Americans Hear the Word Terrorism

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When most Americans hear the word terrorism, they automatically think about Isis, Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and Muslims. But what many Americans fail to realize is that most attacks that happen in the United States are actually by fellow American citizens. In order to understand who or what this research will be talking about. One must understand what Domestic Terrorism is, one must first understand what Domestic Terrorism definition is.

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The definition of Domestic Terrorism is targeting and attacking people who has the same citizenship as oneself. Domestic Terrorism is also known as homegrown terrorism. Domestic Terrorism can be committed against a certain race, religion, sexual orientation or just anyone does not matter their race, religion or sexual orientation.

Many Americans believe that most terrorist attacks that happens on American soil are caused by International Terrorist. But the American people are failing to realize it is actually fellow American citizens who are committing these deadly crimes. A huge reason for these crimes are the lack of gun policies in many states. People are allowed to have multiple attack rifles and multiple handguns. Some states do not have enough information in regards to a person not qualifying for guns and other different factors. Then there is also the issue of people being able to purchase a great magnitude of bullets and/or magazine holders.

The two cases that are going to be discuss in this paper is Omar Mateen, the Pulse Nightclub shooter and Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas Music Festival shooter. The research is to see whether the New York Times was bias to Omar Mateen a Muslim man, compare to Stephen Paddock a white man. The study is going to be conducted reading and studying the articles following each incident from the day of each incidents until a month after each incidents. There were 68 articles in the one month period about Omar Mateen. Stephen Paddock had only 49 articles in the New York Times in that month after the incident, even though he killed and injured more people than Omar Mateen did.

When researching these two heartbreaking horrendous acts of Domestic Terrorism, the titles of the articles were a bit different for each murderer. The names of the articles for Omar Mateen, you read them and you knew right away that he was a killer, and he got into trouble with the FBI and was under investigation multiple times. Reading the titles for Stephen Paddock, the readers would think that he was not that bad of a person; especially if you were not aware of the horrific crime he committed on October 1st, 2017. Race is definitely a factor when looking into these two extremely horrible horrendous tragic mass shootings.

On June 12th, 2016 Omar Mateen committed the deadliest shooting by one person in the history of the United States at the time. He opened fire in Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Pulse Nightclub was a gay bar. He killed 49 people, and causing injury to another 53 people.
According to an article in the New York Times by Blinder, Healy and Oppel (2016) Omar Mateen had a bright future ahead of him. He earned an associate degree in criminal justice technology in 2006. Mateen studied criminal justice technology so one would think he was on the right path to bettering his life and the lives of other. Until things started to change for the worse, and his coworkers did not trust Mateen; and they contacted the FBI. He was investigated by the FBI multiple times.

An article by Barry, Kovaleski, Blinder, and Mashal (2016), again talked about these investigations that were done by the FBI were because of his interest in the radical Islam, the FBI wanted to see if Mateen had extremist ties to with the radical Islam. The article talks about how he was Chuckling and declaring allegiance to the Islamic State When those who knew Omar Mateen was asked about him they talked about how he could be a charming person but also always aggressive. They also talked about his past stating that they remembered him as, A chubby kid making inappropriate jokes about 9/11 in the fresh wake of that catastrophe. From a young age, Mateen was being a troubled child.
Another article by Alvarez and Perez-Pena (2016) talks about his call to 911. On that call Omar Mateen proclaim allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group. Mateen made sure the world knew who he was committing this crime for. One thing that really stood out in this article was that the part where it stated, though officials said it was not clear whether some victims had been accidentally shot by law enforcement officers. So now there is the question of whether or not he really shot and injured and killed all those people, or where the casualties of the officers responding to the attack.

Luo (2016) article in the New York Times talks about all the red flags that were there to stop Omar Mateen from being able to purchase guns. His ex wife talks about how he was mentally unstable and abusive. His workers again in this article talked about how Mateen wanted to kill people. This seems to be a pattern when it comes to Mateen. This article also talks about many men who were able to purchase guns legally, though there were many reasons why they should not be allowed to. This shows the people that the government and their lack of policies and decision making for guns, are making it easier for Americans to be murdered by guns every day.
On October 1st, 2017, Stephen Paddock executed the deadliest mass shooting by one person in the history of the United States. He opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas. He killed 58 people or 59 including himself, and injuring over 850 others.


You can already see the biases in the title of the article pertaining to each incidents. Omar Mateen article titles the readers knew they were reading about a killer. While Stephen Paddock article articles were like of a man who did not really do anything wrong. When in fact he was the deadliest lone killer in the American history. Race definitely pays a role in these article names. If Paddock was a Muslim like Mateen, the manner and state of his articles would have been done in a different way than how it was done. Americans are always ready to protect the superior race when it comes to wrong doings. White Americans will prefer to make it seem like it is not that big of a deal, and try to sweep it under the rug; compare to when it is someone of color, or someone of a different race and/or religion.


Alvarez, L., & Perez-Pena, R. (2016, Jun 13). Praising isis, gunman attacks gay nightclub, leaving 50 dead in worst shooting on U.S. soil. New York TimesRetrieved from
Barry, D., Kovaleski, S. F., Blinder, A., & Mashal, M. (2016, Jun 19). From troubled child to aggrieved killer. New York Times Retrieved from
Blinder, A., Healy, J., & OPPEL, R. A., J. (2016, Jun 13). F.B.I. studied shooter years before attack. New York Times Retrieved from
Luo, M. (2016, Jun 14). Another killer who could buy his guns legally, despite the red flags. New York Times Retrieved from

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Americans Hear The Word Terrorism. (2020, Jun 17). Retrieved January 27, 2023 , from

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