Want To Know Why 50 People Died In Orlando? It Wasn’t Terrorism – It Was A Gun.

Here we go again.  Another act of ‘domestic terrorism,’ and this one left over 100 people injured or dead. The shooter, 29-year old Omar Mateen, broke the old record set by James Holmes, who shot 72 people in a Colorado movie theater in 2012, of whom 60 survived. And Holmes broke Seung-Hui Cho’s 2007 record of 49 victims at Virginia Tech, and on it goes back to Charlie Whitman, who gunned down 49 people from his perch in the Texas University Tower in 1966, although only 16 lost their lives.

There’s an unemployed academic out there pretending to be a researcher named John Lott, who actually tried to ‘prove’ that at least ten other countries have higher death rates from mass public shootings than what we experience here in the U.S.A. Which is not hard to do if a country has a fraction of our population and one mass shooting takes place.  But any rational, normal and semi-intelligent person who actually believes that mass shootings are an everyday fact of life anywhere but in the United States is either hopelessly delusional or is simply trying to burnish his shopworn credentials as an NRA flack.

ar            The bottom line is that there have been three horrendous shootings in the last seven months (Umpqua, San Bernardino, Orlando) which together have resulted in the loss of 74 lives, and I’m not even bothering to count the little mass shootings – a few bodies here, a few bodies there – which take place all the time. Our friends at the Gun Violence Archive count 25 shootings with at least 4 victims each time over the last – ready? – three weeks!

Maybe we haven’t figured out what to do about this seemingly unstoppable carnage, but what does seem to be emerging from the unending slaughters is a convenient way of ignoring the use of guns.  Because the problem isn’t the gun, after all, it’s the person who uses the gun, and that person is now invariably described as a ‘domestic terrorist,’ which I guess means someone who is somehow tied to some kind of terrorist organization but happens to permanently live and was maybe even born in the United States. Back in the old days, meaning before the 2016 presidential election cycle, the term ‘domestic terrorist’ was usually applied to an American who had actually been in contact with a terrorist organization, or had received or planned to receive training in terrorist activities, or in some other way was directly involved in terrorist behavior of some sort. In 2014, two young Americans from Minnesota were killed fighting with ISIS in Somalia and Iraq; home-grown terrorist bomb plots have recently been thwarted in Wichita, Boston and New York.

Of course depending on what political gains can be made from the anguish and fear that any mass shooting evokes in the general population, the presumptive Republican candidate, Street Thug Trump, wanders back and forth between condemning ‘domestic terrorism’ and ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’ but let’s leave Street Thug alone, because he’s incapable of understanding what the real issue is all about.

And the real issue runs like this.  Omar Mateen was young, he was stable enough to hold down a job, he was socially isolated and alienated but he was, and this is very important, he was able to get his hands on a gun.  And the gun he chose to carry into Pulse was what has become the weapon of choice for young men who want to kill lots of people in one place – an AR-15.

So it doesn’t matter whether this shooter was a ‘domestic terrorist,’ or a ‘radical Islamic terrorist,’ or a homophobic maniac or whatever else he was or claimed to be.  He walked into a gun shop and bought some guns.  And that’s the real reason that 49 patrons at the Pulse are now dead. It’s the gun stupid, it’s the gun.

Don’t’ forget to donate to the Orlando Pulse fund.  I just did.


14 thoughts on “Want To Know Why 50 People Died In Orlando? It Wasn’t Terrorism – It Was A Gun.

  1. Mike, stop lying my friend. If you are going to continue to write this garbage, and I stand by your First Amendment right to do so, stop using logical fallacies to make your point. Not everyone is a complete dummy. In fact, most people see right through it.

      • No Mike, I didn’t say that because you said something I don’t like. It’s because your articles use logical fallacies to make points. Just as you did in the assumption that I acquired my debating skills from Trump. It obviously comes natural to you, and maybe you don’t even know you do it. However, it appears that you wrote the book on the art of using malformed logic to debate a topic. I’ll admit, it’s believable at times. I don’t doubt your sincerity in wanting to reduce gun violence, but don’t pretend that you are somehow this pro gun guy when that’s far from the truth. You may have been in the firearms business, but it was obviously only to make a living and not because you actually believed that Americans should bear arms. One reason this country is so divided on this issue is because of the lies that come from both sides. You pretend to be in the middle, but it’s clear that’s not where you stand. I’m simply suggesting that you stop contributing to the problem of us being so divided. The in your face type of propaganda the Huffington Post puts out will never move someone over to that side of the fence. It only moves people who are already on that side, further to the left. People who are leaning slightly right, are alienated and move even further right. There’s no more middle anymore Mike – because of all the lies. Again, I respect your right to say whatever you want, I just think you could be a little more honest about the facts.

      • If you had taken the trouble to read what I have said over the years and said in print multiple times, then you would know exactly where i stand on guns and you wouldn’t assume that because you disagree with me that this makes me anti-gun. So I’ll save you the trouble of reading what I have said and state it right here. I have always believed, and I will continue to believe and state that guns in the hands of civilians serve two purposes: hunting and sport. And if the NRA had continued to promote guns on that basis, which they did when I joined in 1955, they’d get no argument from me. I do not believe, nor have I ever seen any credible research which shows that guns in civilian hands protect us from crime or from anything else; to the contrary, the armed-citizen nonsense is cynical and increases risk. And I do not believe that any consumer item should be promoted that increases risk. You want to argue with what I just said? Fine. But do it on the basis of reference to facts and data (and please don’t waste my time with references to John Lott or Gary Kleck) and don’t just throw out the usual ad-hominems about how I am a ‘liar’ and all that other childish rhetoric, okay? If you can’t engage in a discussion that doesn’t rest on personal and/or character characterizations, you won’t be allowed to respond on this site. Thank you. And, and one more thing: please, please don’t indulge in the most insultingly stupid pro-gun riff of all; i.e., that guns keep us ‘free.’ Okay? Thanks again.

  2. Mike, without disrespectful intentions, I have to say that essentially, what you just said is, “You can have a debate with me, but only if I get to limit your argument and evidence to what suits me and my opinion”. I don’t even know who John Lott or Gary Kleck are, and had no intention of invoking their work. I’m not even denying your assertion that guns increase risk.

    You limit the argument to whether or not firearms increase risk. You said, “I do not believe that any consumer item should be promoted that increases risk” – Well, walking outside of your home and driving a car increases risk. Playing sports increase risk. Better not buy a set of golf clubs, you might get hurt playing golf. Almost every consumer item sold increases risk. According to your own logic, not one consumer item should be sold because they all increase risk. Better not ride a bicycle, you might fall off. Life is a risk.

    The intention of the Second Amendment is clearly for freedom. I’m not allowed to use the “guns keep us free” argument though, because you do not acknowledge the purpose of the Second Amendment. It sure says Militias in there, but it also says “the right of the PEOPLE”, not the right of the “GOVERNMENT”. It says it’s purpose is for the security of a FREE state. Sounds a whole lot like it’s about freedom. It doesn’t contain a single word about hunting or sports. Those are the only two purposes of firearms you acknowledge, so you clearly think the Second Amendment should be repealed. Which is fine – because there is also a First Amendment, and you have the right to your opinion, but a whole lot of people disagree with you.

    I believe that we need to take action to reduce violence in America.I do not believe that we need to ban semi-automatic rifles to accomplish that. Keep in mind that violent crime over the last 25 years has already been reduced by more than 50 percent. The murder rate involving firearms has been reduced nearly 50 percent from 7.0 in 1992 to 3.8 in 2014. Twelve years of that was without a ban on semi-automatic rifles. There never really was a complete ban anyway – just a halt on selling rifles like the AR15 and AK47. There were still millions of them in circulation and millions of magazines with more than 10 rounds. So what happened between 1992 and 2014 that caused such a drastic reduction in violence in America? It’s debatable. The criminology community hasn’t agreed on the reason. Wouldn’t you agree that implementing a plan that replicates that reduction in violence would make sense? We know for certain that it wasn’t because we banned semi-automatic weapons – because that there’s never been a ban.

    Most people agree that a drastic reduction of violence can be accomplished by locking up the known bad actors. The Chicago Police Department has said that they identified 1400 people in the city that are committing the vast majority of violent crime. However, our justice system keeps letting those people back on the streets. How about we start by locking up the violent people and keeping them there?

    The shooting in Orlando was disgusting. A tragic event for a lot of people who clearly did not deserve to die, for others who were injured, and for those who had to witness that carnage. The FBI knew about this guy, and its likely his wife knew he wanted to do this. No one took action though. I do believe there are other ways to kill massive amounts of people without firearms. This guy was as extreme as it gets and was clearly hell bent on killing those people regardless of his motive. It makes no difference if he hated gay people, or if he was gay himself and struggled with it. People like this will find a way, with or without a rifle

    Mike, no one on the gun rights side is saying that they love to see people die by means of violence. It’s horrible. There needs to be a middle ground. There’s Fox News and then there is Huffington Post. Two examples of extreme polarized views. Who’s in the middle Mike? I don’t believe there are many left because of the polarizing result of extremism. Honestly, I think part of the reason no one gun rights person takes you seriously is because you write for the Huffington Post.There are other authors on there that use blatant lies in their articles to make their points when actual facts don’t support their opinion. People view you as being the same because you are associated with those people who lack journalistic ethics and are disingenuous in their arguments. The Huffington Post has a reputation of being a leftist propaganda machine to a greater degree than Fox New’s reputation for having extreme right wing views.

    People become defensive when they here “ban this, and ban that”. It’s always cries for gun control, but no one wants to talk about what it really is – violence. Let’s talk about how to reduce violence, not how we are going to accomplish gun control. There’s clearly more than one way to achieve a common goal.

    Thank You!

    • Very nice, very literate, very well-written, but you didn’t reply to what I said. And what I said was that I accept the risk of guns if they are used for shooting sports and hunting. What I don’t accept, and I said it explicitly and you didn’t respond to it t all, is the idea that armed citizens make either themselves or anyone else safe. And I further said that this was the only issue with which I have a disagreement with the NRA. Which is why I mentioned Kleck and Lott because the NRA uses their phony research to promote the idea of armed citizens. The rest of what you said is fine, I have no argument with it. But it’s beside the point. I’l say it again – I reject categorically the notion that we are a ‘safer’ society if civilians walk around with guns, partiucarly when they don’t have to show any proficiency at all, which happens to be the NRA position. I’m not saying that you or anyone else has to say something that ‘suits my opinion.’ I’m saying that if you disagree with me, which is fine, at least talk to what I said, not what you think I should say. I’ll say it again: armed citizens increase risk. Selling guns so that people can arm themselves increases risk. I don’t agree. It’s that simple.

  3. Mike, could you please explain exactly why Lott’s findings ranking countries are wrong? I understand your point about comparing small countries, but Lott seems to show that the casualty rate for the EU as a whole is great than for the US. I am referring to casualties because that is what you do in your first paragraph.

  4. Thanks Bob. Take a closer look at Lott’s chart comparing EU per capita gun injuries from mass shootings with our per-capita rate. More than 1/3 of the EU deaths and more than 50% of the injuries came from one incident – the Paris attack. Pull those numbers out of the EU and we are way ahead of everywhere else, individually or collectively. Lott does this all the time; presents numbers as if they can explain anything at all, and they usually don’t. Paris has had one mass shooting in the last 6 years. We have had 4 in the last 6 months! How can you compare this in terms of what mass shootings do to the national psyche. I know parents who now don’t want their teenage children going to the mall in the afternoon when school lets out. And Lott refuses to acknowledge this kind of problem.

  5. I will agree that the use of “the gun” helped “the man” kill 49 people. I do not agree that “the gun” had anything to do with the mans decision to buy the gun, or kill the people. As the man is also deceased, we wil never know for sure what drove him to take these actions. I can tell you that I have a number of weapons, of which some are guns, all capable of inflicting death if “I” make the choice to do so. None of them, not even the guns are capable of making that choice, or taking any actions on their own. So no, it was not the gun, it was the man! On gun control, it’s no surprise that the areas/cities that have the highest level of gun control also have the most gun related violence. Simple logic, I’m a bad guy with a gun (I’m the bad guy, so I’m always going to have a gun), and I know that town or state X has disarmed all the people that live there via gun control laws, AND I know that town/state Y has not. So, if I try to break in or rob someone in town Y, I just might be looking at the undesired end of a gun, and just might get myself shot. Guess what, no rocket science required, I’m going to town X and do as I please, because no one there is going to stop me.
    Need more, how about Hitler. Disarm the citizens so they can’t defined themselves, and then just round up and kill any and all that don’t meet your standards or refuse to let you just take whatever you want without resisting.
    Take a good look at our history, and you’ll see that man has been killing man from the beginning of time, it’s not something new. As far as to why now, more than a few years ago, just my opinion, but our morals are in decline and have been for a number of years now. The violence portrayed on TV, the movies, our books and the big one; video games, teach our society that it’s okay and even acceptable to bully, hurt and even kill to get what you want. And the courts are no better, allowing untold numbers of known thugs and killers go Scott free every day. We fail ourselves and our country, by taking Christ out of our everyday lives. You are free to believe or not believe whatever you like, but when we were taught the Ten Commandments and were held accountable for our actions, there was less violence. I know growing up, I did not want to get caught doing anything wrong, because not only would I’ve gotten punished at school (or any other place) but the real punishment would take place when I got home. I’m not talking about child abuse, I’m talking about learning wrong from right, and not forgetting it.

  6. Mike, I don’t have a lot of time to respond, but if you read my response carefully, I did address your concern about the increase of risk. I probably wasn’t as direct as I could have been. The point I should have made is that when the rate of violent crime involving firearms is reduced, so is the risk to the public. These numbers directly influence risk calculations in any credible study.

    There are some things that I pointed out that can reduce the rate. Locking up those 1400 in Chicago and other cities like it, reduce the risk to the public. It ultimately makes the numbers that you are looking at seem a whole lot better.

    Sometimes even people who have good intentions add to the risk as well. That’s why I agree that people who are going to carry firearms in public should have training. However, I don’t think it should be mandated. Free training should be offered and strong incentives should be offered to receive such training.

    The risk can be greatly reduced without banning types of firearms. restricting magazine sizes, or banning citizens from carrying weapons in public. Evidence of that is the steady decline of the gun homicide rate. The calls for banning certain types of weapons only further polarizes us. Even if a similar ban like that in 1994 was instituted, it would do absolutely nothing to prevent violence. The only thing that would stop 100 percent of violence involving firearms in America would be to confiscate every single firearm we own. I don’t even want to imagine what that would be like if attempted.

  7. Mike, I’d like to add one thing regarding your response to Bob and comparing other nations to the United States. It’s highly complex to compare one nation to another because of the many differences, unknown factors, and the various degrees of data reliability. The cultural differences alone are enough to say any study like that is flawed. Much of it would have to be subjective. Therefore, I wouldn’t agree with any study that does that. Not John Lott, Gary Kleck, Harvard, Yale, or any study by the U.S. Government. It’s comparing Apples to Oranges no matter who’s side the study favors.

  8. Mike, The most direct point I can make is that while maybe now, the numbers don’t look so great with regards to armed citizens making us more safe, we can change that. It’s possible to make changes that would make us safer with armed citizens, without banning semi-automatic rifles,11 round magazines – and without taxing the living daylights out of guns and ammo. People who have these kind of ideas are just narrow minded and aren’t capable of thinking outside of the box. Oh, and the whole “let’s ban people who are on Government lists” – Well, most people don’t trust the Government, and to allow the Government to arbitrarily place people on a list without a trial is nonsense. Those “lists” are full of people who have done nothing more than make comments, like I am, on the internet.

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