The shootings in Orlando are tragic, and horrifying; because the proof is it can happen to you. And the greater fear going forward must be…how will you defend yourself?
Like you, I was saddened, horrified, and outraged over Saturday night’s shootings in Orlando, Florida that left 50 dead.
Confused, like one friend who emailed, over what to do next, given Scripture’s admonitions about retaliation in anger. Turn the other cheek.
50 people, who like any one of us, were sitting ducks in a public nightclub, or restaurant, with no idea that their lives were in jeopardy and about to end.
The shooter’s identity is known. His motives, at this point, apparent. We know Omar Mir Seddique Mateen lived in the Tampa area – and he was influenced by radical ideologies from outside the United States.
But aside, there are posts on Facebook and Twitter making the point about Sunday’s attack as it’s related to the availability of guns in this country, asking…when is enough, enough? I get that. I really do. Acts like yesterday are senseless, discouraging. I’m a gun owner and shooter, but I don’t own assault weapons or have an interest in them.
I get the fact that legitimate, law-abiding hunters and sport shooters will be again feel threatened for their right to purchase and bear arms by those consumed by the argument that no one should have an assault-type weapon with the capacity to do damage beyond that of a double-barreled shotgun.
The problem, of course, is not the weapon. Like Paris, like Belgium, and like San Bernadino, it is the ideology of someone intent on perpetuating lethal violence on innocent people, regardless of the weapon they choose.
Take away their gun and they detonate a suicide bomb.
If they don’t have a bomb they drive a car through a window or into a crowd of people.
Even a pocket knife can kill the unsuspecting.
Which of course necessitates an even more poignant question about when enough is enough…when you’ve turned cheek enough. Not about guns and the 98% of people who own and use them lawfully and respectfully. No, the question is…if guns are removed how do you defend yourself?
How do you defend yourself when law enforcement, military, and cultural call to trust everyone…FAILS?
And which of you is ready to admit that you’re not so safe anymore when you go to the grocery. You’re certainly not safe when you go out for an evening of dinner and entertainment.
Which of you has come to the sobering fact that attending a college football game with 100,000 people this fall makes you a target and a sitting duck for someone intent upon killing you…by any means?
So to the argument…when is enough, enough?
As a gun owner, my concern is about the attitude of political denial on the part of our leadership that allows known mentally ill people to walk around with the rest of us; the denial that terrorism is alive and well in our communities…and would like nothing better than to see us stripped of our means to defend ourselves.
So more of us can be killed, and more easily?
Enough? How do you like living now with the reality that your next trip to the mall might be your last? That you’re at risk even sitting at a red light if the guy next to you decides it’s your time? And nothing you can do!
Fear mongering, you’ll say? Well, how much is enough to convince you…that like never before, and inexplicably, every one of us is at risk.
There’s never enough police and the military is always someplace else. Not enough locks, dead bolts, bars on windows, and steel doors. Eventually we’ll all come to that point when we don’t feel safe to leave the house. Get yourself a Louisville Slugger, I guess, and sit it in the corner. Ask yourself the question. Does having Hank Aaron’s bat give you any peace of mind?
But worse…I think we’re being told we’re our own worst enemy for having too many guns. It’s not the terrorists.
Enough is enough!