The worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11 just occurred in Orlando, Florida.

Fifty people were killed and 53 wounded, with some still on the critical list. It is a tragedy that shocked America, and our deepest sympathies go out to the families of the victims.

The media are now discovering much that was, as far as we know, previously unknown about the killer. There is, presently, information reaching the public that seems to indicate the individual committing the horrific act was a Muslim.

This, of course, will generate controversy as to whether or not we should blame “radical Islamists” for such acts of terror, even when their background seems to indicate an association with that religion. Let us be clear: It is manifestly obvious that all Muslims are not terrorists any more than all Christians are Baptists.

There is another issue being discussed passionately. The issue? Gun control. This subject will receive strong support from one group and vehement objections from another. According to many in the mainstream media, the blame should fall on guns and certain American groups like the National Rifle Association and conservatives. Liberals will (and are) committed to the idea that every American should be stripped of their guns and denied the right to own one.

The issue of the perpetrator’s religion – Islam – will be cast aside in favor of the fact that he was able to legally purchase the murder weapons. The argument will be “had he not been able to purchase the guns, no one would have been killed.”

Ergo, their bottom line: Ban guns – eliminate acts of terrorism. Any mention of his association with a religion that promulgates its imposition by force will be deemed Islamophobic and will be seen as biased.

Could this tragedy have been averted or at least mitigated? Obviously, that is a question that cannot be specifically answered, but let us consider another question: What would have happened if a high percentage of the intended victims had themselves been armed?

I have a few questions regarding those who do “keep and bear arms.” I have heard the president’s condemnation of armed Americans, despite the Second Amendment which states, “…right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Unarmed citizens, eh?

I wonder, how many members of the Secret Service guarding the president are unarmed. How many of the Secret Service members who escort his wife and children to various functions are unarmed? How many of the police officers who accompany him/them are unarmed? How many of the police patrolling the White House grounds are unarmed? Are any of the bodyguards or police surrounding the governors and other officials in the president’s presence unarmed? Why aren’t these professionals unarmed? Or, are only those people specifically identified as “the people” in the Constitution “dangerous”?

Could armed American citizens make a difference in crime rates and perhaps reduce the number of people killed or assaulted by criminals, such as in the Orlando massacre? What do criminals themselves think?

A 1985 Department of Justice survey of incarcerated felons reported that 57 percent of felons polled agreed that “criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police.” Did I read that correctly? The perps were more concerned about running into “an armed victim” than running into a cop?

Any other information in that area available? According to U.S. News & World Report, “Researcher Gary Kleck found that 92 percent of criminal attacks are deterred when a gun is merely shown (or, rarely, a warning shot fired). By inference, this means that open carry would have the effect of deterring crime in the same way that a thief might choose another restaurant when he sees police eating at his intended target.”

Would the knowledge that potential victims are armed prevent attacks in day-to-day living?

“In 1982, the Atlanta suburb Kennesaw required all households to have a gun. The residential burglary rate subsequently dropped 89% in Kennesaw, compared to the modest 10.4% drop in Georgia as a whole,” according to U.S. News & World Report. “Ten years later the residential burglary rate in Kennesaw was still 72% lower than when the ordinance was passed” (emphasis added).

And according to another report, Matt Gaetz said in a press conference in 2015, “It is important to note that in the states that allow open carry, violent crime was 23% lower, the murder rate was 5% lower, the aggravated assault rate was 23% lower and robbery rates were 36% lower.”

Hmmm, maybe like an old rock-n-roll song says, “Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.”

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