All the hysterical talk of guns, machine guns, and scary guns in the wake of a clear and well-planned terror attack by a man who committed himself to ISIS actually dishonors the dead and wounded from that horror.
There are 53 people wounded–many gravely injured and fighting for their lives–and 49 dead in the wake of the Pulse nightclub attack. The dead haven’t even been buried, and people like wimp of the year Gersh Kuntzman are writing “Forty nine people can be gone in 60 seconds.”
As Erick wrote, that did not happen. What did happen is still a bit unclear as police have not released full details yet.
According to the New York Times, Omar Mateen entered through the main entrance of the Pulse night club just after 2 a.m., heavily armed and immediately began shooting. He was engaged by an off-duty officer who provided security for the club.
At some point, the terrorist began moving through the club to a restroom, taking four or five hostages. The ISIS killer was finally taken out by police, who used explosives and an armored vehicle to penetrate the outside wall of the building at 5 a.m.
That means those who were shot–not all, but many–may have lain on the floor of the club for up to three hours. They bled out, in agony. Unlike the movies, gunshot victims don’t just fall down, gasp, and die bloodlessly. They bleed; they cough up blood. They try to crawl to safety.
Another timeline published by the Orlando Sentinel offered slightly more detail. Between 2:09 a.m., when the club posted a message on their Facebook page and 5 a.m. when police made the decision to go into the club, there were no emergency responders inside Pulse to tend to the wounded or go after the terrorist.
2:09 a.m. Facebook post: Everyone get out of pulse and keep running
Witness Ivry Mcneal told the Sentinel, “People were running everywhere. Gunshots were going off. People were ducking.”
For three hours, police gathered outside. Victims bled out and died. Others lay in agony. Those who could run, ran, and the rest hid in terror. Pulse has a no-gun policy, and Florida law prohibits concealed carry in establishments that serve alcohol as their primary business. As in most mass shooting cases, the victims were sheep, with no way to fight the wolf.
Contrast this with the shooting in Tel-Aviv last week. Those terrorists had fully-automatic weapons (AK-47’s), but were fought off by mall security (which in Israel is a serious business), and other armed people on the street. Israel has no Second Amendment and incredibly strict gun laws, but they understand the concept of an armed population. In terms of terror attacks, guns save lives.
— Sequence Media Group (@SequenceMG) June 8, 2016
When you are in a night club at 2 a.m. and a heavily-armed terrorist walks in, the police cannot save you. A lone off-duty officer serving as bouncer probably cannot save you. But you, correctly armed and trained, can save you and many others.
The answer is not to attempt an impossible “make America gun-free” campaign. The answer is to recognize that facing terrorist attacks in “soft target” public places, that people who safely carry guns save lives.
How many lives could have been saved in Orlando if those who were shot didn’t have to wait three hours? We don’t know, but spare me the stupid and dishonorable rhetoric about machine guns and “49 people gone in 60 seconds.”