When Orlando shooting brings terror, guns to my backyard


Story highlights

Mark O'Mara: U.S.cannot ignore that there are those among us who will abuse 2d amendement rights with assault weapons

He says there's no rational reason to make them available; for one thing, they enable terrorists to harm us

Editor’s Note: Mark O’Mara is a CNN legal analyst and a criminal defense attorney. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

CNN —  

So this is what it feels like when it comes to your backyard. Literally. My house is about four blocks from the Pulse nightclub and even though I’ve been trained to look at and analyze horrible situations dispassionately for the past 30 years, when blood is actually spilled in the streets that I drive over every day, it is different.

Mark O'Mara
Courtesy Mark O'Mara
Mark O'Mara

Without knowing all the details of what has happened yet, I am immensely sad, angry, frustrated and in despair.

I want to go hold and help those devastated by this tragedy — that is what this moment calls for.

And while another part of me, one that unsettles me, suddenly has a slightly better understanding of the vengeful feelings some have at times like this, it is clear why it is so important for all those affected to remember that revenge is not the response we should give into. That would actually further the plans of those who want to do us harm.

Those initial angry reactions – emotional, visceral — are not what this country, a nation that observes the rule of law, is about. Our lawful system of justice is what separates us from the murderous zealotry perpetrated by a few distorted individuals in our midst. In fact, I also know that, if the shooter had survived, it’s a good chance that I would be one of the attorneys he called and my oath tells me I should offer him representation.

02:21 - Source: CNN
Gunman called 911, claimed allegiance to ISIS