Missing in all the media frenzy over the horrific murder of 49 patrons at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early Sunday morning was any mention of this, from Florida’s concealed weapons statute, Title XLVI, Chapter 790, Section (12)(a):
A license issued under this section does not authorize any person to openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm into any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.
In other words, politicians who voted to guarantee that those patrons would have little opportunity to defend themselves against Omar Mateen’s attack on Sunday are as culpable in that outrage as the radicalized Muslim.
Instead the media busied itself with all manner of irrelevant or agenda-driven commentary into Mateen’s background: how he obtained his weaponry, why the FBI or its NICS checklist didn't pick him up earlier, the type of weaponry (was it an “assault” weapon or a semi-automatic rifle), how the survivors managed to escape, the supposed need for stronger gun laws, etc.
What is known is that at about 2:00 a.m. on Sunday Mateen entered the LGBT bar Pulse in Orlando, armed with a rifle and a pistol and a “clutch” of ammunition, and then spent the next three hours terrorizing and murdering as many of the club’s 300 customers as he could. He even had time to call 911 to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State and then pray into his phone.
It wasn’t until 5:00 a.m. that the police decided, after 90 minutes of dithering about whether they could persuade Mateen to surrender, to breach the wall of the nightclub with an armored vehicle, confront the murderer, and shoot the monster dead.
If a single patron had been carrying, the spree might easily have ended in less than three minutes.
That’s how long it took to end the potential killing spree at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma, on September 24, 2014 when an “angry employee” beheaded a co-worker and was attacking another before Vaughan’s CEO, using his concealed weapon, ended the attack.
That’s how long it took to end an attack by an unhappy customer who was thrown out of the Mystic Strip Club in January 11, 2014. He returned with a handgun and gunned down the bouncer, another patron, and a waitress before another bouncer, carrying concealed, ended the fray, with prejudice.
That’s how long it took for a doctor at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Philadelphia to end the rampage of a psychiatric patient seeking to commit mayhem and murder with a handgun on July 25, 2014.
The lesson yet to be learned in the outrageous attack in Orlando is that, if those patrons had been allowed to possess the means, Mateen’s attack would have ended almost immediately after it started, relegating the incident to the back pages of yesterday’s newspapers. Without those means, however, those customers were sitting ducks, and Mateen knew it, and took advantage — something the media should know.