Let me preface with a reminder—I’m neither Democrat nor Republican. I proudly have No Party Affiliation. With that out of the way…

There is Evil in this World

I’ve worn many hats throughout my life, and without hesitation I tell you Evil exists, it’s real, and most of the time in this world, you will be the only person capable of defending yourself.

When you have a mass shooting, like the shooting in Orlando, people are very quick to assign immediate blame. People want to blame radical Islamics, gun control, Obama, Bush, or what have you.

To inappropriately paraphrase Guns N’ Roses, we need to take it slow and wait for this to come together… we just need a little patience. There’s a great line in Men in Black (there are many of them, actually) where Kay tells Jay to slow it down and give a woman “time to get the wrong impression. Puts some fear into her. Makes things go smoother.”

While the media is quick to bring experts on to fill time, the investigation is just starting. It will take time to get the facts… and this requires patience.

Of course, this really isn’t about Guns N’ Roses, science fiction, or patience… today I want to talk about evil.

Evil Reaches Everywhere

Most people know of Ted Bundy. Having murdered anywhere from 40 – 100 women, Bundy was finally caught and prosecuted in Florida (where he was executed). Bundy was handsome, intelligent, well educated, and absolutely evil. He killed women in small towns, college towns (including horrific rape/murder spree at the FSU Chi Omega house), and used extreme violence against his victims.

His murders spanned the United States with the majority of victims being hit with a blunt object and then strangled. Ted Bundy never used a firearm; most of his weapons were everyday objects (like firewood and nylon stockings).

Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people and injured more than 600 by detonating a truck bomb in Oklahoma City. Using a so-called ammonium nitrate “fertilizer bomb,” McVeigh, a veteran, targeted a Federal Office building (which also housed a day care center) in retaliation for the government’s handling of the Waco standoff. McVeigh would claim he was bullied as a child and now believed our government to be a bully that needed to be stopped.

McVeigh, later executed for his evil crime, never used a firearm to kill the men, women, and children within that building.

I arrived in Gainesville around the same time as Danny Rolling, aka the Gainesville Ripper. Rolling killed at least 8 people, including five people in Gainesville, Florida. Rolling inflicted pain during his murders, using such techniques as taping his victim’s mouths shut so that people in the same apartment would not hear the screams as he stabbed them to death—sometimes after raping them.

Rolling would then mutilate the bodies and position them in sexually graphic positions; often using mirrors to not only make the scenes more grim/gruesome, but also to invoke an emotional response from the police investigating the scene.

I actually was near Rolling during his sentencing trial in Gainesville. This was a sick, evil man who violently attacked his victims (who had evidence of fighting back)… but never used a firearm.

The killers above had entire task forces looking for them. Ted Bundy was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list—but that’s not how they were ultimately caught.

Bundy was pulled over when an officer noticed his car was reported stolen. McVeigh was stopped for speeding. Rolling’s demise came from evidence collected during a burglary arrest.

Guns, Knives—It Doesn’t Matter

Guns kill people. So do knives… fertilizer… nylon stockings… firewood… cars… gas…

The old saying Guns don’t kill people—People kill people has some truth to it. Of course guns are used in murders. Without question these weapons are used to commit murder. Take them away, and you will still have murder.

If you look at 2013, there were 33,636 deaths in the United States from firearms. 63% of these deaths were suicide, 33% were homicide, and the remaining were “Accidental Death.” Firearms were used to commit 69% of the total murders in 2013.

I tell you that to tell you this… firearms by themselves are not the issue… but more on that later.

Evil isn’t the Worst Thing Out There

What’s worse than evil?

Noor Zahi Salman was married to the Orlando gunman (Omar Mateen) at the time of his shooting. She told the FBI that she helped him buy ammunition and even tried to talk him out of the attack. It seems that she never tried to alert the police or the club of the attack.

Mateen’s first wife, Sitora Yusufiy, claims she left him due to domestic violence. The ex-wife did not press charges against Mateen; which ironically could have prevented him from purchasing firearms.

What’s My Point?

There are two people in this world. People who believe that people are inherently good and those who know better.

When a gun attack occurs, it’s quick to blame the gun. When the shooter is of Arabic decent, it’s simple to blame radical Islam. Take away guns… take away any nationality you dislike… you still have evil.

Not only will evil remain, you cannot count on the community coming to your assistance. When confronted by evil, the encounter is generally over long before Law Enforcement will arrive.

Guns kill people. Guns also protect people. And as someone who is familiar and capable of using a firearm, I choose to use a firearm for the protection of my family and my life.

You do not need to have a firearm. If you are uncomfortable with them, you should absolutely not have one.

I’ve seen what mankind is capable of doing to itself—even in my small town. I respect your decision to not have a firearm and ask that you respect my decision to have one.