Let me begin by saying that I despise conspiracy theories. They cheapen tragedies and insult the memories of the victims. As a former member of the NYPD, and a New Yorker on 9/11, nothing aggravates me more than hearing morons like Rosie O'Donnell contradict engineers and architects with her version of how and why the Towers fell. And there might not be a person on this planet more annoying and chill inducing than Alex Jones.
So I write this cautiously and somewhat reluctantly, but through an experienced eye that has evaluated what we know of the crime scene, evidence, fact pattern, and witness statements of the Islamic terror attack in Orlando, FL this past Sunday morning. And I write this wanting to be respectful of the victims and their families, while sharing my concerns and providing food for thought.
In my professional opinion, one shooter would have had a very hard time inflicting the amount of casualties we saw at Pulse Nightclub.
Shooting is both a psychological and physical exercise. Competition shooters and Delta operators (considered to be the best close quarters battle (CQB) marksmen on earth) put tens of thousands of rounds downrange monthly in order to achieve their level of proficiency. Access to their quality of training, not to mention the time commitment and financial costs, keep most of us from ever honing our skills to that degree.
Target practice is only a small part of what it takes to be a proficient tactical shooter. Low light compensation, learning to avoid the noise distraction, intercepting moving targets under stress, and intimately knowing and handling your weapon, all while experiencing a massive adrenaline dump are things that only hundreds if not thousands of hours of training can perfect.
Of course this all assumes that you have the physical attributes to be tactically proficient. Attributes you would need to be a great athlete in any other sport.
Yet there is no indication that the terrorist possessed that level of athleticism or ever even visited a shooting range. And he only purchased the guns used a short time before the shooting. He was not very familiar with them. In terms of accepted and recognized training doctrine, he was a step one beginner.
We need to also look at the weapons and ammunition he carried into the nightclub on that deadly Sunday morning.
Having carried a firearm almost daily since I graduated the police academy, and being a collector and shooter who trains often, I am very familiar with the Sig Sauer MCX rifle and Glock 17 handgun used by the terrorist. No matter what progressive gun grabbers and liberal politicians tell you, the guns themselves are no more or less deadly than any other small caliber semi-automatic centerfire rifle or duty caliber pistol.
A Sig Sauer MCX, fires a 5.56mm NATO round, or its .223 caliber civilian variant. Magazines typically hold either 20 or 30 rounds depending on your preference. If ballistics determines this to be the primary weapon used in the attack, that would imply a minimum of four to five reloads without any patrons attempting to stop the shooter. But again, that would also imply a nearly 100 percent accuracy rate. Something unheard of even for those aforementioned world class shooters.
Nine millimeter is currently the most common military and law enforcement duty round in the world, and the Glock 17 one of the most common handguns for both. Having been involved in a shooting incident while armed with a nine millimeter handgun (a Sig Sauer P226) during my time in law enforcement, I can tell you that the round is adequate at best. One round rarely results in immediate incapacitation.
A Glock 17 has a magazine capacity of 17 rounds plus one chambered for an 18 round total. If this firearm is determined to be the primary weapon used, that would imply five reloads under stress and again, accuracy rates not achievable by the best CQB marksmen on the planet. It would also imply a consistent level of efficacy from the nine millimeter round never before recorded.
Were a combination of both weapons used and seamlessly reloaded under the conditions inside Pulse Nightclub during the terror attack, the implication would be that this terrorist possessed a level of tactical firearms ability that I and others have never come across.
Assuming an impossible 100 percent accuracy rate from either weapon, the terrorist would have been carrying at least six magazines of ammunition not including those inserted into the weapons. But we know that real world accuracy rates never hit 100 percent, and are in fact typically abysmal even for trained law enforcement officers.
The NYPD in its annual Firearms Discharge Report consistently realizes an accuracy rate of around 20 percent when firing at suspects or aggressive animals. This 20 percent number is generally reflective of averages in both police use of force and civilian self defense cases.
Now, assuming the terrorist's marksmanship and tactical ability rivaled that of the typical NYC police officer shooting under stress, that would suggest that he would have been carrying at least 500 rounds of ammunition, or 20 to 25 magazines of minimum. This in addition to a rifle and handgun. And it would also assume that he was able to carry all of that gear dressed in a way that would not have raised suspicion on a hot June evening/early morning in Florida.
The current “lone wolf” narrative is asking me and others with related experience to suspend belief and plausibility to a level at which I am extremely uncomfortable. When you eliminate all plausible explanations in an investigation, you begin asking other questions.
My questions are these:
How did an untrained novice, with a unfamiliar weapons, under incredibly adverse high stress conditions, achieve reload and accuracy rates, and most importantly a casualty count, that exceeded those of the world's best competition shooters and special operators?
How did he carry the necessary weapons and ammunition into Pulse Nightclub on a hot Florida summer night without arousing the suspicion of one patron, staff member, or bouncer before firing shots?
Empirical data and current evidence suggests he did not act alone. We must at least explore the possibility of other shooters.
My fear however is that the current version will be promoted to preserve the anti-gun narrative that has already emerged. It is much more politically expedient for the Obama administration to claim that this was a single actor motivated more by homosexual self loathing than Islam, and enabled by easy accessibility to guns.
Realistically though, we may be looking at the deadliest coordinated Muslim terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.
And since that will not bode well for a Democratic candidate during an election year, we may never know.