After The Detroit News added Christopher Andrew Leinonen’s name to the list of victims in the terrorist attack at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL, his father felt compelled to respond.
Mark A. Bando penned a touching letter about his son they called Drew.
In part, the beautiful letter read:
Like his mother, Christopher was very idealistic about the human race, and he did not want to see the evil in the world or even to believe it existed. He used to laugh and joke and tell me I was paranoid, to carry a gun off duty, when I was a Detroit cop. He called me after September 11th, when his world view altered somewhat, after seeing planes fly into the World Trade Center. So he made the giant leap to believing there are evil people in the world, but not far enough to acquaint himself with firearms, or to get a permit to carry. If we’d spent the last 2 decades living in close proximity to each other, I have little doubt I’d have trained him to use a gun. After seeing the Paris massacre last year, I thought, “If only one of the intended victims in that large crowd had been armed, many lives could have been saved.” I also thought, this couldn’t happen in America, because surely, somebody in a large crowd like that would be armed, in the U.S. Wrong, history has repeated itself right here in the USA and my son and 51 others were slaughtered like helpless cattle, precisely because nobody in that club had a weapon to shoot back with.
The killer was armed and his helpless victims were not, yet the anti gun politicians still want to disarm the populace, enabling these scenarios. It is likely such attacks will continue, until the victims start shooting back. That’s the lesson I take from this, for what it’s worth. When the shooting started Saturday night, I’ll bet there wasn’t a person in the club who wouldn’t have traded everything he owned in the world, for a loaded gun.
What a beautiful message from a father and a heartbreaking reminder that we must remain vigilant and armed for self defense and to protect those around us.
You can read Mark’s full letter HERE.