June 30, 2016: Home Grown Terror

The killer of 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016 was born in the U.S.A. His notoriety puts him in the category of a mentally ill disaffected citizen (is that being redundant?).  He was the child of moderate Muslim emigrants from Afghanistan.  Similarly, the male shooter in the San Bernardino terrorist attack was born in the U.S.A. of emigrants from Pakistan. 

The psychological explanation for why the children of emigrants, who worked to reach this country from the Middle East, commit such heinous acts against the citizens of this country is beyond my expertise. Policies that could begin to make a difference in immigration, national security, and mental health are months to years away.  What is closer is Florida law that makes it illegal for concealed carry holders to carry in places where alcohol service is the primary function. 

That is reasonable for people who intend to consume the alcohol, but not everyone who enters an area where alcohol is served is going to drink. Designated drivers abstain because of the purpose they expect to perform when their party calls it a night.  This person’s judgement is not any different than what it is at another location where they could be carrying such as a bowling alley. 

A person who remains sober in a bowling alley is able to carry concealed as long as they don’t go to the lounge area. But in a night club is the cover charge supporting the dance floor or subsidizing the bar.  Can a nightclub survive on a cover charges if patron don’t purchase alcohol? 

My point is, concealed carry holders can choose to not participate in activities that would impair their judgement in any location. This concept of designated drivers can extent to designated sheep dogs, or personal protection details.  The distinction I am making is between a location that provides some façade of security, like bag searches at professional sporting events, and those that do not, like college campuses, and nightclubs. 

The debate about what a concealed carry holder might have been able to do inside the Pulse nightclub is hypothetical. What is not hypothetical is that law abiding citizens did not have a choice.  There are no reports from that terrorist attack, of citizens responding with deadly force using a firearm. 

An armed concealed carry holder is in the area of an active shooter does not necessarily mean the holder will respond by using their gun. I acknowledge that, my argument is for allowing choice and letting the individual be responsible for their actions if they chose to use their gun in defense of themselves or others. 

The reality of “Gun Free Zones” needs to be eliminated. I suggest doing that in Florida in two ways.  First make the requirements for obtaining or renewing concealed carry permit more rigorous.  My recommendation would be to require a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education for the initial license and 8 hours of continuing education or range time every year for renewals. I would also impose a live fire shooting requirement of being able to place 5 shots on a 9” paper plate at 15’ in 10 seconds from a low ready position.

Second I would recommend that paragraph 12 of subsection (12)(a) be rewritten to exclude person who do not consume alcohol beverages in places that serve. These two changes would raise the competency of concealed carry holders in public places and eliminate some soft targets in Florida. 



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