The bloody attack at Orlando was a lot of things but it was not an excuse for speaking from an ignorance of guns or incompetence in the media or opportunism by Democratic leadership and the president of the United States. Apparently the old saying that “Ignorance is bliss” (by the public) is proving to be tragically true.
The ignorance of gun violence and guns themselves has been a wonder to behold. By all accounts, Omar Mateen used a semi-automatic rifle and a semi-automatic handgun. Predictably, the left has gone crazy making his “AR-style high-powered military-type assault weapon” the villain.
Was the gun a uniquely military assault weapon? No. The truth is that almost all modern hunting and sporting rifles began as military designs including lever actions, bolt actions and those scary semi-automatics. To lead people to believe that the “AR” is uniquely military is either naiveté or deliberate falsehood.
On top of that, most rifles include either built-in magazines or detachable magazines. The only difference between levers and bolts vs semi-autos is how each shell is chambered. Levers and bolts require a separate sweep of one’s hand (one to three seconds) to reload while a semi-auto chambers a shell mechanically and stops.
A “semi” is semi no matter what the platform is or what furniture it is adorned with. Nothing happens until the trigger is pulled once for every single round sent down the barrel. It doesn’t matter if the stock is hinged, adjustable or has a moveable cheek rest. It fires once per shell even if the forearm is wooden, composite or military-looking. The trigger has to be pulled every time regardless of the magazine’s capacity, scariness or detachability. One bang – one round, even if the barrel is short, has a flash suppressor and the sights look menacing. It is physically impossible to use any of them, including Mateen’s, to produce the falsely reported “rat-a-tat-tat” or to “spray” a room with shots.
Was it high-powered? No. It is worth understanding that the caliber Mateen used was .223/5.56. It does not “explode”. It does not “tumble and travel” in flesh any more than other similar hunting rounds. It carries a very light slug. Imagine the 20 best hunting rifles (both bolt actions and semi-autos) on a 10-point scale starting at the bottom with the lethality to take out a prairie dog and ending at the top with bagging a moose or bear. Mateen’s .223 sits at position 2 on that 10-point scale – just enough for nuisance predators like foxes and coyotes.
Was it the villain? No. Take a look at the FBI’s 2014 crime report and coordinate statistics between the ten states with the most restrictive gun laws (CA, CT, NJ, MD, NY, MA, HI, IL, RI, DE) and the ten least restrictive states (LA, MS, AZ, KY, WY, MO, AK, SD, VT, KS). In all 20 states, out of all murders committed, rifles (all the types and calibers) accounted for 2.25% while knives were used for 14% and bare hands (feet etc.) 4.5%. In the end, you are 8 times more likely to be murdered with knives and an aggressor’s body parts than with rifles of any kind.
The take away is simple. Shooting holes in the Second Amendment doesn’t work, no matter what the gun does or looks like. Both categories of states from the strictest to the most lenient, have states with bigger problems than other others. The proportionality between types of weapons used in murders remains broadly the same no matter which restrictive/non-restrictive category your state is in. Violence is not bread from rifles or other guns but from the moral character of the location. Terrorists don’t care either way.
So where is the villain? Actually, there is more than one. As far as Mateen goes, his part is obvious. It surfaced, as far as has been published, in his high school years when he celebrated the attacks of 9-11. His long public history of hate toward America and her values continued from there and began to culminate with his bragging about terrorist ties, his trips to Saudi Arabia and his final military planning of his assault on the country that had done him absolutely no harm.
The fact is that no one forced Mateen to do extended reconnaissance on Disney World and eventually infiltrate, yes infiltrate, Pulse. He was conducting a military operation. He sized up the best target that represented, in his radical Islamist mind, the most effective kill zone for an ambush of the enemy. He needed to catch the enemy unarmed, isolated and in close quarters with limited avenues of escape. The target also had to have value. In this case he chose to strike either against what he perceived as America’s decadence – Disney World or her perverted values – Pulse. The club was the perfect military ambush.
Orlando was no LGBTQ hate crime. It was a ambush operation with the motivation and training provided by radical Islam’s effective, adaptable, cunning, patient outreach. The motivation was a political and moral totalitarianism tagged with the guarantee of paradise.
The other villains reside in the halls of the Obama administration and principally in our commander-in-chief’s dereliction of duty and abuse of office. Mateen did not self-radicalize, he was allowed to be radicalized under the noses of everyone who is charged with keeping Americans like the patrons of Pulse safe. According to CIA Director Brennen, ISIS’ real power is the same as it was 7 years ago.
So what is the Democratic strategy going forward? It most definitely does not include marshaling the will power or military operations necessary to cut off the head of the snake in order to dry up its venom. Rather, the president whines about citizens enjoying the Second Amendment and struggles to ignore the Islamic enemies creating their battlefields of choice on our own soil.
Other leftists formulate victory of the war by trying to repeal the First Amendment (2012 Senate vote) or beginning an assault on the Constitution (“Due process is [what’s] killing us”, Sen. Joe Manchin). Still others surrender to the enemy ahead of time by assuming that citizens don’t have a prayer in defending themselves against an enemy in their homeland with their pitiful little guns – the same guns that are “designed to kill” and are too scary for private persons to possess!
We all pray that the day will never come when we are looking down the barrel of a terrorist gun or watching them grab for their explosive vest. But if, because of Washington’s continued ineptitude, it happens, and there is no liberal Democrat around to love the aggressor into surrender, thanks to the Second Amendment, individual Americans would still reserve the right to attempt to win a war that was handed to their homeland on a silver platter.