Omar Mateen bought his AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle in Port St. Lucie and drove to Orlando last week. On Sunday, he opened fire at the Pulse night club—killing 49 and wounding, at least, 53 others.
According to the National Rifle Association’s Wayne Lapierre, “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” If only, every man and woman in Pulse had possessed a firearm themselves, because Lapierre says that this is the only effective protection, and Lapierre is an honorable man.
But Ronald Reagan was protected by the finest security detail the world has ever known, armed with Uzi submachine guns and Smith & Wesson Model 66 .357 Magnums loaded with hollow-point rounds. John Hinkley, the would-be assassin, was outnumbered 10:1 by the Presidential Praetorian Guard and still he almost killed the president. Lee Harvey Oswald did kill the president. John Wilkes Booth killed Abraham Lincoln who was guarded by soldiers from the Federal Army. But Wayne Lapierre says that everyone being armed is the only effective protection, and Lapierre is an honorable man.
But surely a military installation, where soldiers are armed to the teeth, must be the safest place in the world against shooters. But then there was Fort Hood in Texas. Army Major Nidal Hasan, an officer and a psychiatrist, killed 13 and wounded 30 more. Wayne Lapierre says that everyone being armed is the only effective protection, and Lapierre is an honorable man.
Omar Mateen legally bought the weapon. Passed background checks. Was born and raised in the United States. No present law and no law being currently proposed would have stopped him from obtaining the AR-15 assault rifle. The model Mateen used was known as the "Black Mamba," and it has a military-spec trigger and a magazine capacity of 30 rounds. And in Florida, one doesn’t even need a permit to buy, own and carry an assault rifle.
The AR-15 is one of the most popular, and most easily obtained, guns in America. In 2013, the National Sports Shooting Foundation estimated that there are somewhere between 5 million and 8.2 million assault weapons in circulation. Thank God, because, according to Wayne Lapierre, everyone being armed is the only effective protection, and Lapierre is an honorable man.
In a culture of violence, protecting ourselves through gun ownership is the most prudent way, right? Because when guns are legal, surely only the good guys will have guns. Is my logic flawed?
If only the good guys had possessed guns, the worst mass-shooting in US history could have been prevented. Right?
There are a few things wrong with that statement. The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham released a story on Sunday, June 12, calling the Pulse massacre “the deadliest mass shooting in US history.” He is wrong. He can be forgiven, I suppose, because he is young…and white. Why else would he forget the mass-shooting of nearly 300 African-Americans in Opelousas, Louisiana, in 1868? Thank the heavens that the “good guys” had all the weapons.
On December 29, 1890, 150-300 disarmed Lakota Sioux men, women and children were massacred at Wounded Knee by the white US Army. Among the white soldiers, 25 were killed and 39 wounded. Oh, yes. They were shot by their fellow soldiers. At least, 20 soldiers were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their “bravery.” Once again, the “good guys” had the firearms, thus supporting Wayne Lapierre saying that the “good guys” being armed is the only effective protection, and Lapierre is an honorable man.
In 1917, in East St. Louis, 250-700 African-Americans were massacred by the white gun-owners. The St. Louis Globe-Democrat reported that 250 African-Americans were shot while fleeing their burning homes which had been set ablaze by the white mobs. All because African-American workers had been hired to replace white workers who had gone on strike.
A white riot erupted on May 28 only to be put down by the National Guard. On July 2, 1917, the violence resumed. African-American men, women, and children were beaten and shot to death. Around six o’ clock that evening, white mobs began to set fire to the homes of black residents. Residents had to choose between burning alive in their homes or run out of the burning houses, only to be met by gunfire. In other parts of the city, white mobs began to lynch African-Americans against the backdrop of burning buildings. As darkness came and the National Guard returned, the violence began to wane.
A year later, an investigation concluded that neither the police nor the National Guard had acted appropriately in the defense of the African-American community. But thank the stars that the white community was protected because they had all the firearms. And that, of course, is the only way for the “good guys” to protect themselves.
A thread begins to emerge. It must be in the very definition of “good guys.” Clearly, when Wayne Lapierre speaks of “good guys” and “bad guys,” he is speaking in terms of “us and them.” “They”, the “bad guys”, are the non-white, non-Christian, non-conservatives.
“Deadliest mass shooting in US history”…only if you’re counting white people. According to Wayne Lapierre, everyone being armed is the only effective protection, and Lapierre is…an idiot.