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The Orlando shooting will change nothing. Except one thing.

Massacre after massacre, nothing ever changes. This time may be different—unfortunately.


 

After a mass shooting, the police often talk about the cell phones.

People drop them in the crush of bodies as they’re fleeing the restaurant or movie theatre or nightclub. Or they may be frantically dialling for help when they are shot, and they fall, still holding the phones in their hand. And when the suspect is killed, and when the wounded have been found and evacuated, the police walk silently among the blood and the bodies. But the phones keep ringing. In the pockets and hands of the dead, on the floor among the carnage, texts and calls keep coming in, as loved ones beg and pray for an answer.

Like you, I suspect, I am numb to the mass shootings. Even one on the scale of Orlando does little to move me. In this case, more than 50 people were killed, making it the worst mass murder in American history. And another 50 were wounded, at the hands of a lone gunman with a Muslim name and allegedly radical connections. Once again, he used the AR-15, increasingly the weapon of choice for these tragedies. And, once again, I find it hard to care the way I should.

I will read the news stories. I will watch the inevitable address from the President. I will listen to one pundit argue for more guns while the other argues they need to be banned. And I may even wade into the reaction columns (like this one), explaining why the solutions aren’t simple, why this was about terror, or hate, or mental health.

Dozens of people died in terror and pain. I should feel more human horror. But there have been just too many massacres. This is the 11th mass shooting this week. There have been 133 in the year to date. You can’t keep reacting, week after week. Inevitably, you stop paying attention. Eventually, these are no longer tragedies—they’re just background noise.

But then I think of the cell phones. And every time I do, I almost cry. And I get angry and upset as I see the numbers are really people and their deaths hurt so many. And then, to be nakedly honest, I move on because there is nothing I can do about it. And, nothing you or we can do about it either. Not even President Obama, possibly the most powerful political leader in the world can stop the ringing.

MORE: The sad, familiar ritual of the mass shooting in America

Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Every attempt at gun control has been effectively opposed by the National Rifle Association and blocked by Congress. After the Sandy Hook massacre, when 20 children no older than seven years of age were killed in their classrooms, many thought this was the shock America needed. Many argued that no civilized nation could tolerate shooting children.

But they were wrong. And what is worse is that these deaths by mass killing are only a small fraction of those who die from guns every year. So far, in 2016, more than 200 people have been killed by mass shootings. That is only a small subset of the approximately 5,600 victims of homicide by firearm. And that is only about half the number of victims who used firearms to commit suicide.

Even these horrifying numbers are not enough to motivate action on gun control.

So the bodies keep falling, the phones keep ringing, and there is no reason to believe Orlando, the worst gun massacre in American history, will change anything, with one unfortunate exception: This killing comes in the midst of the presidential race, only six weeks after Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee.

Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY on Monday April 18, 2016. (Jabin Botsford/Washington Post/Getty)

Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY on Monday April 18, 2016. (Jabin Botsford/Washington Post/Getty)

Trump has risen on a wave of fear: fear of social change, of unemployment, of other races, and of terror. He has vilified Islam and immigrants. And he has screamed that government must do more to stop America from being attacked. And he has been purposely vague about what that “more” would be. He has suggested dropping more bombs, including on the families of terrorists, and he has promised a bigger military and more support to police. But Trump has avoided any specifics, which makes it difficult to effectively argue he won’t be able to help—because we just don’t know what he might do.

We can expect that, in the days ahead, Trump will do everything he can to capitalize on this. He has already congratulated himself for “being right.” He will increase the rhetoric, further vilifying Islam and immigrants. He will make more vague promises and accuse the Democrats of being soft and weak. And millions of Americans will think about Orlando, and Trump, and who they will vote for in November.

So the only thing the Orlando massacre changes is that it makes it much more likely Donald Trump will be elected President. Many predicted the gun culture would be the undoing of America, but how many of us imagined it would happen like this?


 

The Orlando shooting will change nothing. Except one thing.

  1. So-nothing has changed over the last 8 years except gun violence has gotten worse. Obama comes out on cue and and sends condolences and nothing changes. He is totally ineffective. The status quo is hopeless. You can see why followers of Trump and Sanders are sick and tired of the status quo.

    • What is Obama supposed to do about it?

      • He is supposed to make things happen. By hook or by crook, by coercion, by negotiating, by horse trading, by arm twisting, by thinking he is supposed to come up with an answer. Thats what great leaders do. They find solutions. Obama is weak and helpless and has no idea on how to solve the problem. He has given up. He is in over his head.

        • He’s been trying. But he’s been blocked every time by the Republicans who control Congress and Senate. The President is nowhere near as powerful as people seem to think – and the American people idiotically hamstrung him by electing the other party to both Houses.

      • Well something for sure! He does nothing and the bodies keep mounting! Obama is a weak leader and as a UK citizen I bitterly resent his “view” that the UK should become a servant of the EU. I hate the guy! He doesn’t come up with answers – only insulting comments. Our country is being destroyed by being in the EU which strangles us and all Obama can offer is threats to our traditional mutual affiliation. All I can say is Stand in our shoes – lose your democracy – how would you feel?

        • You expect a politician to have all the easy answers.
          Wow- that is what Hitler, Mussolini, and Trump have promised.
          Those who do not learn from history, my friend.

      • Well something for sure! He does nothing and the bodies keep mounting! Obama is a weak leader and as a UK citizen I bitterly resent his “view” that the UK should become a servant of the EU. I hate the guy! He doesn’t come up with answers – only insulting comments. Our country is being destroyed by being in the EU which strangles us and all Obama can offer is threats to our traditional mutual affiliation. All I can say is Stand in our shoes – lose your democracy – how would you feel?

        • I don’t know why my post has been posted twice. Nothing to do with me. Sorry! Some host problem?

        • Congress and much of the American population are opposed to any form of gun control

          The US is a democracy.

          There is nothing Obama can do about it

          • As usual, you don’t know what you are talking about emily. The US is not a democracy. The US is a republic. Try again.

          • Ark2….Literacy is your friend

            re·pub·lic
            rəˈpəblik/
            noun
            noun: republic; plural noun: republics

            a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.

          • Sorry emily, but you can’t BS your way out of this. A democracy is not the same thing as a republic. Do some research instead of spouting of your ignorant blather. For someone that posts on this site as much as you, you think you would at least accidentally post something that is correct once in a while… Not so I am afraid.

          • So google it. yourself….that’s where the definition comes from

          • emily, your ignorance is astounding. A democracy is not a republic. These are two different things. Under a democracy, the majority rule. Under a republic, government (which is elected by the people) is constrained by the law, i.e. the Constitution. Gun control is opposed because many of the forms proposed by Democrats violate the Second Amendment, and would therefore be unconstitutional. If the US were a democracy, the Constitution wouldn’t matter, because the majority of the people could simply decide that they disagree with it, and the law would be changed. Do you understand now? Instead of copying and pasting a word that you can’t even be bothered to comprehend, Google “democracy vs. republic”. There are countless articles and videos online that explain the difference, I would suggest you give them a chance.

          • Ark 2

            Stop reading the Freeper site. It will warp your mind

            Canada is a constitutional monarchy, AND a federation AND a democracy

            The US is a republic AND a democracy

            Get a dictionary and stop making things up

      • What has Obama done about it?

        Well, he has continued the militarization of racist US local police forces to increase their capability to mow down young black men in the street without trial.

        He rains down drown missiles on a multitude of countries, waging war without Congressional approval. Some of those targets are American citizens, who he executes without trial.

        He created several new fail states, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and facilitated the creation of ISIS with Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

        He is responsible for the mass migrations of refugees to Europe from Africa and the Middle East as a consequence of all the failed states he created.

        He prosecuted not a single bankster for the economic crimes which caused the Great Recession, and he bailed them all out.

        He has legalized and expanded Bush’s surveillance state.

        I think Obama has done quite enough.

    • You know that Obama has been stopped at every turn by the Republicans in the House and Senate.
      God knows he has tried to do something.

      • Obama’s Presidency started in 2008. Democrats had control of the House until 2011 and the Senate until 2015. Next excuse?

  2. You certainly have captured my feelings on this topic since Sandy Hook. I watched the President’s speech and it was clear through his tone and body language about the choices American’s have made to date on guns. In terms of the politics for POTUS – one tries to understand the factors that have now led to the current situation.

  3. ‘Gun culture’ is what it is. In Texas, the gun rack seems to be a standard option for pick-up tracks. Worse, they typically contain two or more long guns for everyday driving; one has to wonder why they are not safely locked up in a gun safe when not required for immediate use? Presumably, the ammo is under the drivers seat! Even in Ontario I have been shot at twice: once by ill-advised target shooters and once by American deer hunters who saw us enter the bush not 50 yards away and, based on rate of fire, were using modified weapons and over-sized clips. I was taught to make every shot count and take time to think about were you’re shooting; deer hunting was supposed to be normally a single shot affair not a conflagration. The point is fire arms are dangerous and must be used with greatest of care: I can’t imagine that anyone should have one without significant training and testing. As for military grade weapons, as experience shows even trained military personnel (i.e. professionals) have incidents.
    Proper and responsible gun use for those who wish to do it is not a restriction of anyone’s freedom: rights must be balanced by responsibility. Perhaps the problem starts with how individuals exercise the right to vote.

    • I cannot imagine ever travelling in the US again.

  4. Saying the president does nothing and is weak betrays one’s lack of understanding of the American electoral system. Unlike the parliamentary system we have in Canada where the prime minister represents the party with the most seats in the House, in the States you can have an elected Democrat president with both a house of representatives and a senate dominated by the Republicans. Add to that the fact that the Republicans decided from the first day of Obama’s election that they would oppose EVERYTHING the Democratic party wanted to do “just because” and you get gridlock of the kind never before seen in the States.

    A few weeks ago, I watched a docudrama on how Democratic President Lyndon Johnson brought in equal rights legislation in the 60s. It clearly showed how he could not have done so, had he not been able to convince some Republicans to vote for it too. It was a real tour de force, but it would have been impossible today. Even if Obama suggested all guns be made legal for everyone without any background checks whatsoever the Republicans would vote against it. That’s how much they hate Obama. Why? Because he’s black. Simple as that.

    And yes, I fear that hate monger imbecile will win the US elections.

    • Exactly- most Americans (and Canadians) don’t even understand the complex American voting system
      But when you have the Republican party promising NOT to approve anything that Obama proposes- you have complete chaos.
      Unless the Democrats can gain control- and they hold their noses(if necessary) and elect Clinton, they are doomed to more civil unrest and killings.
      What is the death toll from gun violence so far this year, I wonder.

  5. So, some facts are in order. First of all, Mateen was a licensed to purchase and carry firearms. Even stricter gun laws would not have stopped him from purchasing a weapon because of his employment with a firm contracted to Homeland Security. Second, Florida is a concealed carry state. However, gays fall into the category of people who are among the least likely to concealed carry. The nightclub was a soft target.
    Thirdly, despite him being on an FBI watch list for thee years, it’s apparent that the forces of political correctness protected him from deeper scrutiny. There are multiple links on Drudge. I suggest you read them.
    Fourth, the targeting of a gay nightclub appears to have been well thought out. Much more emphasis of the tragedy has been on the sexual orientation of the victims and far, far less on the religious ideology of the killer. Contrast this with the fixation on Dylann Roof’s posing with a Confederate flag before he murdered 9 black Christians. If Omar Mateen had killed 50 pro-lifers meeting in the basement of a Baptist church, the CNN talking heads would be discussing how fundamentalist Christians had brought this upon themselves. The eleventh commandment of modern liberal journalism is, and apparently will remain, “Thou shalt not discuss the 600 lb Islamist gorilla in the room.”
    Fifth, guns. Guns do kill people. However, what kinds of of people kill people with guns? Well, it’s very politically incorrect to discuss that. You see, the largest group of Americans who are killed by guns are black people, and almost all of them are killed by other black people. Most black youths, and yes the majority of those killed with guns are male black youths and young men, killed by guns are involved with crime and are killed by other black youths also involved with crime. They are killed with guns in largest numbers in the cities where it is the hardest to get a gun in the first place. They are killed in greatest numbers in cities that have been run by Democrats for 50, 60, and 70 years. They are killed in greatest numbers in the cities that have pursued the kinds of social policies put forth by the likes of Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, Barbara Boxer, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and of course Barack Obama. Much of America’s gun crime problems are the direct result of people like that. In the space of a few decades, more young black men have been shot and killed by other young black men in Chicago alone than all the young black men lynched in the US since the end of the Civil War. Almost all have been killed by a gun obtained illegally by someone who was already legally enjoined from owning a gun. Think. About. That.
    Sixth, guns. Who doesn’t kill people with guns? Members of the NRA, for example. An NRA membership actually means your are less likely to be either the victim or perpetrator of a gun crime. Concealed carry holders are less likely than a random member of society to either shoot or be shot. White Christians are disproportionately less likely to be involved in a gun crime. So are Jews. People who don’t involve themselves with any kinds of criminal behaviors are extremely less likely to be involved in a shooting. People who live in a particular Texas county with the highest percentage of legal gun permit holders in the USA are the least likely people in America to experience firearms violence.
    So yes, let’s focus on the fact that the victims were gays, this time. Let’s wring our hands and focus on the easy access to guns. Let’s ignore, at the same time, the fact that the killer was an ideologically motivated Muslim, something that would not be done if he had been a Christian. Let’s ignore the fact that the killer was legally empowered to purchase firearms by his employment status. Let’s ignore the fact that it’s extremely likely that political correctness got in the way of at least two federal agencies who were fully aware of his ideological proclivities.
    Let’s ignore that stuff because it doesn’t fit the narrative that too many liberals in a too-liberal media want us to accept.

    • You’re eating those little green pills again, arncha……

    • So your solution, then, is what? Arm everyone? Require all US residents to carry a weapon at all times, and fine those not packin’ heat?

      • I’m not suggesting we arm everyone. However, the idea that somehow disarming the millions of law-abiding gun owners, while doing nothing about those who commit crimes with firearms is beyond ludicrous. We’ve been there, done that, and bought ourselves a very expensive t-shirt in the process.
        What would you solve if you confiscated every legally owned handgun in Chicago or Baltimore or Orlando? The exact same number of 15 year-old kids on the south side of Chicago will get shot the day after you do that as the day before. Will the next Freddie Gray think twice about trying to acquire a Browning Hi-Power because the fine for unlawfully transporting a gun to and from the gun range has been tripled, and the fees for legal acquisition for people with no criminal backgrounds have been doubled? No. Because none of that will apply to him.
        Strict gun laws did not save Jane Creba, and the all of those complicit in her shooting had legal enjoinders that specifically prohibited them from owning weapons. At the same time, there is little effort or appetite for harshly punishing those who choose to engage in gun crime while unlawfully possessing a firearm. Just as any one of a dozen individuals who WILL shoot someone in Chicago tonight or tomorrow will not likely be prosecuted for anything beyond attempted murder should they be caught, we failed to charge or prosecute Dorothy Joudrie for any one of half a dozen of the federal firearms she was guilty of committing when she was tried for the attempted murder of her husband.
        What is the point of anti-gun laws if they are not pursued with diligence? If you are not going to charge gun crime perps separately on the actual gun charges when they commit violence, then the laws are less than pointless. We have allowed that situation to become the norm here as well as in the states.
        It’s not like you can walk down to the 7/11 and buy an AR-15 in Orlando. However, you can buy an AR-15 and shoot up a nightclub if you are licensed to carry firearms as part of your employment, and are on an FBI watch list, if the FBI is hamstrung by the tenets of political correctness.
        And just so you know, for less money than an AR-15, you can pick up a semi-auto .22 just like lots of people use to shoot gophers, complete with a 10-shot mag. Loaded up with high-energy “varmint ammo” such as a farmer might use against coyotes and magpies, it will be every bit as lethal in a tight space such as “Pulse” as Mateen’s much maligned “assault rifle.”

        • “despite him being on an FBI watch list for thee years, it’s apparent that the forces of political correctness protected him from deeper scrutiny.”

          “while doing nothing about those who commit crimes with firearms is beyond ludicrous.”

          Making stuff up is not an argument.

        • American gun culture is sick. This is supposedly a peaceful country (at least at home) – and yet the rate of gun violence is off the charts.
          Attempting to use the NRA arguments of the ‘good guys with guns” is specious and harmful.
          I will never set foot in that country again- and I used to enjoy visiting it.

  6. Well that’s “ONE” opinion in this article, obviously a one sided anti_Trump opinion.

    Obviously Millions of Americans AND Canadians may disagree with you, that does NOT mean you’re right, and the rest are wrong.Electing Hillary, is re-electing Obama.
    has anyone noticed the timeline of Islamist American/ soil attacks appeared with the Obama administration ?
    or is that just me ?
    time for a stronger leader, someone who will stop America being walked on by fear. and the Canadian leaders statement of ” fear doesn’t make us stronger” forgot his Canadian science classes where we were taught, “Fear makes the species survive by knowing when to fight, and when to run” HMMMNN, seems like an important detail Justin !!!! perhaps a little less drama acting classes, and more known science ?

    • “has anyone noticed the timeline of Islamist American/ soil attacks appeared with the Obama administration ?
      or is that just me ?”

      That’s just you. Or don’t you count 9/11?

      • Apparently terrorism magically appeared when Obama was elected.

  7. Scott: Let me tell you what I think. You say nothing changed, how about the dozens of lives, cut short, in their prime? What about the instant change for the hundreds of family members, and friends of these poor people? They have ‘changed’ forever. What about the rest of the LGBT community, and while I hope this isn’t true, what about the terror they are living with right now? Maybe they thought that society was closer to accepting them as being people just like everyone else, with the same rights as everyone else? But then this horrific incident might also have changed that. It is very easy for people that only hear about, and are not directly involved in these terrible tragedies to become numb or seemingly unaffected by it. But we all are, and whether it be a nightclub in Florida, a restaurant in Paris, or anywhere else for that matter, we are all affected by it, in a profound way. God Bless these victims, and all those affected by it. With much love from Canada ♥

    • The really pathetic thing is that this carnage was caused by 1 person full of hate who was offended because two men kissed in front of his son. This person should have left the US because he was intolerant of the rights that his fellow citizens are assured of under the laws of the country. Instead of leaving, he armed himself with an assault rifle and gunned down 100 unarmed individuals. He was a coward. He didn’t face others who were also armed. He has ruined not only the lives of all of his victims and their families but also the lives of his own family including his innocent son. The problem I have with this gun culture is that advocates of gun ownership seem to believe the answer is to arm more people. That only if the teachers were armed, the children would be safe. If only the theatre goers were armed, the batman shoter would have been taken down. The truth is, there are so many killed in friendly fire during wars, it is a given that more armed individuals would cause even more deaths as well meaning but poorly trained citizens would undoubtedly end up shooting one another in their efforts to kill this psychopathic gunman. For those who advocate gun ownership, I do not understand how they can support the sales of assault rifles for sports hunting. When the criminals have access to better guns than the military or the police, how can it be a good thing?

      • Note in my previous comment about how there is no difference in close quarters lethality between an AR-15 and a Winchester 490 or Savage 64F. They look radically different, but work the very same way. However, there is still the 2nd Amendment to consider.
        Some Americans, including Hillary Clinton, are advocating for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Like Obama, Hillary has also occasionally expressed disdain for other articles of the Constitution, such as the 1st Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech. How far down that rabbit hole do you want to go?
        There’s another avenue of the 2nd Amendment that requires exploring. In Canada, we routinely bar those with a criminal conviction from owning a firearm of any sort. This happens to a far lesser extent in the United States. There’s a good reason for this. The Constitution guarantees citizens the free exercise of ALL rights and that they cannot be deprived of such rights except through due process of law.
        Think about that. That means that even those with a criminal conviction can legally purchase firearms. Despite that Constitutional guarantee, millions of Americans are legally prohibited from owning a firearm. This is Constitutionally shakey ground. Millions of those people actually do possess firearms. (See: Chicago, Baltimore, Atlanta crime stats).
        Now, ask yourself this question: Do we take typewriters and keyboards away from those convicted of criminal acts? Pens? Paper and pencils? Do we ban them from speaking in public? No. We demand that those convicted of almost any crime retain the right to vote. In Canada, we demand that prisoners have access to the same kinds of health care that law-abiding citizens have access to.
        So, when people such as Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama (notice it’s always Democrats down there, and “progressives” up here?) lobby for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment, or simply advocate for the abrogation of 2nd Amendment rights for those convicted of a crime, some of us get understandably nervous.
        Rights, especially in the traditional sense of negative rights, should never be subject to legislative whims. When rights are fluid, as they have become under our deeply flawed Constitution, or are seen as positive rights as they are in the progressive mindset, then they are not rights at all. They are simply privileges, subject to the whims of the day, and to be bought.and sold for electoral favor.
        Sure, there is a problem with gun violence in the USA. However, it mainly affects a very small subset of the general population in a very disproportionate manner. That violence could be addressed by simple, forthright, and diligent prosecution of all gun use violations when they occur. As I said earlier, when a gang-banger on Chicago’s south side shoots up the neighborhood bodega, you process the gun crime separately from the violent act, and you process and pursue every single statute broken. If the various levels of justice aren’t prepared to do that, then what’s the point?
        After all, the same people who routinely decry the failed war on drugs are almost always the same people who are calling for a legislated end to gun crime. Then let’s demand just that. Quit fighting the failed war on drugs and use those resources to enforce existing legislation against the unlawful acquisition and use of firearms.
        No new legislation is required. All that’s required is the diligent and Constitutionally sound application of existing law. What would be wrong with that?

        • Oh my. That is some creative writing.

          Mostly black people are killed by guns, so there is no need to restrict them? And the problem is no one prosecutes them? Got anymore interesting “facts” to assist with this argument? (What would be really cool is if you actually backed any of this nonsense up).

          In any event, your understanding of how a constitution works is deeply deeply flawed. Rights that are enshrined in the constitution, either in Canada or the US, cannot simply be removed through legislation. There must be amendments, and those amendments require a democratic process.

          Though it is interesting that you seem to think it is OK for people convicted of crimes to have access to killing machines, but that they should not have the right to vote (they retain their right to vote in Canada, but they lose that right in the US).

          • You’re the one who needs to check your facts. Many leading Democrats have called for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Many in the Democratic Party have also expressed a willingness to simply override the 2nd Amendment. That type of behavior places ALL constitutionally guaranteed rights at risk. If the federal government can willfully disregard the 2nd Amendment, what’s to stop them from willful disregard of the 1st, the 4th, and the 10th Amendments?
            If you delve into it, you’ll find that places like New York, Chicago, and LA- three cities with very high per capita incidences of gun crime- are among the lowest on the scale for prosecuting federal gun crimes, while places like Alaska and Kansas are at the top of the list. Among the federal gun crimes that go unprosecuted in Chicago are illegal possession of a firearm in a school zone, or the illegal sale of a firearm to a juvenile, a felon, or a drug addict.
            There’s a problem with that. How do more restrictive gun laws stop a juvenile felon from selling unlawful firearms to drug addict in a school zone when it’s already illegal and it’s already not stopping them because they’re not being prosecuted for it?
            As for race? You can’t ignore it. Black males in America are 4 times more likely to be shot and killed by another person as white males. A white male is far more likely to be shot and killed by a black male than a black male by a white man, including a police officer. Coincidentally, a white male is still statistically more likely to be shot by a police officer than a black male. Digest that. You also can’t ignore the impact of 50 and 60 years of “social progress.”
            I’ve said it before, and you need to do the homework, because I have; show me a black man killed in the streets in some random act of thug violence, and I’ll show you a black man who lived in a city controlled by Democrats for 50 or 60 years. I’ll show you a black man victimized by decades of “progressive” social policy. The ten American cities with the highest rates of black-on-black violence and murder are cities that have diligently and ruthlessly pursued so-called progressive social policies that have led to the impoverishment of black America and the destruction of the black American family structure. That impact is so profound, if you take the murder stats of Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago, Atlanta, St. Louis, and LA out of the American crime stats, you find that the murder rate in the USA is almost indistinguishable from Canada’s.
            What that says is race-based social policies have real-world negative consequences. It forces the other question: How does attacking the 2nd Amendment rights of the people of Montana keep the people of Baltimore from shooting each other?
            Which leads us back to rights. Again, if you’re willing to accept the abrogation of the 2nd Amendment in order to try and reduce gun crime, are you willing to allow the abrogation of others? Would you allow the 1st Amendment be infringed in order to stem the tide of Islamic violence, should it grow worse? What if I said I was okay with laws restricting the right of communist and Marxist-oriented groups, such as the Tides Foundation, from political and environmental activism? They’re just as dangerous to me as any wild man with an AR-15.
            In Canada, as in the USA, there are no constitutionally guaranteed rights that we permanently remove from individuals once they have served the sentence of a crime. With the exception of habitual violent offenders, we don’t remove mobility rights, or the right to vote, or run for and hold public office. We don’t take away their freedom of speech, or the right to practice the religion of their choice (even though we have found the temerity to place restrictions upon religious faith in some matters), or the right to assembly and the freedom to expound publicly on public issues. However, we have found it favorable to severely restrict the rights of individuals who have no history of violence or unlawful behaviors of any sort to purchase weapons which they might use for either sport or for the protection of their property and persons, simply because some people are terrified of the mere prospect of gun violence.
            When we set politicians such as Kathleen Wynne, Rachel Notley, or Justin Trudeau loose upon the land (or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama), then all those other rights become far more nebulous than just the rights of gun ownership.

          • Don’t you hate reading a vertical column of letters..

          • All I have done is asked you to source your facts. You have refused. That is to be expected when you make stuff up.

        • The problem with the 2nd amendment is that people feel unsafe unless they are armed. We saw this in Calgary when a US police officer wrote to our newspaper complaining that he and his wife were approached in a park by two gentlemen who asked them if they had visited the Calgary Stampede (he and his wife were actually visiting Calgary for the stampede). Despite it being the middle of the day and the park being busy, he felt intimidated and told them to go away which they did. He lamented that he felt frightened and so did his wife. He laid the blame for his fears at the feet of Canada’s restrictive gun laws. He couldn’t pack his pistol. As it turned out, the Calgary chamber of Commerce had hired the young men to hand out free Stampede tickets in the park that day. The US off duty cop wanted to pull a gun on the young men who just wanted to give he and his wife free tickets to the Stampede. Calgarians thought it was hilarious but it really isn’t when one considers how many times parents shoot their own children or neighbours dressed up in Halloween costumes. It is a culture where on feels they had better draw and shoot first because the other guy is likely armed and will shoot them if they don’t. We don’t have this in Canada and it doesn’t exist in other countries either because people aren’t packing pistols as a regular practice. The 2nd amendment has created a “shoot first” mentality. It isn’t that mass shootings don’t occur in other countries. It is that everyday shootings of mothers driving cars by their toddler in back seat don’t happen. You can’t defend it because it has become indefensible.

  8. It turns out Mateen was on a federal terrorist watch list and like 2,265 other people on the list who wanted to buy guns or explosives (91% who applied) was given permission by the FBI to buy firearms. That would seem to make his two Florida gun licences and the two background checks done to be a security guard irrelevant.

    Is this case evidence that more gun laws are needed? Only that people who are on terrorist watch lists ought to not to be able to buy guns and explosives legally. I expect most people would be shocked to find that wasn’t already the case.

  9. Who would have imagined it would be like this.
    .
    Amazing insight. One of the best pieces I’ve ever read. Thank you.

  10. “Many predicted the gun culture would be the undoing of America.”

    How many? As many as predicted the undoing of America would be gangs, drugs, the welfare state, the counter culture, globalization, free trade or military adventures?

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