The shooting at club Pulse in Orlando is an absolute tragedy. No one would ever want to be placed in a situation of that nature.

I’ve seen one too many posts, articles, videos, etc., regarding the shooting that range from outrageous conspiracy theories to “I would have done this if I were in that situation.” I’ll address the obvious first. Is there a problem with extremist in this country? Of course there is. Let’s state that for what it is. It’s a problem. As a country, and especially the leadership of this country, we need to address it for what it is, instead of calling it a lone wolf, etc. ISIS or whatever we’re calling them these days, doesn’t necessarily have to be in your backyard jumping over the gate and placing a breach on the door, just like Special Forces doesn’t need to do that to be effective. They can recruit others within country and have those individuals perform a specific job they need done without being “hands on”. Terrorism is a mindset–what you believe in.

Seeing the posts of “there’s no way one man could have done this because the ammo count doesn’t add up”, are usually coming from someone who’s never shot the .223/5/56 NATO round at human flesh. Two words, terminal ballistics. Terminal ballistics, in an extremely short definition, is the study of the behavior and effects of a projectile when it hits a target. “But multiple victims had multiple bullet wounds and the mags and ammo count don’t add up”, they say. Contrary to what’s being put out by conspiracy theorists and the “experts” in the media, the 5.56 round does not travel at 300fps and explode once it hit the target. The 5.56 round is something many combat vets have become familiar with and used while deployed. It travels at a speed of 2,970fps, or 2,025 mph. In a close quarter’s environment, that round used has a notorious reputation of over penetration. 70 percent of those rounds won’t even begin to hit the “yaw” phase until it penetrates 4.5-4.7 inches of tissue. With these numbers alone, it’s safe to say that the majority of the rounds fired, hit multiple targets.

To the individuals ranting and screaming on social media, “I would have done this, and that, and saved everyone!” I have some bad news for you. You more than likely wouldn’t if placed in that situation, especially those who have never been shot at nor had to shoot anyone. Here’s how I see it. Every single time that I’ve ever been shot at unexpectedly, may it be on an infil, exfil, during site exploitation, etc., my first reaction was flinch and drop. As with every other guy standing to my left and right. From a unit that conducts literally thousands of hours of training on how to react to contact, that’s the first reaction. It’s a flight or fight reaction. Once the situation is assessed, then we take care of the problem. Now, place yourself in a low light environment, heavy bass with variations of acoustics entering your ear drum, flashing lights, odds are you are intoxicated (it is a club), you’re having a great time without a care in the world…and pop, pop, pop, people start dropping and in a domino type effect. Looking at an individual in, not in these conditions, the reaction time to a threat for a trained individual expecting a life or death confrontation ranges from .39 – .58 seconds. Add all the factors listed above, and I’d bet that the reaction time to respond to an unexpected life or death threat is measured in seconds. Seconds in an enclosed environment, bodies pushing bodies, and projectiles flying 2,000+ mph = getting hit. Unless you’re in the room, sober, expecting a threat every second, you have no way of knowing how you would react. Then factor in the multiple frantically moving bodies scattering to get to cover and you trying to take aim in low light with multiple distractions around you to get a good sight picture and squeeze a few off to stop the threat….yeah. I hope you are putting in more hours than Delta, Rangers, ST6, SF, etc., combined. That’s a tough shot for anyone!

Do I think that having more weapons on site would have solved the issue, or permitting the establishment to allow a conceal carry? Yes and No. More weapons MAY have helped detour the threat or save many more lives. In the right hands. As far as having everyone in the establishment carrying one–negative. Being a concealed weapons carrier, I’m also a firm believer that alcohol and drugs don’t mix with guns! Throw in the factor that it’s at a club where someone may easily become upset because you stepped on their new shoes or spilled a drink accidentally on someone, and mix a pistol in the soup; you have a recipe for a potential disaster. In my opinion, the individuals did what they could and what they thought was necessary at that particular moment in time. No one should sit back and Monday night QB the actions of the individuals that were involved. I do that till this day about certain events that happened overseas and I can tell you that having someone else put their two cents in about what should have been done only throws gas on the fire for those that lived it.

As far as classifying EVERY single Muslim or anyone that resembles that culture is a NO-GO at my station. The religion or people aren’t the problem. It’s the individuals who believe in an ideology of a group of people that are so far off the deep end and choose to act out the absurd way of thinking is the problem.

Now I move on to gun control. From Jade Helm to every shooting, gun control has been at the forefront. Do I believe in gun control, ABSOLUTELY NOT! I am a firm believer in the 2nd amendment and it shall not be infringed upon. Do I believe in not allowing an individual who has been on a watch list for some time to purchase a firearm….Seriously? Absolutely. It’s almost like the powers that be sit back and say, “Let him get the multiple firearms and see what he does next.” It’s too late by that time. Could he have bought the firearms on the street? Of course. But that also plays directly into the absurd rhetoric that if we ban guns/assault weapons, AR’s (the weapon used was not an AR) then the problem is solved. That would be the first time in criminal history that a criminal or an individual with a bad intention says to himself, “It’s against the law to have or do this. So therefore I can’t and won’t!” With that said, if we do decide to ban such weapons, do not expect the good guys to come save the day with said “banned weapons”. I guess they’ll do it the old fashioned way with sticks and stones.


Nick Irving’s new book, “Way of the Reaper” is now available for pre-order on Amazon

Image courtesy of Reuters