Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...


Everything but tech support.

0643, 14 Jun 16

The tragedy in Orlando

My column for the West Bend Daily News is online. Here you go:

The United States has suffered its most deadly Islamic terrorist attack since Sept. 11, 2001. Many details are not yet known, but what we do know is horrific. We grieve for the dead and pray for the wounded. America mourns.

At about 2 a.m. Saturday, a man called 911 in Orlando, Florida, to pledge his allegiance to the Islamic State. After hanging up, that man began shooting people inside the packed Pulse club, a well-known gay bar. At the time of this writing, 50 people are dead and 53 are reported wounded, but more may die as a result of their wounds. About three hours after the gunman began firing, he was shot and killed by police.

The killer was an American Muslim man from Fort Pierce, Florida, whose parents are from Afghanistan. He legally purchased a rifle and a handgun several days before the attack. Reports are the FBI investigated the killer twice in the past few years, but did not find enough evidence to charge him with anything.

Being a presidential election year, many interest groups have immediately assumed an attack posture to use the attack in Orlando to their advantage. Some have already started using it to raise funds for their various causes.

The anti-Second Amendment folks are already using this act of Islamic terror to advocate for gun control. Hillary Clinton, the assumptive Democratic candidate for president, said in a statement that the attack “reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets.” Of course, almost every weapon is used in war including shotguns, knives and bolt-action rifles, so the distinction is an arbitrary one.

Gay rights advocates are saying that since the attack was in a gay bar, it represents another instance of hate against the LGBT community. They are correct in that the attack is a manifestation of a particularly virulent hatred by the Islamists. The Islamic State considers gay people to be abhorrent and has been cruelly killing them by burning, drowning, throwing them off of buildings, etc. for years. The importation of their hateful ideology to American soil is going to have horrible consequences for many communities.

Speaking of importation, immigration and refugee interest groups are using the attack to advance their causes. Advocates for less-restrictive immigration and refugee policies are trumpeting the fact the killer was a natural born American citizen. Advocates for more-restrictive immigration and refugee policies are pointing out the killer’s radical Islamic terrorist ideology was imported either by his parents or others and allowing more people who share that ideology to enter our nation will end up in more dead Americans.

Foreign policy wonks and critics of the Barack Obama administration are pointing out the Islamic State rose out of the vacuum Obama created after abandoning Iraq. Years of feckless and feeble foreign policy by the Obama administration, including during the years in which Clinton was secretary of state, have allowed the Islamic State to flourish to the point that it is now inspiring attacks on American soil.

There will be a time for all of these policy and cultural debates and they are important to have. Particularly as we are in the season when we choose our next president and the direction of our country, we must evaluate the policies that may or may not have contributed to the massacre in Orlando and make some decisions. Yes, there will be a time for all that. There is a time for everything.

But now is the time to mourn and pray. It is the time to clean up the blood and hug the families of the victims. Then, once all of the dead are properly buried, it will be time to debate our path forward as a people.



0643, 14 June 2016


  1. Pat

    Hillary Clinton on Monday said the “mind numbingly familiar” attack at an Orlando nightclub makes clear the U.S. “must defeat” ISIS and proposed beefing up intelligence gathering tools to help better identify lone wolf attackers.

    While Republican spokesman, Donald Trump released a statement expressing his condolences to the families of the shooting victims while plugging his merchandise.

  2. Pat

    Kevin, are you arguing we shouldn’t defeat ISIS, and we shouldn’t beef up intelligence gathering tools to identify lone wolf attackers. Because Hillary Clinton said we should?

    We went to war with Germany to overthrow Nazis. What country do we go to war with to overthrow ISIS?

  3. Pat

    And, why do Republicans insist on allowing people who are on the do not fly list to arm themselves with AR-15’s??

  4. Kevin Scheunemann


    I’m arguing liberals enable evil by not defeating it and not wanting to even identify it.

  5. Pat

    Gee Kevin, it was Congress that wouldn’t vote for the Presidents February 2015 Joint Resolution to authorize the limited use of the United States Armed Forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. And then every conservative wets their panties when the POTUS sends in special forces.

  6. old baldy


    Don’t confuse him with facts.

  7. Owen

    “And, why do Republicans insist on allowing people who are on the do not fly list to arm themselves with AR-15’s??”

    Because there isn’t any due process afforded to those who are put on the no fly list. I do not support quashing someone’s constitutional rights without due process.

  8. Pat

    Then shouldn’t we allow them to fly freely also?

  9. Pat

    Isn’t putting individuals on a do not fly list unconstitutional under the 1st and 12th amendments?

  10. Owen

    One could make that argument. But the right to keep and bear arms is specifically protected. The right to fly on a commercial airplane is not.

    That being said, I think people should be able to fly freely, but given more rigorous security scrutiny if they are under suspicion of engaging in illegal activity.

    As a nation, we used to bristle at the thought of the government putting people on lists for the purpose of denying them their rights without actually accusing them of anything.

  11. Pat

    And freedom of association, speech, and religion is a specific constitutional right. One should’t have to worry about being put on a list because of any of those. And then, we could start caring about the 4th amendment also. Since 911 our constitutional rights have greatly been diminished. But there is silence from the the majority of the 2nd amendment reactionaries about the rest of the abuse of our constitutional rights. I never hear talk radio,Fox, or articles in the West Bend Daily News discussing those issues.

  12. Le Roi du Nord

    “I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country’s interests,” said Ryan, who last year criticized Trump’s original proposal for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Pin It on Pinterest