The Florida Shooting and Impact
Today, June 12th, 2016, the United States was rocked by the largest mass shooting in our history. The shooting took place at a club in Orlando, Florida. At least 50 people were murdered and at least 53 more were injured. The attacker told police during a call that he was working with ISIL.
Over the hours we have learned a lot about Omar and what transpired. We will never be able to fully understand since it was a crazy act committed by a crazy person. No matter how you look at it, this was a person with mental issues. Religious zealotry, serial killing, or planned and executed murder of any kind is the act of an insane person. At the core, human have an innate need to survive and insure the survival of our species. It is part of our genetic code. The fact that someone intentionally goes against that shows that there is mental instability there.
As more research and investigating is done, we will learn more about his life, his actions, and what lead up to the events that transpired today. One thing we know for sure is that he is a religious extremist that targeted this particular club because it catered to homosexual people. In his views, this was deserving of death. The hatred that goes into thinking that someone deserves to die for the actions they take in their bedroom is itself insane. As I have said before, if you do not like what homosexual people do in the bedroom… don’t have sex with one. In this case though, his hatred and anger ran so deep that he felt the need to murder them. That is insane.
Firearms Used and Acquisition
The tools he used are a AR-15 and a 9MM handgun. Both firearms were legally purchased and he passed a background check as required by law. News has now come out that he had been investigated before and was actually on the terrorist watch list. A lot of people want to know why he was able to go purchase weapons when he had been investigated for terrorism. Simply put, he was allowed because he was removed from the list.
Being added to the watch list is surprisingly easy. If you follow too many people online that have connections to terrorism, you can be added. If you work with or are friends with someone that is on the watch list, you can be added. There are a variety of reasons to add people. Once an investigation is done, if they decide there is not enough evidence to show that you are a terrorist or are actively supporting it… you get removed. If it is someone they feel they need to still keep an eye on, they will.
This is where we need a change. If someone is on the extended watch list, I think they should be required to go through an interview process before purchasing a firearm. Purchase trends need to be evaluated as well. If someone purchases a firearm once a year at tax return time, that doesn’t show malice. If someone has never owned a firearm, then goes and purchases multiple and several hundred rounds of ammo at the same time, I would probably ask some additional questions at least.
The Second Amendment
When President Obama made a speech today following the attack, it was not more than a couple minutes into his speech that he started the anti-gun rhetoric. Lots more people are responding with the same thing. Firearms should be banned or heavily restricted. The problem with that is this old piece of paper written a couple hundred years ago by some dudes that kind of thought citizens being able to protect themselves was important.
Contrary to what you have read, the second amendment was not written due to militias being the form of military at the time. The colonies had just fought a war and secured independence from their government by using weapons. The founders understood one simple fact; if you take away the ability of the people to reset the government by force, you take away the ability for the citizens to remain free people.
The second amendment says “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” What that statement basically says is “since we know the country needs a military to stay sovereign, we will not allow the people to be kept from protecting themselves in the event that the military and government becomes a tyrant.”
Guns are Not Evil
Guns are not evil. In fact, they are not evil, violent, or dangerous. The intentions of the person using them are what is evil. In many parts of the middle east, firearms are readily available. There are specific areas in Pakistan where you can go down the stalls in a market and buy pretty much any firearms like they are fruits at a farmers market.
Even though firearms are so readily available, you know what weapon is most used in mass murders? Explosives. In most cases they use a combination of explosives and caustic chemicals like Chlorine. Most homes have enough chemicals in them to make more than a dozen different types of bombs. Firearms are like cereal box toys to them, but they use bombs.
The tool used by a crazy person is not the problem. No matter how many regulations you put on the tools, a crazy person is still crazy and they will still commit crazy actions. The tool does not matter to them. Instead of regulating the tools away from innocent people, how about regulating the circumstances that lead to a person with mental issues being in a position where they did not receive help and ended up committing such an atrocious act?
What I am Asking From You
- Stop with the anger and hatred.
- Take five minutes of silence for those that were killed.
- Process what is going on and evaluate the situation that lead up to these events.
- Think about what could or should be changed and remember that a tool is not the enemy.
- Remember that the gun is not violent; the person using it is.
- Remember that once you give up something, you can never get it back… especially when you need it most.
- Work on coming up with solutions for the following:
- The evaluation process for adding and removing people from the terrorism watch list.
- Increasing funding for mental health programs.
- Remember that no religion is evil… the people following it determine if evil actions are taken.
- Remember that no firearm is evil… the people using it determine if evil actions are taken.
- Remember that no murderer ever stopped from murdering because the tool they wanted to use was illegal.