Following the massacre in Orlando, I think it’s time that we be a bit more honest with ourselves and face some hard realities — even though it will certainly make everyone on the spectrum a bit uncomfortable.
To the right: It’s time to acknowledge that the Orlando terrorist was able to procure firearms way too easily. He passed background checks and was able to purchase his weapons legally. That should not be. We need to strengthen our background check protocol and ensure that information is shared and included in databases so as to allow the National Instant Criminal Background Check System — NICS check — to actually accomplish something.
To the left: It’s time to acknowledge that terrorism is real and an immediate threat domestically. We have to accept that today, terrorism is spawned by a radical segment of one religion: Islam. Understanding that not every Muslim is a terrorist is obvious. Nonetheless, we cannot continue to pretend that there is not a link.
To the government: It’s time to acknowledge that it has missed critical signs time and time again. The FBI has continuously dropped the ball when screening possible domestic terrorists. This includes the Boston Marathon bombers, the San Bernardino terrorists couple and now the Orlando gunman. They have failed to include those screens in its background checks or share them with ICE. Our elected officials need to understand that this is not politics but about our safety. It’s not time for posturing or lip service.
To individuals: It’s time to acknowledge that we live in a different world than we grew up in. We cannot be oblivious to our surroundings. If you see something, say something. It’s not just a catch-phrase, but your duty. You are the first line of defense and unfortunately, sometimes the last line. We are all in this together and as a unit, are only as strong as our weakest link.
Daniel T. Oppenheimer,