49 people were killed; another 50+ were injured; and hundreds of customers, employees, their families and neighbors of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in what is, to date, the largest mass shooting in US history.
The perpetrator might be a terrorist, an Islamic extremist, an acolyte of Daesh, but really he's not. He's a man who struggled so hard to fight feelings for other men (sexual feelings, to be clear) that he blocked them with hate. His discomfort with his true nature seemed to manifest itself in a myriad of ways in his life but I'm not going to bother with the details.
This could have happened in a gay bar anywhere in the country: Allure in Cedar Rapids; Mirabar in Providence; Club Icon in Kenosha; or Wrangler in Denver.
I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.
And that it doesn't happen more often.
It didn't have to be an Islamic extremist. It could just as easily have been a Southern Baptist or a Mormon or a reformed Jew (although probably not that). Or a Marine, a member of a football team or, you know, a Republican.
Actually, Marines are probably pretty easy going about it at this point. And I have hope for football players.
Is there a difference between the shooter and Rick Santorum or Larry Craig? Probably. But it's a difference of degrees, not of situation.