Most Americans take safety for granted. We walk around unaware of our surroundings; we even text while driving. Once in a while, the real world shouts a painful “wake up!” We pay attention for a while; then we drift back into a kind of entertained stupor, absorbed in virtual attractions. Even intense vigilance and gun laws would not have saved the patrons of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando from the insane security officer who attacked them. I cannot say what family, community, religious, or mental health resources might have identified, diverted, and redirected Omar Mateen’s mindset to health and tolerance.
News of unpredictable, random madness creates justifiable hysteria, especially if it is threatening to people like you. Since the massacre, many LGBT people are buying guns, and seeking concealed hand gun licenses. This is a completely understandable reflection of the community’s generalized fear of attack by “misogaynists,” and religious extremists; naturally, they feel the pressing need for self-defense against such deadly assault. Many have joined millions of Americans who have chosen to be armed citizens. I support their decisions and encourage them to seek professional training, and practice diligently until they can respond to danger effectively. Just owning a gun will not protect you. (See my recent blogs for more ideas.)
Alcohol, sex, and early hours are a dangerous combination under any circumstances; add lethal weapons and really bad things happen.
Licensed gun owners are prohibited from carrying weapons into bars and clubs that get 51% or more of their revenue from alcohol. Usually signs are posted with a watermark “51%” and tiny text to explain the prohibitions. Also, in Texas, the police have zero tolerance for drinking alcohol while carrying a weapon.
In other words, the club in Orlando was off limits to legal guns, and most or all of the patrons were disqualified to carry after they left the club. So,licenses, weapons, and expertise with guns would not have thwarted the tragedy in Orlando.