While many were fast asleep or preparing for church during the early hours of Sunday, 12 June 2016, 50 people were gunned down in the US city of Orlando.
Another 53 were critically injured as a result of the shooting, which has been described as the worst in the history of the United States.
It is reported that Omar Mateen opened fire at a gay nightclub – Pulp – killing and injuring dozens in the same act. Mateen ultimately died after an exchange of fire with the police
The gunman is said to have been on the FBI’s list for suspected terrorist links back in 2013, but these were never confirmed.
Given the scale of the tragedy, president Barack Obama was bound to make a statement, which he did, and he made it very clear that as always, the US would not “give into fear” – following such an act of terror
Watch his statement here.
When something as tragic as this takes place, the conversation around gun control is always reignited.
And the pro-gun lobbyists continue to argue that guns do not kill people – people do.
On the other side, many will contend that guns cannot be so easily accessible to those who not have the purest of intentions or may be mentally unstable.
Winning the gun control debate is one of the things the outgoing president may never be able to add to his list of accolades. It appears to remain beyond his reach, no matter the number of emotive appeals he has made to Congress to back him and his proposed amendments to US gun law.
Before shooting down 50 people , Mateen had legally purchased two guns – a week before the incident. This means he walked into a store, put money on the counter, picked his weapon of choice, and left. This is a man whose wife left him because he had been physically abusive and violent in nature. No one asked questions – his papers were clearly in order and only he knew what was to come.
How do you win against a system that allows this?
Am I pro-regulation? Not in many instances. But in this situation? I fail to see any other way around it. How else do we protect and defend people going about their business from ill-meaning members of society?
Freedom of choice, activity and movement cannot be true freedom if it infringes on my ability to go about my life without looking over my shoulder every two minutes.
Even with freedoms that are serious – and necessarily so – responsibilities must be enforced.
So, when and how does it specifically apply to gun law? And why won’t Congress do its bit to change this?
God help us. Because this is a shift that only true prayer will bring about.