I haven’t done a political blog post in awhile; I’ve been trying to be more open minded, less reactionary, and more open to ambiguity- but I’m seeing this argument come up more and more online and I want to put in my two cents. I’m seeing people say “If only more of the people in the club had guns, none of this would have happened”. Bullshit.
I live in Orlando, I've been to Pulse before. There were at least 320 people in the small building that night, probably more but 320 is the reported capacity. 320 people in a small bar with a small dance floor, a little karaoke room, and a little patio. When scientists are studying roads, and moshes, and clubs to understand how human traffic reacts as a group, they tend to simulate using fluid dynamics, using individuals as particles. A "sea of people" is almost literally that, an ocean of individuals getting buffeted around and carried with the currents that are available to them. There's some individual bias as people have minds, they have intentions and places they want to be, but they still have to do so by going with the flow, and overall the crowd acts much like a liquid. This is why in a club when a fire breaks out the worst immediate danger to you isn't the smoke or flames, it's the people around you, surges and crushes which can literally squeeze the life out of people. In a small bar, when guns start going off, the panic, hysteria, and pandemonium is not an ideal place to try and play hero and introduce more weapons into the mix. That tide, that flood of people fleeing makes it almost impossible to figure out where the danger is, and to make a clear shot. And worse, the confusion is going to lead to more killing. One guy starts shooting, another guy starts shooting back, another guy hears this and pulls his gun... is the man standing over the body the original shooter or the guy who killed the original shooter? In your terror with only a split second to judge are you going to be able to make that rational decision or are you going to shoot to protect yourself, potentially killing an innocent. A slaughter with more weapons only becomes a greater slaughter.
My name is Jeffrey Hepburn, and I'm a young writer, graphic design artist, and aspiring filmmaker.