Early thoughts on the Orlando night club shooting
Late Saturday night/early Sunday morning a person opened fire with a gun or guns inside Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. While I hate speculating on the unknown, there is just so much wrong information in the “news” that we must say something.
What we know
First – our condolences to the dead and injured and their families and friends. I know many people affected by mass killings, and the damage remains long after the news hounds have moved on to their next story.
The correct term is “active killer.” I and millions of other Americans including many police officers are “active shooters.” We actively “shoot” but we don’t want to “kill” anyone. Calling a killer a shooter is like calling mob enforcers “baseball players” because they swing a bat. It’s wrong, and it matters.
Florida law FS § 790.06 (12)(a)12 prohibits concealed weapons license holders from carrying a firearm in “Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose;”
Trace data was used to identify where and when the guns that were used were purchased. Police have access to the needed records and Michael Bloomberg and other gun grabbers are lying when they say that more open records of gun sales are needed for law enforcement to solve crimes. The media know this is true because they report on it after mass killings, but pretend it’s never happened when reading anti-gun talking points.
There are over 100 casualties, with 50 dead and more injured, many severely. They were shot with a legally-purchased firearm. The killer passed the background check. Like so many other killings before, background checks have failed to stop determined killers/terrorists. Expanding such a program will cost money, but there is zero evidence it will yield the desired results. (Unless your “desire” is to limit people from being able to defend their own life.)
News media parrot police who call a semi-automatic modern sporting rifle an “assault rifle,” a term properly used to describe fully automatic firearms, but used wrong so frequently that that many gun owners don’t even know the difference today. If one wants to solve a problem, start by using proper terminology to understand it.
This is not “unthinkable” or “senseless.” Every time you hear those words used to describe mass killings, especially terrorism, know that you are listening to someone who either misspoke, or simply has no understanding of these events. They happen with regular and increasing frequency, in the U.S. and other countries. They are done for a purpose and setting a new “high score” (record body count) is a way to generate the desired media attention which is part of why these acts are committed.
What is widely reported
Tactical Loitering. That’s not what the experts are saying, but it is what they are describing. Fox News reports that the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history was reported minutes after 2 a.m. and ended several hours later when SWAT teams rushed inside. I pray that is just horrible reporting, because every police agency in the country should have learned after the Columbine attacks that calling SWAT and treating mass killers like hostage takers simply results in more deaths. Unfortunately, more deaths are exactly what we see in this killing.
The killer was investigated on two separate occasions by the FBI. Neither case resulted in charges. There was insufficient evidence that a crime had taken place or was being planned. Even our nation’s best can’t predict who, when or where a terrorist/criminal will strike, even if they get multiple chances to interview that person before the event. The idea that we can prevent people from attacking innocent victims may be noble, but it’s insane – at least with our current understanding of the human psyche.
Officials say the killer pledged loyalty to ISIS. While active killers are typically cowards who often kill themselves, terrorists are fully committed and will continue until they are killed.
CNN quotes Orlando Police Chief John Mina saying, “It appears he was organized and well-prepared.”
They also mention that the killer’s ex-wife thinks he was mentally ill. People have a hard time understanding that someone who is “mentally ill” or “crazy” is capable of detailed planning, thus assuring themselves that their well thought out “security plan” will stop any crazy killer. Hundreds of dead bodies prove they are wrong, but denial is a controlling vice.
For friends and families of the victims, their lives will never be the same. But for everyone else who pretends this is an amazing event, it’s not. Yes, it is a record killing with a gun, but does not come close to the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001. Victim zones don’t work. Being passive does not stop a killer.
Grieving people can’t believe something like this could happen here while many others say they were concerned the killer would harm someone. President Obama calls for more gun control before the victims have cooled to room temperature. Yada, yada, yada.
There is a better way. Demand law makers remove most victim zones from our laws. Understand that violence can happen to anyone, anywhere and anytime. Be prepared. Carry a gun or take self-defense classes. Know multiple ways out of buildings. Have your own plan to include run, hide, fight.
Buckeye Firearms Foundation is in its fourth year helping schools prepare for such violence. We know the next mass killing is not a matter of if, but when and where. Through our FASTER Saves Lives® program, many school systems are ready to stop a killer, and treat their injured, because they know they are the real first responders, and waiting on police and ambulances can be a deadly decision.
For anyone who finds these events “unthinkable” – I strongly recommend Amanda Ripley’s book, “The Unthinkable: Who survives when disaster strikes – and why.”
Jim Irvine is President of the Buckeye Firearms Association. He is also BFA PAC Chairman and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award," the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award," and the SAF's 2015 "Defender of Freedom Award."