One year ago Monday is the anniversary of the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando, Florida, that took the lives of 49 people. As Florida prepares to mark this solemn anniversary, many groups across the country are debating the cause and the cure of such a cowardly act. Many have claimed that it was a hate crime directed at LGBT individuals, and that greater hate crimes legislation is the answer to such an atrocity. Others claim that Omar Mateen’s shooting spree is indicative of the need for greater gun control restrictions. Each of these answers misses the bigger picture and is doomed to fail preventing future mass killings.
The Pulse night club shooting was an act of radical Islamic terrorism, plain and simple. Mateen’s madness was the result of radicalization inspired by ISIS and a radical imam spouting hatred against the West while living in the United States. This kind of hatred is not merely directed against LGBT individuals; it is anti-western, not merely anti-gay. Passing laws that attempt to compel approval of a particular sexual orientation would do nothing to prevent shootings like the tragedy at Pulse. Conservative Jews and Christians do not engage in killing homosexuals, nor do we condone such evil. Likewise, gun control regulations would not have prevented a madman from getting a gun and killing innocent people.
As we observe the anniversary of the Pulse night club attack, I believe that the answer is two-fold: affirm the 2nd Amendment rights of all Americans and condemn radical Islamic terrorism. While LGBT activists largely regard American conservatives as the enemy, we may have the answers they are looking for in preventing a future Pulse-style attack. The hard truth is that the only thing that would have saved the lives of any of the 49 people killed the morning of June 12th, 2016 is a good guy with a gun. If any of the club-goers that fateful morning had a gun, Mateen could have been stopped before sniffing-out the lives of so many young people.
While it is true that most conservatives, this one included, believe in man-woman marriage, and do not advocate the LGBT agenda, we all respect individual rights. None of us condones hate against LGBT individuals, and we view the victims of the Pulse night club first as fallen fellow Americans, regardless of their sexuality. Affirming the 2nd Amendment, and condemning radical Islamic terrorism and eradicating it from the earth is good for all Americans, regardless of their orientation. If more Americans in the Pulse night club had been CWP carriers, we may not have lost 49 people made in God’s image last summer.