The Orlando killer didn't come out of nowhere:
A look at Mateen’s troubled life, based on interviews with officials and people who knew him, as well as documents, reveals that on at least a dozen occasions, beginning when he was in grade school, he gave clues in a public setting that he was capable of mayhem.
At age 14, he said he could shoot an AK-47 and mimicked an airplane flying into the World Trade Center. At 26, he bragged to courthouse co-workers of terrorist ties. Weeks ago, at 29, Mateen sought to buy heavy-duty body armor and bulk ammunition.
Many of his violent outbursts aped or celebrated Islamic terrorism and he repeatedly claimed connections to known terrorists, including the Boston Marathon bombers. He cheered the 9/11 attacks on the day they happened and once threatened to shoot partygoers at a barbecue when pork, which is forbidden to Muslims, touched his hamburger.
Good Lord, the man was just about voted by his senior classmates "most likely to wear a suicide bomb vest."
And note that the one party that reacted to the red flags was the store where Mateen tried to buy body armor and lots of ammo. Not the FBI which investigated him for 10 months. And not the security company Mateen worked for.
The gun store. Which is now ground zero for the Left's focus of blame on the NRA for the mass murder by a registered Democrat who pledged allegiance to ISIL.
But no, the Left says, Islamist fanboy Mateen was motivated by a climate built by Christian bakers who don't want to supply a cake to a gay wedding. Or motivated by people who want men to use men's bathrooms and women to use women's bathrooms, regardless of dress or sexual orientation.
We are at war with Islamist jihadis and too many here refuse to buy that reality. But we have to decide to fight this war with open eyes about the price we should pay to fight it and win it:
It should be remembered that, in the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln suspended the right to habeas corpus. During World War II, Roosevelt imposed intensive censorship and spied on Congress. But all knew that at some point these wars would end. Fighting the jihadist war will likely take a long time, and suspending liberties for long would change the character of the Republic. It might also generate hostility towards the government, a goal of the jihadists.
This is merely one of the challenges that must be debated. But it cannot be debated until we face some truths. This is a war and jihadists are the enemy. Not all Muslims are jihadists, but all jihadists are Muslims. There are other terrorist groups and other causes of death, but none have as extravagant plans for doing us harm as the jihadists.
Giving up liberties may be too high a price, but we should be honest in admitting the price we will pay. In addition, some tactics may seem plausible, but will not solve the problem in the end. Stopping Muslims from coming to the country, for example, may seem reasonable to some, but a child could get around that barrier. We must be honest that the war, which has raged for 15 years, will go on for a long time to come. We can bring our troops home. But jihadists may follow them. All of these things must be honestly considered. But we like to lie to ourselves, and that’s the real enemy.
Banning guns won't work. Crooks--being criminally minded--will always have guns. Or they'll use bombs or box cutters. Or something else. Their hateful Islamist ideology is the real weapon.
Banning Moslem immigrants won't work. People get in here all the time despite it being illegal. And if I may be so bold to suggest this, jihadis would probably be willing to lie about being Moslem to get past our screening at the border.
And Mateen was born here, so even if a ban on Moslem immigrants could work, it would not have stopped the Orlando slaughter.
Heck, having metal detectors, quick purse and waist-band searches, and more than a single armed guard at the entrance to a club won't stop attacks since the terrorists could simply decide to shoot patrons standing in line on the sidewalk outside waiting to get through the security bottleneck.
By all means, have rational discussions about immigration and firearms laws. These are valid questions apart from Orlando even if they are largely irrelevant to making changes that might have stopped that mass murder.
The ideology of Islamism is the threat. We are collateral damage in this Islamic civil war over whether Islamism should define what Islam is.
We need to beat the Islamists in their lairs and help the Moslem world delegitimize and marginalize the strain of jihadi-prone Islam that seeks to make that sick version the ideology of all Islam.
Do that and thugs won't be able to justify slaughtering people by pretending they are warriors for a higher cause rather than the sick bastards that they are.
I think the LGBT community would be grateful if the only problem they had with Islam was the refusal of a Moslem baker to make them a wedding cake.