Attack in Orlando: The View from the UK

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The first thing to state is that we are still not clear about Omar Mateen’s background. The FBI are still investigating possible motives – and it is an investigation that may take some time. People in Britain are shocked by the killings, which were almost as many as the game changing terrorist attacks in London on July 7, 2005. There is particular concern that people in the LGBT community may feel particularly targeted and the threat this poses to all our values.

There is also surprise at the relative availability of particularly lethal guns in America. But the US is a different country from the UK with a different history. A less well armed attacker would not have been able to kill so many people. But that is for the US to debate. Someone as alienated as the killer was going to kill at least some people, and what would have stopped him would not have been the availability of firearms; it rather may have been what enabled him to murder so many innocent people.

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