By Sabina Mollot
By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders
American-born Omar Mateen, an avowed ISIS sympathizer now heads the list of infamy… the roll call of U.S. citizens who have committed mass murder against their fellow citizens.
This time the city was Orlando and the target was a well-known nightclub spot where gays congregated. At least 49 persons were slaughtered with an assault weapon legally purchased in Florida.
Previously it was a shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech which killed 32 in 2007 that topped the list. More recently 26 toddlers and teachers were gunned down at an elementary school in Newton, Connecticut in 2012, and a dozen theater goers were shot to death in Colorado in 2013. The shooting at a Charleston South Carolina bible study class left nine dead. And of course Columbine High School will be forever synonymous with senseless mass murder after two of its students methodically murdered 13 of their fellow classmates.
Each incident, and dozens more, have its own unique and horrific characteristics. Shooters who held grudges, or were driven by some irrational ideological or religious madness. There is no particular rhyme or reason. Murder and mayhem have existed since biblical times and before. In some respects the human impulse towards unspeakable violence has not changed in thousands of years either on a national scale or individually. Once upon a time, they were called Barbarians, or Huns or Crusaders or Nazis or ISIS.