Bette Midler may be best known for her work as an actress and singer, but this incredible woman has also gotten involved in politics. Midler is using her celebrity influence as a platform to raise awareness and speak out against the many political issues that our nation is currently dealing with. In the wake of the Orlando tragedy at Pulse nightclub, Midler is speaking out against the rampant homophobia and lack of gun control in the United States.
Many conservative politicians are using this hate crime, which is also the deadliest mass shooting by a single person, as an excuse to further fan the flames of racism and xenophobia in the United States. Ignoring the fact that the gunman was a native born American with severe mental issues, many people have chosen to zero in on his link to Islamic terrorist groups. However, the shooter was actually a mentally ill man who wildly claimed allegiance with several Islamic groups that hate each other just because he wanted to justify his abhorrent actions. The shooter’s supposed allegiance to radical Islamic groups has been used to further demonize and target the Muslim population of the United States. The shooter was born and raised in the United States, so countless second generation Middle Eastern immigrants are suddenly being faced with racism.
Midler has used Twitter to make it clear that she does not support the rampant Islamophobia that is growing after the Orlando shootings. In a short and concise statement, she wrote “Ban Muslims from entering the US? Orlando shooter was born in US! Why do we let homegrown terrorists get their hands on assault weapons?” Midler goes to the root of the issue by pointing out the repeated mass shootings in the United States, which do not seem to occur in any other country in the world, are linked to are lax gun control laws. Unlike terrorist attacks, shootings in the United States often seem to be tied to mental issues. For example, the Orlando shooter was a man with bipolar disorder who regularly frequented the nightclub he later targeted. The mentally unstable man had some deeply bizarre issues and internalized homophobia, yet he could easily access an assault weapon that has no other purpose besides mowing down a large number of targets.
Many people besides Midler are starting to call for a ban on weapons that are frequently used by mass shooters. Even conservative news hosts from FOX News have started to support gun control, telling their viewers that no one needs an AR-15 to hunt deer or protect from home invaders.
Often, AR-15s do not need waiting periods or extensive background checks that have the potential to prevent mentally ill people from being able to purchase a gun and go on a shooting spree on a whim. Due to the bipartisan outrage against easily accessed overpowered weapons, it seems likely that stricter gun control may eventually occur. Midler has joined people from all political viewpoints and all walks of life in an attempt to stop the tragic shootings that are currently plaguing the United States.