Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Concealed carry

On Sunday last, 29-year-old homosexual muslim Omar Mateen entered the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, armed with a semi-automatic rifle of a type generally known as an AR-15 and a Glock 17 pistol; killed 49 people and injured another fifty-three. Some patrons of the nightclub saved themselves by pretending to be dead. Mateen walked around making sure people were dead and one survivor related how he lay on the floor and did not flinch when Mateen shot him in the arm and the side so he would look dead.

In this respect the situation was similar to the attack on the Bataclan theatre (Paris, France) in November last year. Three gunmen entered the theatre and killed 89 people using AK-47s. Some people survived by lying on the floor and pretending to be dead.

What all the victims of both incidents had in common is that they were not armed. They did not have the option to shoot back.

In both cases, and especially the Orlando case, even a small number of people exercising their 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms (or French equivalent) would have saved a large number of lives. Law-abiding citizens who carry guns are almost always better trained and more competent gun handlers than terrorists. The good citizen who buys his first gun will typically also buy some lessons in how to use it; will go to a range to hone accuracy, and acquire some snap-caps (blank ammunition) so he or she can safely practise loading and unloading, drawing and re-holstering until it goes into muscle memory and becomes second nature. Terrorists, on the other hand, just spray and pray.

In the Orlando case, Mateen's rifle jammed and there was an opportunity for an armed person to intervene, but no-one did, because they could not.

We are gradually entering a world in which not being armed will be considered irresponsible.

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