Mark: Whether I’m gay or not has no reflection –
Owen: No, it does. Just listen –
Julia: I don’t think that you have ownership of horror of this crime.
Owen: Can I just say, I find this, I find this astonishing.
Julia: I’m not Jewish and I’m not gay, I’m not French, but I still am equally horrified by these crimes.
Owen: This was a – I’m being yelled at, which is incredible.
Julia: Stop talking so [we hadn’t do].
Mark: That’s the headline: ‘Isil wages war on gays in west’. Now you share that view, that basically this was deliberately targeted on one part of the community rather than the freedom to enjoy yourself no matter what your sexual orientation is.
Owen: What are you talking about?!?
Mark: I’m talking about the coverage in the newspapers.
Owen: It’s not some abstract, kind of, he just picked a random club out of nowhere. He picked a club because it was full of people he regarded as deviants. That’s why he attacked the club.
Julia: It’s a hate crime, this is an act of terrorism, it was an attack on gay people, absolutely, it was horrific. However, my mind guesses this man probably would be as horrified by me as a gobby woman as he would – genuinely, genuinely – this is the thing. We don’t know right now. We can speculate, but we don’t know how much of this is motivated by just his homophobia.
Owen: We heard from his own father about his revulsion – why are we trying to deflect? Why are you both pick-
Mark: We are not trying to deflect. We are trying to reflect what is being said by the authorities here and –
Owen: Can I ask, what argument are you trying to pick here?
Mark: I’m now going to quote from what The Telegraph is saying…’his father said…[he] may have targeted the gay community after becoming angry when he saw two men–’
Owen: ‘May have’? He did! Why are you saying this?
Julia: ‘After seeing two men kissing in Miami some months ago’ – he may have been angered by many other things since then!
Owen: I’m sorry. I just find this the most astonishing thing I’ve ever been involved with on television. If he’d walked into a synagogue, and massacred dozens of Jewish people, you wouldn’t be saying what you’re saying now.
Owen: This bizarre attempt to deflect from this –
Mark: We are trying to draw parallels in terrorist attacks on people who are being attacked whether they are enjoying rock music in Paris, whether they are gay people in Florida enjoying a night out.
Julia: I completely accept it, as [Mark] does, that it was a homophobic attack, but for me the issue is there are going to be homophobic people, there’ll be people who hate black people, or who hate gay people, or hate Jewish people. There are going to be people, who are lunatics, who are fanatics –
Owen: Who are “lunatics”! Stop using these words, Julia!
Julia: Is it possible for me to finish one sentence?
Owen: If you stop using words like “lunatic” to talk about homophobic terrorist attacks!
Julia: Well thank you. Whoever these people are, and whatever their motivations are, the key thing is we’re always going to have mad and bad people in the world.
Owen: Mad and bad people. Okay.
Julia: And the key issue is, that they can’t do too much or any harm. When you have free access to assault weapons in a country like America, then they’re able to put their hatred of other people –
Owen: Yes! Obviously!
Julia: – into effect, and do damage. That’s the issue for me.
(discussion between Mark and Julia on gun control and the U.S. …Julia: It is absolutely absurd, if America were not going to do something about gun control after Sandy Hook in 2012, if you’re going to watch six- and seven-year-olds being massacred and you don’t think you need to act, they are never going to act.)
Mark: There’s something else here in The Telegraph coverage, which I think we need to bring up, Owen, in relation to your point. And that is, I think that we’ve got at least a call from a spokesman for Stonewall saying that people would be feeling vulnerable, and basically indicating –
Owen: Oh, you’re going to have an LGBT voice talking about it. Interesting.
Owen: Nothing, carry on. Go on.
Julia: Owen, seriously.
Owen: I’ve had enough of this. I’m going home. Sorry. No way.
Julia: Owen, genuinely, we’re trying to have a civilized conversation.
Owen: I know you’re having it, I don’t want it!
Julia: I know you’re upset, you’re very upset –
Owen: Yeah, I am, I’m very upset. I’m very upset.
Julia: Everyone’s upset and angry about this, but storming off a TV set –
Owen Jones, Mark Longhurst, and Julia Hartley-Brewer discuss the Pulse nightclub shootings, 12 June 2016