L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 888, September 4, 2016
All Mohammed’s Children Love a Gun-Free Zone
by Vin Suprynowicz
Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
(A version of the following column runs in the Aug. 10 issue of “Firearms News”—formerly “Shotgun News”—on newsstands this week.)
Quick: Among all America’s 20,000 overlapping “gun control” laws, which had an impact on the number of deaths when Islamic terrorist Omar Mir Seddique Mateen—the wife-beating, ISIS-supporting, bi-sexual son of politically active Afghan immigrants—went on a rampage with a couple of semi-automatic weapons in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, June 12?
The “background checks” required by the 1993 “Brady Bill”?
Those didn’t stop Mateen, a security guard, from buying the two semi-automatic, one-shot-per-trigger-pull firearms he used to murder 49 innocent Americans and wound 50 more.
Mateen had been investigated twice by the FBI—first in 2013 after he made “inflammatory comments to co-workers alleging possible ties to terrorists,” and again in 2014, when agents examined possible ties connecting Mateen to Moner Mohammad Abusalha, the first “American” Muslim to carry out a suicide attack in Syria. Both men lived in Fort Pierce, Florida. “We determined that contact was minimal and did not constitute a substantive relationship or a threat at that time,” and they closed those files, says the head of the local office of the FBI.
Which is fine. My point is not that anyone should be barred from exercising his or her gun rights just because they were investigated by the FBI. The FBI investigates lots of people, and clears most of them. Instead, my point is that the “background check” system costs billions, inconveniences millions of law-abiding Americans, and is mostly for show. Convicted felons know to shop elsewhere, and mass murderers—like Mateen—rarely turn out to be convicted felons.
Mateen had legally purchased the two guns—which the BATFE identified as a .223-caliber AR-15-type semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm semiautomatic pistol (other sources say a SIG Sauer MCX rifle and a Glock 17—he wasn’t buying off the bargain shelf)—within “the last few days,” said Trevor Velinor of the ATF.
Needless to say, Former Secretary of State Clinton the next day urged even more “gun control,” saying the massacre reminds “us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets.”
Except in the hands of the enemy, apparently.
Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders called for new gun bans. “We should not be selling automatic weapons which are designed to kill people,” the Democratic presidential candidate said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Sen. Charles Schumer agreed. “We have to get tougher on guns…. In this country it is so easy for so many people to get these kinds of assault weapons whose only purpose is to shoot a whole lot of people.”
The correction of such misstatements (there, I used the nice word, see?) grows tedious. The Constitution does not guarantee us the right to bear arms so as to be able to resist any future tyrant “except for weapons of war … the kind designed to shoot a whole lot of people.” The initial BATF attackers who Mr. and Mrs. Clinton sent to that church in Waco, shooting the dog in her pen in the front yard and then opening fire into a building full of women and children without making any attempt whatever to “serve their warrant,” later testified under oath that they shot at such clear targets as “a moving curtain.” When the Clintons then sent their replacement FBI snipers including Lon Horiuchi to pick off the women and children in that church (prior to burning them to death as the FBI guys held the fire engines a mile away) did the Clintons tell those G-men to leave behind everything but the muzzle- loaders, because repeating arms “have no place on our streets”?
“Assault weapons” and “weapons of war” like the M-16 and the AK-47 have a “selector switch” allowing full-auto fire. In violation of the Second Amendment, the 1934 National Firearms Act and the follow-up 1968 “Gun Control Act” have cut off the supply of true automatic “Class III NFA” weapons, driving prices sky-high and purposely making it virtually impossible for most Americans to afford such historical artifacts.
Yes, someone with gunsmithing skills might (illegally) convert a semi-auto to full-auto fire. But the BATF reported no such modification to Mateen’s rifle. And non-shooters are notoriously bad witnesses as to whether they’ve been under automatic or semi-auto fire. Recall that even experienced German soldiers, when they first encountered the semi-auto M-1 Garand in Normandy in 1944, would often insist three G.I.s behind a hedgerow with their Garands must be armed with a machine gun. And the Garand loads an 8-round clip, not a 30-round magazine.
I would suggest nobody who can’t tell an “automatic weapon” or an “assault weapon” from a one-shot-per- trigger-pull weapon like the one the Orlando murderer used in his chosen gun-free zone (where he was a regular patron, by the way)—or who knowingly lies about the difference —should ever be commander-in-chief of the armed forces, or anything else.
What about the Florida law which bars citizens licensed to carry concealed weapons from taking those self-defense handguns into a liquor-serving nightclub, including “Pulse” in Orlando? Could that have impacted the death toll?
Bingo! We have a winner! That law worked just fine—in setting up the killer’s hundred defenseless victims like tin ducks in a shooting gallery.
All Mohammed’s children love a gun-free zone
Because Mateen’s victims were law-abiding where he was not, that law guaranteed that none of the hundred people he shot (heck, none of the 300 souls in the club) were able to shoot back, even during his multiple magazine changes. (And no, you can’t defend Florida’s law on the grounds that “people who are drinking shouldn’t carry guns.” Groups going out for a night on the town are encouraged to appoint a sober “designated driver,” aren’t they? Why not let them also designate a soda-pop-only “designated bodyguard” to carry concealed all night, just as the armed bodyguards who defend our professional politicians do?)
So, are the gun control advocates who helped kill those 49 people finally willing to admit all their “gun control” laws do more harm than good, merely setting up the innocent as disarmed victims? Of course not! Lying and insisting Mateen had “assault weapons” or even “automatic weapons,” they now want even more laws to make sure future victims are even more defenseless!
The shooting raises other questions, of course. Suffolk County, N.Y., Chief of Patrol Stuart Cameron, who has written several academic journal articles about police protocol when faced with an active shooter, tells the Los Angeles Times that analyses of past shootings suggest one person is killed every 15 seconds in a typical mass- casualty shooting. That would be a reason for cops to don their Kevlar and storm the scene in a hurry. So why on earth did 100 Orlando police and sheriff’s deputies “do a Columbine,” sitting around outside the Pulse nightclub for three hours—from minutes after the shooting started at 2:02 a.m. until 5:05 a.m.—allowing many victims inside to finish bleeding to death as these brave “first responders” drank coffee and waited for someone to arrive with a tank?
Ask any doctor or ambulance attendant how much difference it makes to their survival rates if gunshot victims can’t get to the hospital for THREE HOURS.
It appears a uniformed Orlando Police officer working extra duty at the club initially engaged Mateen, returning fire at 2:02 a.m. Good! Mateen managed to get into the building, anyway. Two additional uniformed officers quickly showed up and may have also engaged Mateen—good! But when he “retreated further into the nightclub,” they broke off contact.
Yes, it’s easy to play Monday Morning Quarterback. But nightclubs have multiple entrances, including through the kitchen. What happened to all this ballyhooed “courage of our first responders”? How long does it take for a couple of armed police volunteers to pull on Kevlar vests and helmets and slip in through the kitchen door for a look around? For that matter, why not just get the intelligence they needed by talking to the survivors hiding inside, on their cell phones? Why would THAT take three hours?
Barack Obama, of course, went on TV and got all weepy as usual, asserting “As Americans, we are united in grief, in outrage, and in resolve to defend our people.”
Really? Against whom?
John Podhoretz took President Obama to task so well for his stunning refusal to acknowledge who it is who’s killing Americans left and right (look up San Bernardino, December 2015; look up “Fort Hood”) that I can do no better than to cite excerpts from his column in the June 12 New York Post:
“Omar Mateen called the cops to pledge his fealty to ISIS as he was carrying out his mass murder in Orlando early Sunday,” Podhoretz writes. “Twelve hours later, the president of the United States declared that ‘we have no definitive assessment on the motivation’ of Omar Mateen but that ‘we know he was a person filled with hate.’ …
“Here again, and horribly, we have an unmistakable indication that Obama finds it astonishingly easy to divorce himself from a reality he doesn’t like—the reality of the Islamist terror war against the United States and how it is moving to our shores in the form of lone-wolf attacks,” columnist Podhoretz continues.
“So determined is the president to avoid the subject of Islamist, ISIS-inspired or ISIS-directed terrorism that he concluded his remarks with an astonishing insistence that “we need the strength and courage to change” our attitudes toward the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
“That’s just disgusting,” Podhoretz writes.
“America’s national attitude toward LGBT people
didn’t shoot up the Pulse nightclub. This country’s
national attitude has undergone a sea change in the past 20 years, by
the way, in case the president hasn’t noticed.
“An Islamist terrorist waging war against the United States killed and injured 103 people on our soil. We Americans do not bear collective responsibility for this attack. Quite the opposite.
“The attack on the Pulse nightclub was an attack on us all, no less than the World Trade Center attack,” Podhoretz continued. “To suggest we must look inward to explain this is not only unseemly but practically an act of conscious misdirection on the president’s part to direct out attention away from Omar Mateen’s phone call.
“True to form, the president spoke more words about the scourge of guns than about the threat of terror….”
Mrs. Clinton gives in
Meantime, defying gutless Republican strategists who prefer to see their candidates lose quietly by keeping silent on vital issues (see “John McCain”), presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump also let Obama have it:
“Donald Trump on Sunday laced into President Obama for not mentioning ‘radical Islam’ in his address to the nation after the mass shooting in Orlando—a massacre the mogul said was ‘only the beginning,’ and the result of weak leadership,” the New York Post reported the day after the shooting.
“In his remarks today, President Obama disgracefully refused to even say the words ‘Radical Islam,’” the presumptive presidential GOP nominee said in a statement. “For that reason alone, he should step down. If Hillary Clinton, after this attack, still cannot say the two words ‘Radical Islam’ she should get out of this race for the Presidency.
“If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore. Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen—and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can’t afford to be politically correct anymore,” he continued.
Stung by Trump’s criticism, Mrs. Clinton relented and used the phrase “radical Islamism” on CNN the next day, asserting it means the same things as other terms she had used. In America’s prisons, they have a term for the kind of obedient puppy Mrs. Clinton thus became for Mr. Trump. I predict that day will be seen as the turning point in their race.
Trump, who has called for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and the destruction of ISIS, said all Americans need to be protected from “Radical Islamic Terrorism—which has no place in an open and tolerant society…. Radical Islam advocates hate for women, gays, Jews, Christians and all Americans.”
In fact, the Islamic State has repeatedly executed gay people and released videos showing their gruesome executions.
On the Monday following the shooting, the Islamic State’s radio outlet called Omar Mateen “one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America.” Al-Bayan Radio, a media outlet for the extremist group, hailed the attack.
I’ve always said I have questions about Donald Trump’s familiarity with important issues, and his commitment to the Constitutional principles of liberty and limited government. I particularly have concerns he might embrace economically devastating trade protectionism in preference to free trade and free markets.
But here he has a winning issue. Americans are sick and appalled at this pussy-footing, this Politically Correct Dance of the Seven Euphemisms, this refusal to acknowledge and deal with murderous radical Islamic terrorist scum by an America-hating president who has written that he finds no sound more beautiful than the call to prayer from an Islamic minaret.
Trump told NBC’s “Today” on the Monday after the shooting that “there’s something going on” that explains Obama’s refusal to use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.”
“I’ll tell you what, we have a president that refuses to use the term, he refuses to say it,” Trump said in a speech last Dec. 3 to the Republican Jewish Coalition. “There’s something going on with him that we don’t know about.”
Several Florida politicians, including State Rep. Dennis Baxley, running to represent The Villages in the Florida Senate, immediately (and correctly) faulted gun-free zones in the shooting in Orlando.
The Belleview Republican has long opposed gun-free zones, including nightclubs that serve alcohol. Baxley contended that had someone at the club been armed, the gunman could have been stopped much sooner.
Baxley will square off in the Aug. 30 GOP primary against state Rep. Marlene O’Toole and David Gee.
And yes, there’s an organization that encourages gay Americans to become responsible gun owners. Regardless of your own sexual orientation, find and encourage a Pink Pistols chapter near you.
Vin Suprynowicz was for 20 years a columnist and editorial writer for the daily Las Vegas Review-Journal. He blogs at www.vinsuprynowicz.com.
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