A reader who lives in Minnesotan state senator's district directed us to a guest column by Paul Gazelka, R-Baxter, in the Brainerd Dispatch.
In Guest Opinion: The truth about Orlando, Gazelka concludes:
The solution is simple. We need agencies charged with our nation's security to be willing to investigate and pursue credible threats. We need to put those who pose a threat on the terrorist watch list, and when they're on that list they cannot be allowed to purchase firearms until removed. The NRA has made statements endorsing this measure. We need to detain anyone pledging allegiance to ISIS or to radical Islam. We need to block refugees from countries that are ground zero for radical Islamic recruitment and instead create a temporary safe place for those genuinely seeking refuge from persecution in a neutral location before we even consider shipping them into our borders.
Finally, we need leaders who are willing to call radical Islamic terrorism what it is without fear of being threatened and labeled Islamophobic. We cannot defeat our enemies if we cannot call them out for what they are.
America needs better leadership, and we need it this year. We are at a tipping point, and I encourage all of you to stand up this presidential election year and make your voice heard.
There's much rich fodder in that copy. The FBI investigated Omar Mateen twice--once after receiving a tip from a member of the deceased's mosque. Blocking refugees entering the country now would have done nothing to prevent Mateen, whose parents reportedly came to this country during the Reagan years. Nor do most refugees arrive directly from their country of origin; rather, they're already displaced to a neighboring country.
But we're struck most by the urgency to which Senator Gazelka gives to naming "radical Islamic terrorism" while being unable to name the presidential candidate he for whom he wants you to vote. While he states, "We cannot defeat our enemies if we cannot call them out for what they are," apparently one can support leaders without naming them.
We noted Gazelka's reluctance to say the presumptive Republican presidential candidate's name earlier in our post, Trumpery at the Falls Ballroom: Senator Paul Gazelka & the vote that dare not speak its name. In Zach Kayser's story in the Brainerd Dispatch, Mills talks Orlando shooting during campaign kickoff for legislators, we read this gem:
Gazelka [R-Nisswa] talked about the Republican ideal of free enterprise. He also touched on the presidential election. Gazelka, who served as a state co-chair of the Ted Cruz campaign during the Republican primary, said he would vote for Donald Trump although he never actually said Trump's name in his remarks.
"I want somebody that at least says they're pro-life, at least says that they're going to appoint conservative judges, at least says good things about America and that America can be great, doesn't apologize for America," he said. "There's only one candidate that at least says those things. That's who I'm voting for."
Likewise, Gazelka, who challenged incumbent Republican senator Paul Koering who came out as gay while serving in office, cannot name the nightclub as a gay venue (or even name the Pulse nightclub itself) or note that many of the victims were gay Puerto Rican men.
Let's hope that someone comes out with a cheat sheet about what words must be said, those that must not be uttered and those that are optional.
Photo: Minnesota State Senator Paul Gazelka not saying Trump's name at the Falls Ballroom. Photo by.
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