Just ahead, solutions.
After these important words…
Since the Pulse-Orlando massacre, our conversations, social media, and airways have been filled with mourning, outrage, recrimination, condemnation, and speculation.
But one man, and one man only, was ultimately responsible for the mass murder of 49 innocent people last Saturday night.
In a country of 320 million people, in a state of 20 million people, and in a city of 260,000 people, this one man decided to use a military grade firearm to do as much damage as he possibly could, as quickly as the semi-automatic action would allow. (Point of personal privilege here – that same night, more than 2.5 million similar weapons believed to be in the hands of private citizens in the United States were involved in no mass shootings.)
He picked the perfect place to do it. A crowded, dark night club, just minutes before last call, where hundreds of his human targets were going to be exhausted and intoxicated at the moment he chose to strike.
Mateen claimed to be inspired, and called to action, by his devotion to the mission of ISIS. But, as we now know, it is just as likely he was a frustrated homosexual Muslim, torn between his libido and the unforgiving condemnation his faith directs at men who lust for other men.
The selfish ass comes across to me as a petulant child who knows the rules (of his own chosen religion), refuses to follow them, and then decides to pitch the ultimate fit so everyone else has to be as miserable as himself. But, because he was vain and likely ashamed of his own proclivities, it appears he made a half-hearted attempt to cover his tracks with the alibi that it was all about “jihad.”
No one with any sense should buy it.
Ultimately, the motive is only relevant for the history books. Maniacs have been killing innocent people for reasons both real and imagined since time began. Regardless of the post-shooting speeches of the gay lobby, the gun lobby, or the religious fanatics of both Islam and Christendom who celebrated the deaths of the “infidels/perverts”, the death toll remains the same.
As of press time, not a damn thing has changed, or has even been legitimately suggested (by sitting leaders), that realistically would have stopped Mateen from doing what he did, just the same way he did it.
So here they are. Solutions.
A few weeks ago in this very space, I gave you this as part of an outlined game plan for the GOP on the campaign trial, and you should have listened:
“For those concerned about integrity in voting, government financial transactions, weapons purchases, health insurance and medical care, and other official business, develop and implement Real ID technology for all American citizens. Many of us are already involved in using some form of that, whether it is a chip embedded credit card, or a smart phone based biometric ID. The only folks who seem to be steering completely clear of the technology are criminals, tax cheats, and illegal aliens. We can fix that, quickly, if we make it part of the Trump Mandate. Such a move would permanently end suspicions that Democrat inspired voter fraud is going on, and that Republicans are attempting to suppress voter participation by requiring ID. It would be the law that every American man, woman, and child have such an ID.”
Quick clarification on that that should be emphasized, there is no need to develop the technology; it is already here. As my wife was programming her brand new iPhone last night, the innovation popped right up – the “fingerprint access” option. As simple as that, a single device, tied to her name and unique biometrics.
Current federal law mandates legal qualification — no felony record, and no disqualifying mental illness, etc. — in order to purchase a firearm. That requires positive identification. Contrary to some widely held beliefs, there is no constitutional limit on how thorough the government requires proof of qualification to be. It could be as simple as an affidavit, with no substantiating documentation required other than the applicant’s word. Or, it could be as stringent as a DNA screen, matched to existing government documents, like a birth certificate.
The Feds would be tied into the ID, just like they are the “smart” passports they have been issuing for a while now. In the case of Omar Mateen, his firearms purchases would have immediately been reported to the authorities, and either approved or declined, based on his current status. At the very least, even if he had a current clean record like the FBI reports that he did, the purchases could be flagged for review if deemed a concern. Given the documented past complaints about Mateen, and his recent movements, most reasonable people would conclude that enough information was present to halt the purchases.
There is no doubt that the government needs to tighten up its criteria when it comes to who gets flagged and who doesn’t – and for that matter, who makes the terror watch and/or no fly lists. If you are singled out unfairly, you should appear before a federal judge and state your case. I believe the precedent has been set for such a process by the Internal Revenue Service. If they say you owe something, you owe it, and you have to prove to them that you don’t.
I am not saying I am a fan of the IRS process, but it is time tested and verified to be constitution-friendly, unless the formula is intentionally corrupted. Like it was a few years ago, when conservative non-profits were singled out for audit and harassment, based solely on their politics. Obviously it is not a perfect system, but when it is done right it usually works.
Of course, this Real ID could be tied into all sorts of transactions and daily business that would hamstring a variety of criminal and terrorist activities, both foreign and domestic. Like money order or gift card purchases. For that matter, since all banks run under Federal regulation, every single bank transaction could also be tied to the same Real ID. That means no one cashes a check, of any size, without presenting the Real ID in the process.
Require every disposable cell phone, said to be the most valuable technology tool of dangerous criminals everywhere, be purchased with Real ID. The law enforcement implications are staggering, and in a good way!
And yes, we would also tie mental health concerns into the same system. Obviously there is work to be done on the details, but just as there is a process to have people committed for observation/treatment when they are diagnosed with a mental illness, we need to develop that same mental stability flag that could be registered with the Real ID database.
Dealing with a diagnosed/convicted alcohol abuser in the family? Tie that flag into the system to block alcohol purchases, at a judge’s direction of course.
Prescription medication fraud/doctor shopping? Almost impossible under this system.
And of course folks, such a system would rely in some part on imperfect humans doing their due diligence to make sure at-risk individuals come under proper review. Omar Mateen’s ex-inlaws could have easily had him prosecuted for abusing his former wife. She was repeatedly beaten and threatened, and it was documented. Yet they all chose not to report the monster to law enforcement.
I need not mention Mateen’s current wife who knew specifically of his planned murder spree, and did not one damn thing to stop him, or hinder his movements. For that, she deserves prosecution, and upon conviction, to be summarily executed.
In the never ending war on terror, every one of us has an unshakable duty to report suspected illegal or dangerous behavior, and if we choose not to do so, we deserve the death penalty just as surely as the people we allow to pull the trigger.
So, there is your solution. Get on it.