Orlando Shooting: An Open Letter Regarding the Prevention of Terrorism in North America & North American Life

Subject: Orlando Shooting: An Open Letter Regarding the Prevention of Terrorism in North America & North American Life
From: Noah Nickel
Date: 13 Jun 2016

On June 12th, 2016, a mass shooting devastated an Orlando Nightclub in the United States, with a total death count over double that of the previous record-holding mass shooting, making it the largest in recorded American history. This shooting comes at a time in American history when discussions involving LGBTQ2S rights are causing great tensions, but also those involving terrorism, and the racial profiling that often is associated with terrorism.
Currently, ISIL has been linked to over 70 terrorist attacks outside of Iraq and Syria since 2014, and this tragic event has been claimed by them once again. We live in a time when connection between people is easier than ever before. Many people have even claimed allegiance to ISIL over social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter, and often terror plots are planned over these platforms as well, allowing for ISIL to have a presence in any part of the world, without anyone having to physically travel themselves. With that said, when shooters have been revealed in a variety of these horrific events, we often find out that they infact have travelled to and from countries like Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, and others that have known terror sects existing within them, and then travelling backing to North America with ease. As well, while allowing refugees into our countries here in North America is a noble cause, there have been situations in which some of these refugees currently and in the past have shown contempt towards the North American lifestyle, as well as acceptance of certain radical groups in the Middle East. While we should not inhibit refugee relocation, nor should we profile people travelling from certain countries without reasonable cause, there must be a better way to ensure that those entering our countries are people that are welcome, and not those looking to undermine the liberties and freedoms that we hold proudly.
Then there is the heated tensions regarding LGBTQ2S rights in the United States particularly, but as well in Canada. Several religions regard the LGBTQ2S lifestyle as a sinful one, one that they cannot promote or endorse in any way. While most are quick to claim this belief as homophobia and bigotry, there is a definite division between this choice to not act as an ally to the LGBTQ2S community, and the deliberate action against their freedom and liberty to live the life of their choosing, in some extreme cases even acting violently against them, such as in the case of the Orlando shooting. Regardless of one’s stances on this particular lifestyle, it should be clear to every North American citizen that taking violent action against those with whom your views are opposed is incredibly backwards and counterproductive to protecting the freedoms that we enjoy in North America. Legally inhibiting the human rights of our neighbours on issues that don’t negatively affect you, those involved, or other third parties is exactly the goal of our enemies, particularly ISIL, and therefore shouldn’t even be considered by those who appreciate all the freedoms that are offered in North America. Adversely, demanding those whose beliefs are that an LGBTQ2S lifestyle is immoral to be allies of the community, reluctant or otherwise, is also an attack on the rights we are guaranteed in these great nations, and so this shouldn’t be attempted either. When both sides freely enact their freedoms, without causing harm to their neighbours, free nations like those we call home are able to thrive, and more importantly, ISIL is greatly disenfranchised.
At this time, the United States is faced with many tough decisions and debates, and so I hope everyone considers the following. There is a balance between ensuring our security as well as our human rights, and currently I think we need to realign our priorities on a political level in order to truly find this equilibrium. The world needs to come together against this common enemy in a way that can benefit everyone, forgetting about the individual differences we all have and instead focussing on protecting our collective freedom and ensuring our countries’ continued prosperity. No matter your gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or other differing factor, we can all agree that we could not lead the great lives that we do without the freedoms we have, and so we must work to protect them for years to come.