When I woke up and read the news of the Orlando shooting, I was still half asleep, and my first thought was “This can’t happen in America, this isn’t real.” Sadly I was mistaken, and like many Americans, I spent Sunday morning in shock and sadness. We now know a U.S. born radical Muslim with possible ties to ISIS committed the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Rand Paul was quick to offer condolences to the victims of the Orlando shooting, offering his “thoughts and prayers” to the families of the victims, while calling for vigilance.
While Senator Paul was expressing his concern, the media went full retard, quickly vilifying legal gun ownership, and dancing in the blood of innocent people in the interests of making headlines. Hillary and Obama quickly followed suit, using this tragedy to promote undermining of the civil rights of millions of law abiding Americans.
We know the shooter, Omar Mateen, was Muslim; his parents were born in Afghanistan, and he had come to the attention of the FBI for his radical and threatening rhetoric which had previously cost him a job. So what do we have here? We have a man born in the U.S. to immigrant parents who has apparently radicalized and claimed ties to ISIS. We have a brutal killer who gave off all sorts of warning signs of his dangerous radicalization and risk to domestic security. We have an alphabet soup agency that once again dropped the ball when handed a dangerous radical, and we have a system that likely feared pursuing him lest they be labeled racist.
Mateen was a dangerous man who gave clear warning signs, yet our government has shown time and time again that it cannot handle warning signs from any person, regardless of ethnicity or national origin. A dangerous terrorist was allowed to exist because even with evidence, nobody could stop him. This brutal savage abused the open liberties and freedoms of the U.S., and horrified the world with his crime.
Rand Paul is right to call for vigilance in the wake of the Orlando shooting. Vigilance means acting on information, vigilance means recognizing clear cut danger signs, vigilance means stepping up when the alarm bells go off. Vigilance means heading men like Mateen off at the pass before they can act. The tools are in place, no amount of background checks or gun laws will stop a determined terrorist, but vigilance, the eternal vigilance that is the price of liberty can and will stop them. It’s time to take Rand Paul’s advice. Is it time to demand law enforcement take clear cut danger signs more seriously? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Written by Steve Coffman
(Photo courtesy of Alisdare Hickson, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)
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