numerous times, even after Baier reminded him that there was no specific mention of Islam at that point. But facts are not relevant to Trump or his surrogates, right?
Right out the gate:
BAIER: I want to get your reaction first to this breaking news out of Florida, and all that we're hearing approximately 20 dead and what we're hearing from authorities so far in this investigation.
SESSIONS: Well, it certainly looks like another one of the extremist attacks, Islamic extremism. Just within the wonderful group of Islamic people are a certain group of radicals and it's been there for a long time and it seems to be growing. And we have to accept that fact, we have to be cautious about it.
BAIER: Authorities are cautious. This is early. We don't know who this person is. At least we don't know publicly.
It was interesting to hear the FBI answer a question about Islamic ideology, saying that this person had leanings toward that ideology, but the investigation continues. You seem to be making that jump already, that I don't know if authorities are there yet. But it did seem like they went further than we usually hear at the beginning of these investigations.
SESSIONS: That's what I took it to be. I think pretty clearly the FBI knew what they were saying. But maybe not. We don't have conclusive proof, you’re correct about that.
It certainly shows, again, the reluctance of them to actually say the words "Islamic extremism" or "Islamic terrorism". Of course most Islamic citizens and visitors to America are not violent, but there clearly is a problem here.
And the typical progression - let's see if you guess where this went - if you guessed "Obama is coming to take your guns", you would be right!
BAIER: This comes -- and usually this -- an incident like this, a mass shooting, eventually the discussion quickly goes to guns and this comes about a week after Hillary Clinton on a Sunday show seemed to have an issue getting to the answer definitively that an individual's right to bear arms is a constitutional right. You've talked about that and her trouble in answering that question.
SESSIONS: The Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms. If her view and the Heller court were to be reversed what that would mean is -- and this is what she said she favors -- it would mean that any city, county or state could completely ban the use of firearms in America.
It would be the greatest evisceration of the protections of the Second Amendment since the founding of the republic. It was 5-4 in the Supreme Court. Scalia was the fifth vote. Now that he has passed away, the next president will appoint the fifth vote.
If she is elected president, count on it. She will appoint a judge who will declare it not to be a personal right, guaranteed against any state, federal and local government, but would say that it could be constricted by local governments and that would be a huge thing.
It is important to note that new information has come out publicly since this interview was conducted a few hours ago. The shooter was identified as a man named Omar Mateen of Ft. Pierce, Florida, an American Citizen born and raised here. CNN reports that no jihadi groups have claimed responsibility.
Furthermore, The Blaze reports that Omar's father told NBC News that his sons actions had "nothing to do with religion" and that he had reportedly been very upset after seeing two men kissing in Miami a few months ago.
His father went on to say:
“We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he has taken. We are in shock like the whole country. This has nothing to do with religion.”
So while the GOP, Trump and Fox News push the narrative of Radical Islamic Terrorism as the cause, hoping to push the hateful and bigoted rhetoric of their presidential nominee, we have been given word from the parent of the gunman that the motive appears to be homophobia. Domestic terrorism, homophobia and access to an assault rifle have led to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.