The media has been filled will all kinds of reports surrounding the mass shooting at the Orlando gay nightclub. Some reports said that Omar Mateen had looked at several of the Disney sites in Orlando along with a couple other popular locations in the area as possible targets for his terrorist attack. Supposedly, Mateen didn’t target the Disney sites because they had metal detectors at the entrance. However, the gay nightclub didn’t have metal detectors and Mateen knew no one would be carrying a firearm since it was a gun free zone.
Like the vast majority of mass shootings in the United States, Mateen chose a gun free zone target on purpose. Very seldom do shooters selected a target where any of the victims could possibly be armed. But in a number of those instances, someone carrying a concealed weapon was able to prevent or stop the shooting in progress, saving lives.
Gun free zones create a safe atmosphere for criminals, not law abiding citizens. All of the mass shootings Obama talks about were in gun free zones where American citizens are denied the right to protect themselves. Allowing citizens to carry guns to protect themselves is the foundation behind the Second Amendment and that foundation works:
- On Oct. 1, 1997, Luke Woodham went to his high school after killing his mom and began shooting. Assistant Principal Joel Myrick grabbed his .45 caliber handgun from his truck and confronted Woodham and stopped his murder spree before police arrived.
- On April 24, 1998, Parker Middle School was holding a dance at a local banquet hall when a 14-year-old student opened fire with .25 caliber handgun. James Strand, owner of the hall used his shotgun that he kept there to stop the shooting and hold the student until police arrived.
- On Jan. 16, 2002, a former student started shooting at Appalachian School of Law, killing the dean, a professor and another student before being stopped by two law students who were also in law enforcement. They retrieved their weapons from their cars and apprehended the shooter and held him until police arrived.
- On Dec 9, 2007, a man opened fire with a Bushmaster AR-15 on parishioners at New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Earlier that day, the same man killed two and wounded two at the Young With a Mission training center in Arvada. Jeanne Assam, a former Minneapolis Police Officer had a concealed carry license and her gun was with her during the service at New Life Church. She pulled her weapon and shot the shooter, wounding him. He eventually shot himself, but her actions were credited with saving many lives before police arrived.
- On May 27, 2010, Donald J. Moore used his personal firearm to stop a mass shooting at an AT&T store in New York Mills, NY. The shooter had a list of employees he was going to kill, but only managed to wound one employee before Moore shot and killed him, all before the police arrived.
- On Aug. 30, 2010, Sullivan Central High School Resource Officer Carolyn Gudger drew her gun on a 62-year-old man with gun. Using her body to shield a student, she held the shooter in a standoff for 10 minutes until police arrived.
- On March 25, 2012, Jessie Gates was observed getting a shotgun from his truck and heading to the door of Boiling Springs’ South Side Freewill Baptist Church in South Carolina. Aaron Guyton, grandson of the pastor, saw him and locked the door, but Gates kicked it in. Guyton then drew his conceal carry weapon and held Gates at gunpoint while two parishioners subdued him and the pastor disarmed him, all before police arrived.
- On Dec. 11, 2012, Nick Meli used his concealed carry weapon to stop a shooter at the Clackamas Town Center Mall near Portland, Oregon. The shooter killed two and wounded one before Meli confronted him. The shooter stopped shooting, withdrew to a service elevator and then shot himself, before police arrived.
- On April 30, 2014, a construction foreman in Austin, Texas used his legally licensed conceal carry weapon to stop a former employee who showed up and started shooting. The foreman wounded the shooter and saved lives after being wounded himself, before police arrived.
- On May 16, 2014, an armed gunman entered the emergency room at Cache Valley Hospital in Logan, Utah. He demanded to see a doctor and then cocked one of his two handguns and said someone was going to die. A hospital security guard did his best to calm and distract the gunman. Two correction officers happened to be present and were able to confront the gunman from a different direction. The gunman was shot three times and no one else at the hospital was injured. All before police arrived.
- On July 25, 2014, a patient entered the psychiatric clinic at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, PA. He shot his case worker before pistol whipping his doctor Lee Silverman. As the man left to go shoot more people, Dr. Silverman pulled out his conceal carry handgun and shot the man three times. He was hailed by local police for saving other lives before police had a chance to arrive.
I can’t help but ask the question of how many people would have died if the Orlando gay nightclub not been a gun free and one or more of those there at the time were carrying their conceal carry guns? Could they have stopped Mateen earlier and saved some of the 49 lives that were lost or prevented some of the 53 wounded from being wounded? No one can really tell, but one thing is certain: no one was allowed the constitutionally guaranteed right to protect themselves. They were helpless sitting ducks. It’s a proven fact that conceal carry saves lives and could have again had it been allowed.