Well, this will be the first of these columns for 2017. The shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport left five people dead. The alleged perp is in custody as of this writing, and facing three federal charges that potentially could result in a death sentence. In Jerusalem, a truck was used to run over a number of Israeli troops. Four people were killed there.
The big lesson from Fort Lauderdale, one that reinforces that of Orlando’s shootings last summer, is that gun-free zones don’t stop people intending to carry out a shooting. In this case, the shooter apparently followed every regulation and law involving firearms by checking the gun used in the shooting. The Brady Campaign has already declared that the answer is more gun control, even though airports are among the most gun-controlled locations in the country.
Note that this is coming despite the reports that this shooter was obviously suffering from some form of serious mental illness. Dealing with this is a hard issue – and we can count on the gun-grabbers to ignore it while promoting simplistic, easy solutions that will not stop future attacks, but will only punish those not inclined to carry out such attacks in the first place.
That said, it should be noted that even with the mental illness, this shooter picked Fort Lauderdale precisely for the gun-free zone. There are images of the shooter flashing ISIS hand signals and wearing jihadi-style clothing. Exactly how much of this attack was mental illness and how much was a case of this guy being a jihadist remains to be determined.
This also means that efforts to remove the gun-free zone in airports in Florida will likely be on hold. It stinks – as the vulnerability will remain – but the gun-grabbers will use their usual tactics in the wake of this attack, never explaining how it is the laws the proposed (or laws even stricter than what they propose) failed to prevent two major attacks in Paris, as well as the attack in San Bernardino. Nor for that matter, have they addressed the crime rate in Chicago (but something like Project Exile would, in all probability, succeed).
The Jerusalem attack is also familiar – like Berlin, Ohio State, or Nice. The weapon of choice was a motor vehicle which plowed into a crowd of people. In this case, there was a quick response that kept the fatality total to four – but three women and a man serving their country died.
One lesson reemphasized from those other three attacks is that the terrorist doesn’t need guns. In fact, the Daily Caller has reported about how ISIS has urged truck attacks. In fact, Nice has a higher body count (86) than the combined total of the Pulse nightclub attack (49), San Bernardino (14) and the 2009 Fort Hood attack (13).
The Fort Lauderdale attack raises a new lesson: As many as 25,000 items were lost when people fled. Think about having a way to keep spare ID on you, along with a couple of credit cards and you bank ATM card. Also have a list of phone numbers you can call, and try to keep your cell phone with you.
The other lesson both incidents re-iterate: When the attack happens, YOU are the first responder, and you will be responsible for your survival and safety. When seconds matter, cops will be minutes away unless you are very lucky. In Jerusalem, armed response was quick, and neutralized the attacker – stopping the body count from reaching a Berlin or Nice level. In Fort Lauderdale, though, the attacker emptied his gun, then waited for the cops to arrive.
So stay safe, and keep the lessons of Fort Lauderdale and Jerusalem in mind.