Thursday, June 16, 2016

Heartbreak in Orlando: A Reflection of Our Future?

Already so much as been written about the murder of 49 innocent people at a gay oriented but not exclusive nightclub in Orlando Florida, along with 50 wounded. All were just ordinary young men and women there to unwind, relax, and have some fun. Then, like thunder tearing through the darkness of night, their lives were ended or forever changed. Who or what gave the shooter, Omar Mateen, a man of only 29, the right to end their lives? We're told he was a closet homosexual since he had been coming to Pulse, a bar and dance club for months. We're told he had been "radicalized" by the ISIS, the latest incarnation of psycho killers, and who have a habit of impaling or throwing gays off rooftops. He even took a break during the carnage to phone a local TV station to declare his allegiance to ISIS (and ISIS accepted responsibility) before resuming his "Allah Akbar" rant amid the gunfire. Now the CIA Director, John Brennan, has told a Senate Intelligence Committee that Mateen really wasn't aligned to ISIS despite the killer saying he was and ISIS giving their stamp of approval. I guess this is another example of who to believe---the murderer and those he's supposedly aligned with or the CIA Director and a government that has a habit of lying? He was married...and divorced. Supposedly he had a bad temper and was abusive. Supposedly he wanted to be a cop or INS agent, yet he repeatedly failed and ended up as a security guard at some point. He attempted to obtain large amounts of high powered ammo and weapons, but was refused due to his mannerisms, which gave him away as potentially a nut job (three cheers to the gun store owners for their careful observations of human behavior).

Be certain that the corporate media was quick with "the facts" of course, though as usual, mostly wrong. While Republicans and conservatives were quick with their standard "more security less Muslims" rant, the Democrats and Liberal didn't miss a beat with their usual gun control (read "seizure"), stronger restrictions and background checks. A few have even demanded that guns be taken from all current and former military personnel since they were potentially "mentally maladjusted" due to their military training and, thus, potentially "dangerous". Personally, I think those individuals need to be dragged out to the street and introduced to a can whoopass, but that's just me speaking as a potentially maladjusted former military guy. Some on the Left see this latest incident as an clarion call to at least remove "military assault" rifles like the AR-15, which was used in this and other shootings, along with high powered ammo from the marketplace.

Before I give my opinion on this, let's understand what "assault" rifles really are. These are basic ordinary hunting firearms in a fancy "cool looking" frame. Some come with longer clips, which means more bullets. They are the "street rods" of the domestic firearms industry. They are semi-automatic, which means they can only shoot as fast as your finger can pull the trigger. They are not full auto, nor do they have a select button or lever which would allow someone to go from semi to full auto like military grade weapons do. Most of these weapons use high powered .223 ammo since they are designed to take down larger game. Some of these weapons, however, take smaller caliber ammo like 22 longs. These would be for smaller game, and while this type of ammo is more economically for target shooting, any size ammo can be used for target shooting. So, by eliminating so-called "assault" rifles, they might as well eliminate ordinary hunting rifles in the same caliber too. But, even if they did, let's not forget that any rifle or pistol can kill or wound, regardless of what it's called, looks like, or caliber of the ammo. For that matter, what about BB or pellet guns? They potentially can injure or kill to if you know where to aim. So can crossbows, hunting bows, nunchucks, hammers, hatchets, knives, sticks, rocks, screwdrivers, ice picks, and so on. Let's face it, as a species, we're natural born killers. Give us about two minutes, and we'll find something to use. When it comes to death and destruction, we're the "MacGyver's" of the animal kingdom.

Besides, if the Left were to try to confiscate guns, they would likely be unsuccessful since they would have to search damn near every single house, not once, but repeatedly as people will hide whatever it is that they have, even if they've never used it or ever plan to use it since the very thought of surrendering our guns---or 2nd Amendment right----goes against our collective nature as Americans. Then there human nature. We instinctively know that without guns, the bad guys---the ones who are trying to rob, beat or rape you---will have guns. I mean, c'mon, they're called crooks for a reason! Do you think they are going to turn in their guns? Do you think that when they see a "Gun Free Zone" or "No Weapons" sign they are going to turn around and leave? As for expecting the police to arrive in time to save us, it ain't gonna happen. Can you imagine asking some burglar to wait around for 15 or 30 minutes for the police to arrive? More often than not the police are there just for the cleanup and taking reports. Another likely scenario, should the Left attempt to seize our weapons, is that they will not find a willing populace. People will vigorously defend their right to own and possess a gun. I could see this getting ratcheted up in a hurry to an all out civil war. But, then again, we know the police have been getting militarized for several years now and increasingly see ordinary people as "potential criminals" as they tool around in armored personnel carriers with battle grade body armor and helmets. We know too that every single federal agency has been on a hand-over-fist ammo buying frenzy, and they aren't buying low power ammunition either. They are buying high power ammo. Their explanation has been that they've simply been buying in bulk to save on costs and/or for target practice, yet this type of ammo is way too expensive to use for target practice and is being acquired by agencies that have little or no practical use for it in the first place. So, perhaps this is simply in anticipation for a possible civil war and/or the imposition of martial law.

While I can see the logic of denying armor piercing shells from hunters (not many deers or Elk wear flak jackets, though I can think of one particular groundhog who should consider it) or the general public, as well as the ability to buy body armor, removing "assault" weapons or high caliber rifles and pistols won't change a thing; neither will the seizure of guns in general. Criminals will always find a way and they can be counted on to seek out the weakest target. What may help is more thorough background checks for used as well as new gun purchases, completion of gun safety courses (especially first time buyers), limitation of purchases for both guns and ammo (which is already being done), shorter clips, and no sells to anyone who can't prove citizenship or has a valid work permit (green card) with automatic reviews every six months in ensure that the gun wasn't bought for Cousin Louie who is here illegally). And while I'm making a wish list of sorts here, how about vigorous prosecution of government officials and agents who sold or sell guns to known criminals?

As for the terrible incident in Orlando, I expect we see more, though we've already had far too many. Despite being an obvious terrorist attack done in the name of ISIS and it's misguided ideology, President Obama continues to bury his head in the sand and refuses to call it what it was. Instead, he hides behind words like "domestic terror", "unstable", "localize", and so forth. Just as he did on other terrorist attacks, such as Fort Hood or San Bernardino. President Obama is afraid of calling these attacks on innocent Americans "Islamic" or "ISIS inspired" terrorist attacks. For some reason, he is in complete and total denial, which is a dangerous think for a president or head of a nation to be. A leader must be unafraid of naming the enemy, regardless of their personal feelings. If one is unwilling to acknowledge the enemy, we lose the advantage. We lose the ability to search for specific clues that might help us anticipate their next move. Thus, we leave ourselves open to more and perhaps worse attacks (what if FDR had said that we were attacked by possible Asians on December 7th, 1941 instead of the Empire of Japan?). Some, on both the Left and Right, have argued that Obama is a Muslim, and as such, his sympathies are with them. Personally, I don't know if he is or not.

From what little information that is available about his background, we know that his paternal side was/is Muslim. We know he attended a Muslim school as a child and that he identified as a Muslim through at least his teens, and that's something which is hard to overcome. We know he attended a black supremist or "liberation" church for many years which was sympathetic to the Muslim cause. We've seen how he relates to Muslim leaders and then how he relates to Israeli leaders. We've witnessed his willingness to bring Muslims from these the Middle East---though not necessarily from war zones--- and without adequate vetting while at the same time restricting Chaldean and Assyrian Christians as well as Kurds and Yazidis, who are the targets of mass murders for the majority and slavery for a few; a move still supported by some of in GOP, including House Speaker Paul Ryan who doesn't want a restriction either. We've seen how he has behaved with regards to the situation in the Middle East, and repeated attempts to get US boots on the ground in Syria against President Assad, which means supporting militia groups who are also on our national intelligence radar as terrorists. How can that be? How can these groups be potential allies on one hand and enemies on the other hand? Has this become our foreign policy in the region now?

Maybe the Obama White House is trying to justify its actions by bombing only the groups that Russia supports and who want Assad to remain in power and generally favor the West while the ones we support mostly hate the West but they hate Russia too. Personally, I think this is a bridge that should have never been crossed militarily starting with George Bush Jr. against the militarily impotent Saddam Hussein. With regards to Obama's self-censoring refusal to admit that the murderers who are committing these atrocities on US soil are doing so in the name of the faith of at least his youth may too be a bridge that Obama, as a man, is unable to cross, and that is dangerous for America. As the investigation into the tragedy in Orlando continues to unfold, many of the issues and questions raised here will begin to taken on increasing importance. Hopefully we can learn from them before it's too late.

No 'direct link' between Orlando shooter and foreign terror groups

Orlando Gunman Was 'Cool and Clam' After Massacre, Police Say

Orlando attack: 'I am the lone wolf who terrorizes the Infidels'

ISIS Statement on Orlando Shooting Attack

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