Early last Sunday morning, on 12th June 2016, lone gunman and American citizen Omar Mateen entered the Pulse, a gay night club in Orlando, Florida, and shot and killed 49 people and wounded over 50 more. It is the deadliest mass shooting in the United States to date. Allegedly, Mateen made a call to 911 pledging allegiance to ISIS and ISIS claimed the attack shortly after. Any correspondence between Mateen and the radical Islamic group is unknown.
Naturally, in such a momentous election year, both presidential candidates Trump and Clinton had strong responses to the tragedy. And of course, they both communicated very different ideas.
In Hillary Clinton’s response speech, she addressed the need to put an end to radical jihadist groups not only in America but in the Middle East as well. “In the Middle East, ISIS is attempting a genocide of religious and ethnic minorities. They are slaughtering Muslims who refuse to accept their medieval ways. They are beheading civilians, including executing LGBT people. They are murdering Americans and Europeans, enslaving, torturing and raping women and girls.” In her plan, she highlighted the need to enhance the resources of law enforcement and intelligence professionals as well as to tighten gun regulation to combat the dangerous “radical lone-wolves.” She also stressed the importance of not scapegoating or isolating the peaceful Muslim communities within America, as Muslim hate-crimes in the United States have tripled in recent years.
Donald Trump, in contrast, highlighted the importance of the Second Amendment right to bear arms and Americans’ right to protect themselves. His plan involved “suspending immigration from areas of the world where there’s a proven history of terrorism against the United States” and intensifying the United States’ already thorough visa application process in order to protect American citizens’ quality of life. Under his presidential plan, many Muslims would not be able to enter the country “until we fully understand how to end these threats.”