Senate Democrats are pointlessly pushing for more gun control tonight in the wake of the Islamic terrorist attack in Orlando last Sunday, even though they knew the laws they want wouldn’t have made the least bit of difference. It’s cynical political grandstanding of the worst sort, as they seek to vote again on bills that have already been voted upon previously in order to push their own personal political agendas.
Put bluntly, it’s about their egos and political aspirations, not your protection.
There are steps that can be taken to protect you against an attack similar to what we saw in Orlando, but you won’t find them coming from President Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Democrats in the House and Senate. Sadly, you aren’t likely to see then from Donald Trump or the Republican House and Senate, either.
You’re going to need to go to your state legislatures to get laws passed that would actually give people a fighting chance in the event of another Islamic terror attack like we saw in Orlando, or the 2015 Islamic terror attacks in Paris, or the 2013 Islamic terror attacks on Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, or the 2008 Islamic terror attacks in Mumbai, India.
Passing more laws restricting access to firearms is a non-starter. The most successful attacks in the world have all occurred where concealed carry is entirely illegal and civilian access to firearms is incredibly rare.
Schools, malls, concerts halls, theme parks, and other densely populated public venues are almost universally non-permissive environments (NPEs) where the carrying of firearms is completely outlawed by either state law or the company policy. The Homeland Security Institute at Purdue University has done research which shows the presence of armed officers is part of the threat mitigation process. Mass murderers of all strips may be insane, but they’re rarely stupid; they want to carry out their attacks where they can rack up the highest possible number of victims before authorities can arrive. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, 96.2% of all mass killers targeted so-called “gun free zones.” Providing armed security is the first step in hardening soft targets, by having someone on site trained with active shooter training to close with and engage terrorist threats.
One of the other revelations of the Homeland Security Institute’s modeling of active shooter events in schools was that the most effective threat mitigation occurred when there was a combination of an active armed response and passive armed defense. In schools, armed school resource officers close with and engage threats (as they’ve done so successfully at Reynolds High School in 2014 and Arapahoe High School in 2013), while concealed carrying faculty and staff provide passive defense, locking doors and establishing ambush positions to engage threats attempting to come through the door from a superior tactical position.
This model is easily extended from schools to malls and other public venues by simply striking down failed laws that established “gun free zones” that mass killers and terrorists clearly favor as targets. These venues can employ a small number of permanent security, but can leverage the ever-growing number of concealed carriers by simply striking down laws that establish gun free zones.
Laws in each state vary widely in their policies on whether or not concealed carriers can carry in establishments which serve alcohol, with three primary models being employed nationwide. Some states do not allow the carry of firearms anywhere alcohol is served. Others do not allow concealed carry where 51% of the revenue is derived from sales of alcoholic beverages, such as bars. Other states have no restrictions on where you can carry, but have restrictions on whether or not you can consume alcohol while carrying a firearm, and if so, how much.
There does not appear to be any correlation suggesting that more restrictive states have fewer incidents of armed violence in places where alcohol is served, and those states where you can even drink while armed. There is not “wild west” effect be removing dangerous restrictions that leave citizens as sitting ducks.
Striking the balance between the two is a simple matter of allowing people who refrain from drinking to carry concealed in places where alcohol is served, such as bars. The designated drivers in any given location would also have the option of being armed. Florida has more than 1.3 million concealed carriers, or more than 8% of their population. If just one in eight of those concealed carriers carried when they went to bars, then a crowd the size of the Pulse in Orlando might have had three concealed carriers in the club in addition to the off-duty officer providing security.
Clearly, the Islamic terrorist engaging an armed officer and three unknown concealed carriers in a building with 300 people in it would have had a much lower chance of successfully carrying out his attack when all it would have taken is one of those four armed souls engaging the terrorist’s attention and allowing one of the other ones to close the distance and kill the terrorist with a point-blank shots in the first seconds to minutes of the attack, not hours later.
The Islamic terror attack on Orlando made it obvious to other would-be “lone wolves” that venues who lack competent armed security and who ban lawful concealed carry are ripe targets, easily exploited.
We need to change our laws to better afford citizens the opportunity to defend themselves. If government cannot do that, then government has no legitimate reason to exist..