The media is reporting the event as “the deadliest mass shooting in US history.” Other headlines are some form of “Shooter targets LGBT nightclub.” And already calls are coming to push for new gun laws, because “people shouldn’t have dangerous guns.”
The shooting in a Florida nightclub was certainly tragic, and we need to do something to prevent future violence. But I think many people are missing something here. Current reports indicate that the shooter called 911 and told the dispatcher that he had pledged allegiance to ISIS. At least one witness stated that the shooter shouted “allahu akbar” during his rampage. We hear about how this shooting is the worst mass shooting ever, but not about how it’s the worst terrorist attack on US soil since September 11th. Or the third worst terrorist attack to ever occur on US soil, behind September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombings.
And yet many are taking to the streets and social media to call for more gun laws.
As a side note, many are calling for a ban on “assault rifles” and “automatic weapons,” which is funny because I didn’t realize that the NFA had been repealed… Just a heads up, if you want to “have a reasonable discussion” on something, or even scream about it to others, it helps to at least know a little bit about what you’re saying. But that’s not my focus here.
I could point out that the shooter passed a NICS background check, the same check that many have been pushing to require for all firearms transfers. We could discuss how the shooter had a license to be a security guard. Or how the company that employed him did work for government agencies, and he likely passed far stricter background checks than what most politicians have ever considered for gun owners. I could discuss all of that, but it’s been done before. Facts don’t seem to matter to some, so let me move on, and ask a simple question.
My question is, what if we treated our other rights like so many do with the right to bear arms? What if instead of banning guns, some used this event as a reason to ban the practice of Islam? Well, we have the First Amendment to stop that from happening. But what if we don’t ban it, just restrict it? You know, no praying, mosques, or head scarves? After all, surely all “reasonable” muslims want to prevent future violence, right? Just think of all those that are hurt and killed by the “dangerous” forms of Islam… Think of the children!
Well, we can’t do that. Because we have a constitutional amendment to protect the rights of people, even if some people don’t like those rights.
But what about voting? Back in the 1930s people voted Adolf Hitler into power. And Hitler caused World War II and the Holocaust. Voting has literally killed millions of people, way more than any mass shooter ever has. Let’s ban voting! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
But no, despite that incident, we still have the right to vote (and despite what some would like, that means everyone, even the idiots). We don’t let one event determine what rights we have. We don’t let the actions of few dictate our fundamental rights.
So before you tell me that we need to ban guns, even if it’s only the REALLY DANGEROUS guns, please go reread the Bill of Rights. It’s been said before, but apparently needs to be said again: Rights are not up for a vote. There have been some through history that haven’t liked women or blacks voting, but that hasn’t changed the law. There are some that don’t like Islam, but it’s still legal to practice in the United States. So go ahead and dislike the fact that I carry a gun. It isn’t going to stop me.