[Caveat: Who knows whether the reporting is truthful or accurate? Reporting on the American tradition of mass murder is typically/traditionally sketchy at best, and it is always, always driven by narrative...]
So the Orlando killer, they now say, was a conflicted gay man who regularly went to a gay bar in Orlando two hours away from his home on the east Florida, where on Sunday during Pride Week he slaughtered dozens of patrons and wounded dozens more just after last call. Speculation is that he knew any number of those he shot; at any rate, quite a few survivors have come forth and said they knew him. Oh yeah. They knew him all right, and from what's been reported, it seems they did not like him at all.
But he was a regular nonetheless. It's a four hour round trip between Port St. Lucie and Orlando. They say he drank heavily at the bar, and he would get raging drunk while he was there, so the drive home must have been challenging to say the least. Or did he spend the night in Orlando? Did he spend the night with anyone he met at the bar? Or...?
Some observers and commenters have been skeptical about this whole self-loathing gay theory, not so much because it's not plausible as there seems to be so little evidence that he was actually a gay man, and not simply someone who was... curious -- apparently lethally so.
They want evidence that he ever had sexual relations -- or even a casual encounter -- with another man. So far, there's been none.
All that's been reported is that he was married twice. He was very abusive to his first wife, and she left him within a few months. His second wife apparently did not suffer that way. He fathered children. He frequented the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. He used gay-oriented online chats. There is a report that he asked a fellow student at the police academy out on a date but the fellow declined.
And fairly consistently the reports suggest that nobody liked him, not at his job (as a security guard at the local courthouse) and not at the gay bar.
They didn't like him because he was volatile, mercurial and filled with anger. Among other things no doubt.
In other words, he was a frightening character that many people wanted to stay well away from.
He was reported to the FBI by his co-workers because of some of the things he said about being involved with terrorist groups. The FBI interviewed him several times over a period of over a year and determined there was nothing actionable about what he had said or done.
He went to the Pulse bar in Orlando on Latin Night, the culmination of a week of gay pride celebration in Orlando. Somehow he got past the uniformed off-duty policeman working security at the door, got past him with his guns and ammunition. Reports suggest that he had a few drinks, chatted with some folks, and then... started shooting. He somehow shot more than 100 people before retreating to a restroom where he holed up with hostages and started an hours-long "negotiation" with authorities, using his cell phone for communication.
Ultimately, the "negotiations" failed, and the authorities decided to blast their way into the restroom where he was holed up, but that failed the first time they tried. They sent in a robot bobcat (IIRC) to knock a hole in the wall. The wall was breeched, and the hostages, according to reports, escaped. The killer emerged after the hostages and engaged in a gunfight with the police. He was killed in the gun battle.
End of incident.
During the "negotiations" the killer apparently said he had explosives and was prepared to blow himself and the hostages up, and that was the excuse given for taking aggressive action.
He is also said to have declared his loyalty to a number of Muslim terrorist groups.
He was born in New York, the son of Afghani parents who emigrated to the US after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. From appearances at any rate, his parents were/are very well off, and one would assume he grew up comfort or even luxury. From reports, it appears he was not religious.
Reports suggest he had fairly severe mental health issues, specifically "bi-polar disorder." Given his age and behavior, he may have had incipient or full-blown schizophrenic issues. Anger management was apparently not his forte.
The question then arises, how was he able to get and keep a security officer job with one of the nation's premiere mercenary contractors (G4S -- ask Jeremy Scahill about it) for nearly 10 years, despite his apparent record behavioral and psychological issues? How was he able to get all the clearances and gun permits and so forth? This is odd, it seems to me, unless it is somehow typical.
This was a man who should not have been allowed around any weapon at all, and yet he was a long-time employee of one of the top mercenary outfits, working as an armed guard at a fricking courthouse, even though he was recognized as a... potential danger to himself or others by his own co-workers who reported him to the FBI. The FBI that investigated and claimed to find nothing "actionable."
Well, I'm sure the conspiracy theorists will have a field day with this one.
Something isn't right.
By doG no.