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Because of deaths by firearms, drugs, and car crashes, Americans will live two years shorter than our fellow humans in Western Europe or Japan, the two areas that lead the world in lifespan. There are several factors, but the main one is early death by firearms. Each year 11,000 Americans are murdered by firearms, 20,000 commit suicide with firearms, and 80,000 have their lives shattered and shortened by wounds caused by bullets. And guns and bullets are very hard on the national economy. The best economic estimate for our idiotic devotion to the 2nd Amendment indicates we spend about $229 billion for funerals, medical costs, court costs, lost wages for the wounded, and prison for perpetrators. Those are the major expenditures, costing every man, woman, and child in this crazy gun culture $700 each every year. Guts must be sewn, spleens removed, and skulls opened up. There are other economic impacts.
In the Orlando mass murders Omar Mateen bought a new Sig Saurer MCX semi-automatic rifle for about $1,200, a Glock 17 9mm. for about $550, and probably other accessories such as magazines for $300-$500. That’s just a guess on my part. He bought a lot of ammo at a WalMart. How many rounds does it take to kill 49 people and wound 53? Tapes indicate Mateen fired 24 rounds in just nine seconds at the beginning of the carnage. That’s about $12 worth. You don’t kill or wound 103 people with 103 bullets. The bullets flew sporadically for over three hours. Perhaps as many as 500 rounds? I’m sure some investigator is still counting empty cartridges. Perhaps Mateen spent close to $3,000 to become an ISIS martyr.
But, to those conservative Republicans who love the 2nd Amendment and the profitable sale of battle-proven brands of rifles from the front lines of war straight to your hands, what will be the cost of this worst mass killing by firearms in the history of the country? The average U.S. funeral runs about $8,000, so there goes $400,000 to the death industry. Mateen sent 53 people to area hospitals, some of them in very critical condition. I think an estimate of $50,000 for medical costs for each victim is too conservative a figure, but it will be many years before the final costs can be judged. A week after the mass murders Orlando hospitals still had 21 badly wounded patients, many in critical condition. A one-day stay in most hospitals runs close to $10,000. A figure for hospital costs of $2.650,000 is probably way too low. And the gay bar had breached walls and hundreds of bullet holes to fix. Let’s start with $100,000 for property damage. A federal judge just determined that a six-year-old boy’s life was worth $572,588.26 after he was killed by a neighbor’s weapon fired by his young child. The people killed at Orlando ranged from 18 to 60, with most of them in the 20-30 range. Some years ago, a presidential committee appointed by Ronald Reagan for OSHA, estimated that a male adult was worth in the neighborhood of $9 million. So Mateen’s investment of $3,000 could cost our society at least $460 million—and probably much more. It will be many years before we know the total cost. The average cost to taxpayers for a single firearm homicide is nearly $400,000—and 32 die on the OK Corral streets every day
What Was Wrong With Mateen? Almost Everything!
The American Psychiatric Association estimates that 6.7% of adults, or 14.8 million, have serious mental problems during any year. Research indicates that 26% of the 600,000 homeless and 21% of the prisoners held in local jails are mentally unstable. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 56% of the inmates in state prisons and 45% of the inmates in federal prisons have “mental-health disabilities.” Psychopathy can be a very dangerous personality disorder. It is related to aggression, drug abuse, thrill-seeking, cold-hearted social and emotional traits, lack of empathy and guilt, and manipulation of others. Lying and cheating can also be an important part of the disorder. If the FBI had done its job and examined the 29 years of life of Omar Mateen, they would have determined that he had exhibited psychopathic tendencies almost from birth. Here was a homicidal suicide bomber-shooter just waiting to explode and kill, kill, kill.
As a child from an average Florida middle-class family with three sisters, Mateen developed dangerous personality disorders early. He took other kids toys as a toddler, acted like a bully toward others, particularly girls, and had a superior air about him. Teachers thought he desperately needed help because he was such angry kid toward everybody. His father was disrespectful toward female teachers and refused to listen to complaints about his only son. He was formally disciplined 30 times in elementary school alone. He was expelled from high school for fighting with another student after being suspended from school for a total of 48 days. After being expelled, he attended a special school for behavior issues. He watched the 9/11 attack in school and expressed to students and faculty he was happy with the results. After the second tower was hit, he claimed to the class Osama bin Laden was his uncle—and that Osama had taught him how to shoot an AK-47! Other students were so angry, Omar’s father had to be called to pick him up from school. In the “behavior” school he was described as an overweight troublemaker, often bullied, who often “clowned” around. He played football for a short time, and was forced to attend three different high schools. At one point he was a bulked-up bodybuilder-teenager on lots of steroids with stretched skin. As a high schooler he also took protein powders for massive muscle building, the drug ecstasy, used marijuana, and often blacked out on alcohol. And this kid later became worse mess as an adult.
A Fellow Muslim: “He Drinks To The Point Of Blacking Out.
He Gets Too Crazy. He Starts Fighting.”
Married for the first time in 2009 to a woman he met on an online dating service, she revealed this about the marriage: “He was not a stable person. He beat me. He would come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.” He also slapped her around and pulled her hair before she left him after only nine months. In three months he was again married to a woman he met online.
Mateen had always wanted to be a police officer so he did attend a Florida police training academy for a period until he was kicked out for threatening to bring a gun to class after the Virginia Tech shooting where 32 died. School officials described the gun threat “at best extremely disturbing.” After this incident he did work a number of security jobs in south Florida. He secured a license and a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
I have a question for the FBI. How did a married security guard making between $12 and $14 an hour afford to make religious pilgrimages to Mecca, Saudi Arabia in 2011 and 2012? Known as the Umrah, the one-week pilgrimage is not required but is recommended for pious believers. Did his father pay for the two trips, or were “radical Islamists” involved? Over six million Muslims from around the world make this trip annually. After these pilgrimages and while working as a guard in a courthouse he told fellow workers he had connections to Al Queda and was a member of Hezbollah, a terrorist group listed by the state department.
A paragraph from a New York Times article about him portrays a psychopathic, really messed up adult that should have banned him from ever buying a weapon even under present rules: “The recollections of those who knew him or encountered him conjure a man who could be charming, even laid-back, yet who always seemed forever aggrieved, forever not at peace, forever out of step. ...A leering myogynist whose pursuits could rattle women. An off-putting employee who spoke casually of killing those who offended him.” (In the Pulse he ran around the rooms shooting the victims he had already wounded, making sure they were dead.) A co-worker said: “He was just agitated about everything. Always shaken. Always agitated. Always mad.” And always gay probably, on top of all his other problems. How could FBI investigators drop an investigation on this “Islamic soldier” who was really a psychopath?
Univision TV interviewed a Puerto Rico man named Miguel who claimed he had had a sexual relationship with Omar for at least two months. Omar told Miguel his father had forced him to marry and that his wife knew he was gay. He added his father could not accept the idea he was gay. Perhaps this shooting was revenge on gays because Miguel said Omar had engaged in a threesome with two Puerto Rico men—and that one was HIV-positive. The FBI is working on it.
A Terrifying Situation
So North Dakota Senator Heidi Heidkamp thought that voting on a gun control issue in Washington was “terrifying.” My God, we have another courageous one in Washington. What would she be if she had been a first grader at Newton and saw another first grade friend torn apart by 11 bullets from a Bushmaster? That’s terrifying. What would she be if she had experienced Adam Lanza firing 154 rounds at elementary children in less than five minutes? That’s terrifying. What would she be if she had smelled the blood on the Pulse floor from the 24 rounds fired in nine seconds by Mateen —based on the “constitutional” right of the 2nd Amendment established by old white men firing muskets at one round a minute instead of an AK-47 with a 100-round magazine capable of firing 700 rounds a minute? That’s terrifying. Voting on a gun control issue to save lives is “terrifying?” My God….
We now have a gun culture society that is being smothered, shot up, and killed by 310 million firearms, one for every person over two years old—114 million handguns, 110 million rifles, 86 million shotguns. Almost 75% of gun owners are men, and 82% of them are white. White men make up 32% of the U.S. population. We have so many guns lying around unattended over 232,000 were stolen last year. Almost 80% of gun owners say having a gun makes them feel safer. Actually, studies show that people who carry guns are 4.5 times likely to be shot and 4.2 times to get killed compared with unarmed citizens. Now, that should be terrifying to somebody. Some say, as a recent Forum letter alleged, that “Guns are not the problem. Guns do not have a brain, a heart, or a soul. Guns can’t talk, convince, or order someone to come pick me up and go kill as many people as you can. Guns are only a tool like other tools that are used to kill such as knives, bombs, cars, golf clubs, baseball bats, etc. Stricter gun laws do not make us safer they make us less safe.” You have to be kidding. Take it from an old Marine machinegun platoon commander, this is pure NRA bullshit. Some of the 14.8 million adults in this country who turn psychopath each year and go bonkers can’t control their brains so they shoot up people and places. Get real. We no longer have muskets. Look at the facts. Americans are ten times more likely to be killed by guns than people in other developed countries. Our suicide rate by firearms is eight times higher than other high-income countries. We have half the population of the top 22 OCED nations combined but we have 82% of all gun deaths. We account for 90% of the women killed by guns, 91% of all children killed by guns, and 92% of young people between ages 15-24 killed by guns.
AND GUNS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM? THAT’S TERRIFYING BS!