Why we should politicize the Orlando massacre

Why we should politicize the Orlando massacre

Calls to resist “politicizing” tragedy have become a standard feature of our political discourse following mass shootings. From Newtown, Conn., to Aurora, Colo., politicians and pundits have urged us to refrain from politics as predictably as they have offered hollow “thoughts and prayers” as a condolence to victims and their families.

The tragedy in Orlando that claimed the lives of 49 people at a gay nightclub has proved no different. When Senator Bernie Sanders used his time on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday to call for a ban on automatic weapons, the host, Chuck Todd, asked pointedly whether it was possible to discuss the shooting “without trying to politicize one version of events over the other?” Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate, sounded a similar note when he told The Washington Post that the current moment was “not a time to either politicize or jump to conclusions.”

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