Not far from the self-proclaimed “Happiest Place on Earth,” an armed man named Omar Mir Seddique Mateen walked into an Orlando nightclub Saturday night and killed approximately 50 people in what police are describing as an act of “domestic terrorism.” And while law enforcement officials could not yet confirm as of Sunday morning whether or not the man was a follower of radical Islam, an FBI agent admitted there were “suggestions” to indicate that was the case.
And since the FBI is exceedingly cautious when it comes to making statements like that, well, we can already assume that this is exactly what it appears to be.
The horror unfolded at a club called Pulse, which describes itself as the “hottest gay bar in Orlando.” The shooting reportedly began around 2:00 AM, just before the club was set to close for the night. The shooter holed up inside the club for nearly three hours, holding hundreds hostage inside while police officers strategized on the best way to bring the event to an end. Ultimately, SWAT forces stormed the club around 5:00 AM, killing the shooter and rescuing the rest of the people inside.
According to law enforcement officials, at least 42 individuals were wounded in addition to the 50 who were killed. Those early numbers, however, may change as more information becomes available.
Upon approaching the dead assailant, police reportedly found him armed with an assault rifle, a handgun, and what they are describing as a “suspicious device.”
FBI spokesman Ron Harper said, “Every resource in the FBI will be brought to bear in this investigation. There is nothing we won’t do to get to the bottom of this case.”
Even in the immediate aftermath of the event, we can already safely predict how this will play out. We’ll hear about gun control from Obama and the Democrats. We’ll hear about the need to “do something” from Republicans. And over the coming weeks and months, we’ll all gradually forget about it. Just like Boston. Just like San Bernardino.
Until we get it through our heads that these are not isolated incidents – until we realize that during every period of calm, Islamic terrorists are planning their next attack – these tragedies will keep happening. No, we can’t prevent them all. But we can at least start trying.