There are a lot of people were trying to make the Orlando shooter indicative of the entire culture of Islam. It is true that the shooter was raised Muslim, and it is true that he made mention of Isis in the 911 calls made as he began shooting. However, the CIA had actually found he was not connected to Isis, and instead of showing similar violent tendencies, the other members of the mosque that he attended rallied to show support for victims by organizing a blood drive. In fact, the mosque’ s Imam described him as having problems, and not someone typical of his mosque. So the Orlando shooter was not someone who is typical of his Islamic community. He was typical however, of the shooter profile that I had pointed out in the past.
As I mentioned before, when it comes to mass shootings, there has emerged a typical psychological profile. Namely the shooter feels that he is in some way a failure and is seeking to reclaim his power by going out in a blaze of glory while taking as many people as he can with him.
This blaze of glory pattern was set up for the Orlando shooter, life events had triggered his self esteem and identity. The shooter had been rejected from a criminal justice program, a personal failure and point of embarrassment for him. In addition, the shooter had shown signs of being homosexual himself.
Now I need to clarify this last point. The reality is there is nothing wrong with being homosexual or being included anywhere in the LGBT community. However, in the shooter’s mind this was a problem. Society, not just the Muslim community but society as a whole, has been constantly reinforcing the vilification of the LGBT community. Often times, people with a will to violence and hatred are that way because they need to her and denigrate others in order to feel good about themselves. The act of aggression activates reward centers in the brain. Hatred is a drug and these people are addicts. Having someone to discriminate against, having someone to declare lower than them is a necessary reality for them in order for them to get their high.
So imagine what this hate junkie was faced with. After years of getting his hit by targeting those socially lower than him, he suddenly finds himself having urges that society, not was in society but society at large, constantly tells him means he is now “less than.” Inundated with the hateful words of pastors, pundits, and politicians as well as bathroom laws and laws that enable discrimination, he has been taught to hate what he is. Faced with this, he could either challenge the reality of this discrimination, or he could purify it from his essence. Challenging the reality of this discrimination however would mean this would also have to challenge his own tendencies towards hatred, and it would mean giving up his fix. So instead he chose purification, and rather than purify from within, he chose to purify outwardly. It is here that he made the decision to become a terrorist.
So why choose Isis?
The shooter believed that he had been discriminated against because of his Muslim heritage. He felt that one of his failures was due to the fact that he was Muslim. In a classic “Screw me? No, screw you!” style reaction, he reacted to this perceived attack on his identity by doubling down on his it in the most aggressive way, the way your average racist doubles down on his slurs when he feels he is not being treated as special enough, or the average abusive douchebag takes back his manhood by beating his wife after feeling emasculated at work. And since Isis believes itself to be the perfect Islamic state, they became the perfect magnet for this angry man looking to prove himself not to be a failure. But the truth is, even if he had not been Muslim, even if he had not been rejected from the program, and even if Isis itself had not existed, he would have found some reason to justify his rampage. The failure and impurity he had been taught to feel by society’s, not just the Muslim society but our society as a while, hatred of the LGBT community was so strong that he would have been driven to kill no matter what, and all that would’ve been different was the name of the group he invoked as he went out in his blaze of glory.