In the summer of 2001, I was tasked to determine how the company I worked for could increase its revenue in the airline market. On September 11, 2001, I had invited one of the mangers from United Airlines to our facility to discuss how our product could improve aircraft fueling efficiency.
When the first plane hit, the news was reporting a small plane had hit one of the towers. Shortly thereafter, the second plane hit the second tower.
I remember turning to a colleague at that point and saying “I’m not sure what’s going on but we’re at war with someone today.” He looked at me as if I was from Mars and just said “Nah.”
We had a brief meeting with the customer who said he wasn’t sure either what was happening but he had to go. He found he couldn’t get a flight since everything was grounded by that point so he just jumped into his rental car and took off.
Later that afternoon I had scheduled a meeting with my boss to review the results of the meeting that was supposed to take place but didn’t. I started the meeting by saying “I know everyone is pretty upset by what’s happened today.” And my boss said “Why?” WHY? I was gobsmacked! He said that it was bad but these sort of things happen and everything would return to normal soon. The rest of his sycophants agreed. I was to reschedule with the customer in a few weeks.
I went back to my desk rather confused that these smart folks couldn’t see something so obvious — something big, profound, and life changing had just occurred.
I have this same feeling after Las Vegas.
I’ve written that we’ve been fortunate the terrorists are basically stupid and poorly funded because I can think of any number of ways to kill a whole lot of people without spending a vast sum of money. As some Spartans pointed out, for the most part it’s been about martyrdom, creating terror, or some other motivation rather than focusing on killing vast numbers of people.
On Sunday, all of that changed.
Regardless of whether the shooter turns out to be deranged, Anifa, ISIS, or had some completely different motivation, he has demonstrated how someone with average skills and a relatively small amount of money can cause huge loss of life. The genie is out of the bottle.
Gun control is now going to happen whether we like it or not. It is now completely indefensible to hold the position that individuals should have weapons capable of automatic or semi-automatic fire. Please feel free to recite the Second Amendment, protection from our own government, and the need for self-protection in the comments if you must but it’s now a losing argument.
Would any sort of gun control have stopped Las Vegas? No. Of course not. But it’s not going to matter. The “but we have to do something!” along with “we have to try!” arguments are going to win the day.
My only hope is that President Trump can provide the leadership to limit the ban to the weapons that could truly be classified as “weapons of mass killing” while bringing some of his base to the realization that they’re now completely on the wrong side of the argument. The world has changed.