Pancho Kinney, GSIS Senior Advisor and former Deputy Director of the DHS Office of International Affairs, discussed the implications of the recent Orlando mass shooting on the CNN in Español program, Conclusiones on June 13, 2016. Mr. Kinney emphasized the difficulty of preventing individuals from purchasing weapons due to the Second Amendment. In December, the Senate voted against blocking suspected terrorists from buying guns and explosives. Currently, individuals on the ‘no fly’ and ‘terrorist watch’ lists can still purchase weapons. In the past ten years, there have been 26 mass shooting incidents, four of which (Orlando, 2016, San Bernardino, 2015, Chattanooga, 2015 and Fort Hood, 2009) were perpetrated by religiously motivated individuals.
Mr. Kinney highlighted the acceleration of radicalization through the Internet and social media, which often can result in copycat incidents. Mr. Kinney noted the difficulty of detecting radical and potentially threatening individuals in a population of 300 million—identifying those that mean harm is like looking for needles in a haystack. Mr. Kinney believes that the FBI is doing a good job identifying potential threats, considering the difficult circumstances. Mr. Kinney further recommended that parents, families and friends stay alert to signs of depression, anger, and undue interest in violence in individuals and seek psychological and professional advice when concerned.