Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando and the Masque of the Orange Death

It turns out there was another attack on the LBGT community thwarted yesterday in Santa Monica, CA. "20-year-old Wesley Howell reportedly traveled from Indiana to attack the Southern California LGTB event" There is a disturbing resonance with the Orlando attack. In his car were three AR-15 assault rifles with high capacity magazines. Yesterday on my Facebook page, I noted that there seemed to be an emerging pattern in the "lone nut" attacks that indicated inspiration from an ISIS standard operating procedure (SOP) is confirmed by different common threads and in this case far more important and deadly: the AR-15s and the high capacity magazines.

One doesn't have to be Sherlock Holmes to at least suspect that the fact that Howell was carrying three AR-15s may indicate a thwarted meeting with co-conspirators.

My main point is that we are going to hear a lot about what we can do to thwart the ISIS self-motivated terrorists. Frankly we had done something in the wake of the attempted Assassination of Ronald Reagan the Brady Bill. A key feature of the bill was struck by the Supreme Court. Because of the perceived power of the National Rifle Association no progress has been made in protecting the American public from gun violence. Congress even defeated an Obama proposal that gun sales to individuals on the terrorist watch list be banned.

In some states, like New York the sale of high capacity magazines has been banned. But New York is helpless to the importation of AR15s and high capacity  magazines from sister states.

The Orlando massacre will become an issue in the Presidential campaign. Donald Trump has already congratulated himself for his foresight in demanding an end to ANY Muslim entering the United States although the Orlando assassin was a native born American citizen. The problem with ISIS inspired lone wolf attacks is that the supply of disaffected individuals seeking a place in the sun who are native born US citizens while not unlimited is undoubtedly quite large.

It's time to ban high capacity magazines nation wide and adopt reasonable restrictions of assault rifles. Sales to individuals on the terrorist watch list must also be banned although any individual who feels unjustifiable denied a gun ought to have a right to appeal. One candidate for President (and I expect one sitting President) will raise that issue. Another candidate for President having pledged his fealty to the NRA will oppose any remedial gun control legislation. His claim will be that his Mexican wall and barring any Muslim immigration is the answer.

Except that's irrelevant to what happened in Orlando and might have happened in Santa Monica. For a relevant essay on the topic see Edgar Alan Poe and The Masque of the Red Death. Or maybe this time the mask is orange.

This is not a promo for my book "Quantum Christ" but if you are interested:

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