I was traveling yesterday when I learned about the horrific terrorism attack at the Orlando, FL gay nightclub, Pulse, that left 50 dead and 53 wounded (Update: the 50 dead figure includes the shooter). Since then I’ve seen numerous postings on social media from the right and the left about this massacre. I wanted to share some brief thoughts on this.
Here are four points to consider.
First, I join millions of those praying for the families of the victims of those who died, and for those who were wounded. Their sexual orientation matters not to me. They fell prey to a savage attack which they did not deserve regardless of how anyone feels about their lifestyle. I stand in support of the Orlando victims as I would any victim of a terrorist attack. So I encourage our readers to pray and find ways to support the Orlando victims (and families). Christ has called us to love, and this is one way we can stand in the gap for those in need. Right now we should focus on mourning with those who mourn.
Second, ultimately what motivated this attack is sin. We live in a sinful, broken world. As long as we live in a sinful broken world we will see violent acts like this. Whether this took place because the shooter was an unstable man who hated homosexuals or because he wanted to take part in jihad in the name of Islamic State (there is evidence of both) it is a deplorable act to be condemned.
Third, ultimately we need sin control, not gun control. Here’s the rub with the shooter, Omar Mateen, he didn’t have a criminal record. He was employed with a large security firm. No gun control measure discussed or introduced would have kept weapons out the hands of Mateen. Investigations do not show up on background checks, and frankly do not matter since he was never charged or convicted of a crime. We do not and can not infringe on one’s rights without due process. No gun control measures that has currently been discussed would have kept guns out of the hands of someone dead set on committing a violent act.
Fourth, this serves as a reminder that we must be vigilant in age of terrorism. This kind of scenario, a lone wolf gunman, can be repeated over and over. We can not depend on anyone else to protect us. Most shooting events are over or have already multiple victims before the police can respond. We need more trained, responsible citizens with carry permits, not less.