By Chris Wagoner:
I just watched a video of the first shots fired by the Ft. Lauderdale airport shooter. It appears he casually walked through the baggage claim area, drew the gun from his waist, and started to fire. I will say that it looked like he was very determined to shoot the first victim, as he passed many others before he decided to act.
What kind of a person does this type of thing? What kind of person shoots and kills a fellow human being for no reason at all? It is morally reprehensible and against the very basic tenets of most religions, including mine. It is also against how I was raised. So, what can we do to stop — or at least reduce — the occurrence of this type of event?
Well, I hate to burst the bubble of all those who think that changing any laws will make a difference. These types of events have been going on throughout the entire history of this nation and many others. And as our nation grows, and more and more people crowd into the available land system, more of these types of shootings and morally reprehensible acts (The Facebook Torture Crew comes to mind) will happen. The very freedoms that we cherish so much are what make this type of act possible. You cannot have safety without true freedom. You cannot legislate morality into the laws of our land.
What has happened is that we have lost the common sense that our ancestors had when they wrote the very Constitution that gives us our freedoms. They knew that you could not fight evil like this without having the ability to fight back. You cannot take away our ability to defend ourselves and hope that we will remain safe–it just doesn’t happen that way. You take away guns from some people, but you will never take away guns from criminals. History shows this to be true. Even in a war-torn area under armed military rule, resistance groups still managed to arm themselves.
You simply cannot defend or legislate these things away. Bad guys will always get guns. By outlawing guns, the only thing you do is make the average citizen a victim and a target.
So, what can we do to help prevent or lessen these types of acts? First and foremost is to teach your kids the true meaning of right and wrong—what is moral and what is not. In many of the kids I have run into over the last 35+ years in law enforcement, I have seen a steady decline in ability to tell me what is right and wrong, what is acceptable and what is not. When images and words bombard you continuously, glorifying violence and killing and hate of this or that group, why are we surprised when our kids turn out to be psychopaths or sociopaths? Many kids do not know how to distinguish the barriers that most know they should not cross. What is real and what is fantasy? That’s when one acts out like the shooter in Ft. Lauderdale.
We tell our children over and over again that killing is okay, that it is part of everyday life. They are told, “It happens.” But is that the message we should be telling our kids? Should we not be teaching them that life is precious and that we should do all we can to protect it? There is a HUGE difference between a justifiable shooting in self-defense and the murder of a fellow human being. We need to teach our kids that violence in and of itself without cause is evil, and should be avoided at all costs. But to defend oneself when needed is not only right, but something ought to be expected.
Let’s teach our kids to be real men and women, not cowards afraid of their own shadows.
We need to go back to what we had to fully understand the truth of the matter: how is it that the very people who understand the importance of freedom of speech and the right to privacy cannot understand the right of self-preservation and self-defense? The Second Amendment is not just about firearms; it is about the right of all citizens to be able to defend themselves from any threat to their lives or well-being. The Second Amendment should have read “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms and defend themselves with arms, shall not be infringed.”
But even with that wording, there would be those who would work to weaken the rights of the average citizen. Why do some think that an armed society is bad, or will somehow result in more bloodshed? Because they are uninformed. Just look at the states that have constitutional carry (unlicensed carry, either open or concealed). There is no increase in killings using guns. There are no shootouts by scores of people at sporting events. It just doesn’t happen. Why are we afraid of it?
Lack of knowledge. It is that simple.
What we need in this country is to go back to true freedom as described in the Constitution. Back to when you did not have to get a license to exercise one of your Constitutional rights. Back to when parents taught their children the meaning of life and the true meaning of right and wrong—that harming another without justification is just something you do not do, and if you do, you may be the one that is harmed in the process.
Allow people to protect themselves and allow people to carry firearms if they want to; it’s their right. If you do not want to carry one, that is your right also. No one will complain or be angry at you. Just do not try to hide behind someone who is confident enough to arm themselves, or try and stop someone who is trying to harm them.
We cannot legislate morality. We cannot protect ourselves with harsh words and “safe places.” We have the right, as guaranteed to us by our brilliant founders, to protect ourselves from all threats, both foreign and domestic.
Let us exercise that right.
Had there been an armed and ready citizen in that airport baggage claim, they may have stopped the shooting at the first victim—that would have been better than five dead and even more wounded. But we will never know, because being armed in an airport in Florida is illegal. There’s that pesky “gun control” legislation restricting your rights again, making you less safe, not more.
Chris Wagoner is a Senior OpsLens Contributor and U.S. Army Veteran. He has been in law enforcement the last 35+ years. He specializes in LE Firearms Instruction, and is in charge of a large Police Academy in North Florida. In his spare time Chris is a freelance Military Reporter and owner/founder of the Largest Military Videos Channel on YouTube “3rdID8487”.