Following the June 12 mass shooting at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has confirmed the weapons the Orlando shooter, Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, purchased from the Saint Lucie Shooting Center were obtained legally and Mateen had passed federally mandated background screening.
Mateen purchased a .223 SIG Sauer MCX automatic rifle on June 4 and returned one day later to purchase a Glock 17 9x19mm semi-automatic pistol.
Traced to his store, gun range owner Ed Henson, a former New York City police officer, has been cooperating with both the FBI and ATF since both agencies arrived on Sunday evening as part of their investigation.
BREAKING: ATF Orlando "We have completed urgent traces on firearms involved in #Orlando shooting. Firearms purchased legally."
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) June 12, 2016
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) June 12, 2016
Stating his conscience is clear, Henson discussed the shooter, expressed sympathy for the victims and their families and defended himself and his gun store, telling reporters:
“It’s horrible but I don’t make the laws. I abide by them. My heartfelt condolences for the family and victims and I can’t imagine the horror they face. I did everything by the book. I’m not going to be made into a villain.”
“He’s evil. We happen to be the gun shop he picked. We’ve been cooperating with them and other law enforcement agencies. We did nothing wrong.”
Henson later stated had Mateen not purchased the firearms from his store he would have gone elsewhere to obtain the weapons used in the shooting.
Skillfully exploiting public anger and anxiety, the national media descends on the owner of a licensed business which scrupulously followed federal regulations in the sale of the firearms used in the mass shooting in order to delegitimize the lawful sale or purchase of guns with the perceptible intent of diverting attention from terrorism or possible mental illness to fixate on the supposed need for new gun control measures.
The late Mr. Mateen appears to have been inspired by ISIS, radicalized online, penetrated with an aberrant hatred of homosexuals, women and blacks and was known to utter forceful and bitter racist, misogynist and anti-homosexual statements. It is entirely possible Mr. Mateen may have lived a life besieged by mental illness.
Still, though, what is known about Mateen and the mass shooting will not prevent the Left from disrupting what should be a national conversation on Islamist terrorism and effective measures to eradicate ISIS into yet another broadside against the Second Amendment.
Appropriating a terror attack which claimed the souls of 50, injured 53 others and irreversibly altered the lives of family and friends of victims, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) reflexively called for Congress to pass a new gun control law. Naturally, Senator Durbin’s call lack specifics, but lacking a particular has never prevented the downstate Illinois Democrat from advancing the notion “any old gun control measure” will suffice for the moment, and if enacted to nauseating extremes, sometime or another, one will work.
As if on cue, President Obama joined in on the conversation and immediately re-routed what should have been an address illustrating leadership and resolve to eliminate a beastly foe to transitioning into his preferred recreational pastime of maligning firearms and insisting both terrorism and guns need to be thrashed out at once.
Mentioning guns in the wake of a terror attack is Mr. Obama’s favored method of signaling he has terribly underestimated the terror group’s stamina and influence; has no plan to defeat ISIS; and he would sooner have a discussion on guns to stir the souls and sensibilities of voters during an election year.
Appallingly, this also indicates the president, who once referred to ISIS as a JV team, is determined to co-exist with the barbaric group.
What should have been a moment for solemn reflection and grieving was turned into hollow political grandstanding with the president fastening a terror attack perpetrated by an individual described as unstable with legally-purchased weapons to firearms and using the tragedy to advance his gun agenda as a means to disarm America.
At a critical moment when the American public seeks answers and leadership, the president responded with false front. Instead of direction, he replied to a stunned nation with calls for further erosion of the Second Amendment with the aspiration the Orlando massacre will give him political capital to re-ignite his allies in Congress and summon his political base to demand for new gun control laws, regardless of whether any new proposal would have prevented the macabre scene in Orlando.
Denial is not a strategy and no presidential tantrum or lecture will defeat a foe he scarcely recognizes.
[NBC News] [Reuters]