Afghanistan Vet Helped Dozens Escape During Orlando Shooting

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Situations like what happened in Orlando this past weekend are difficult to swallow. The discussions that are opened up about gun control are emotional and heated. Hearing the victims’ stories in the weeks following the attack is heartbreaking. Through the overwhelming sadness, there are also stories that remind you that American citizens are strong, resilient people.

U.S. Marine veteran, Imran Yousef, is a bouncer at Pulse nightclub. He previously served in Afghanistan, and his training and ability to remain calm in the face of hysteria helped save the lives of dozens of people Saturday night.

From CBS News:

‘The initial one was three or four (shots). That was a shock. Three of four shots go off and you could tell it was a high caliber,” he said. “Everyone froze. I’m here in the back and I saw people start pouring into the back hallway, and they just sardine pack everyone.’

Yousuf knew just beyond that pack of panicked people — was a door — and safety. But someone had to unlatch it.

He called out to those closest to the door to open it, but his yelling fell on deaf ears. In the commotion and incredulity of what was unfolding, it’s not surprising that most of the patrons were paralyzed in fear. Realizing that he was probably the only person able to think clearly and act, he somehow made his way through the tightly packed hall and managed to get the door open, people came pouring out of the doorway and ran as far as they could.

By Yousef’s own estimates, 60-70 people escaped through that door. It was only when recounting the events of Saturday night that the full weight of what happened began to sink in for him.

“I wish I could have saved more to be honest,” he said through tears. “There are a lot of people that are dead …there are a lot of people that are dead.”

Despite the lives he wishes he could’ve saved, Yousef did a great service Saturday night, taking charge and ensuring the safety of as many people as he could.

[via CBS News]

Image via YouTube

  1. CantDriveDixieDown

    Maybe its about time we require a background check or a mental health screening to buy a gun. psychos like this guy cant be allowed to have a deadly weapon

    8 years ago at 2:32 pm
    1. CantDriveDixieDown

      I of course mean the shooter; not the hero referenced in this post

      8 years ago at 2:32 pm
      1. JakeFromState

        The shooter purchased his firearm legally from a gun store, not even one of those loopholed gun shows.

        8 years ago at 2:33 pm
      2. CantDriveDixieDown

        I know its absolutely mindblowing that people argue that guys like him should be allowed to buy an assault rifle.

        8 years ago at 2:35 pm
    2. NatturdayinFrathens

      Those types of limits are dangerous because they can be abused. Plus, an attacker can still obtain a weapon through the black market or use a bomb. The key is to get guns in the hands of the right people, such as this bouncer. Imagine the lives he could have saved if this vet had a gun.

      8 years ago at 2:35 pm
      1. CantDriveDixieDown

        I understand where youre coming from, but like a previous poster menyioned yhis guy biught his gun in a gun store. A man that was known to be on an FBI watch list and ISIS sympathizer. If a background check were required to purchase that weapon people would not have died

        8 years ago at 2:37 pm
      2. NatturdayinFrathens

        If a background check was required, he would get a gun in the black market or build a bomb, which isn’t very difficult. Unfortunately, lives would not have been saved.

        8 years ago at 2:41 pm
      3. CantDriveDixieDown

        Do you know where to buy assault rifles on the black market? I sure as hell dont and doubt that this guy did either. Why are you so against screening people that wish to buy a weapon? Id have no problem submitting to a background check if I wanted a gun.

        8 years ago at 2:45 pm
      4. NatturdayinFrathens

        Black markets always arise when something is prohibited. The problem with screening is that it can be abused. For example, the government can say anybody is on a watchlist and prevent law abiding citizens from owning guns that they have a constitutional right to own.

        8 years ago at 2:49 pm
      5. fratstar570

        Have you ever been to a gun show? I went for years when I was a kid with my father and we would be approached by old guys and sketchy people all the time who would whip out a pistol and try to sell it discount. There are so many fucking undocumented guns in this country it’s insane. Christ I think my grandfather brought back two lugers, a P-38 and a broomhandled mauser, all which are unregistered.

        8 years ago at 3:19 pm
      6. JackDawson

        No one with half a brain thinks background checks would keep everyone who shouldn’t own a gun, such as people with diagnosed mental health issues, violent criminal backgrounds, ect. from obtaining guns. It is beyond obvious they would be able to obtain them illegally. But if laws and background checks prevent psychos who shouldn’t have weapons from getting them legally, and that prevents even a small handful from doing so (because the don’t have the means/resources/motivation to do so), then laws such as that are worth at least examining.

        8 years ago at 3:17 pm
      7. CantDriveDixieDown

        no one is saying it would prevent every single person with ill inttwnt from obtaining a gun, but I assure you it would prevent a significant percentage.

        8 years ago at 4:36 pm
      8. BillyQuantrill

        Again, the shooter submitted to and passed the NICS background check when he purchased the weapons two weeks ago, and had to serve a three-day waiting period on the handgun. Why are you not comprehending this?

        8 years ago at 3:18 pm
      9. CantDriveDixieDown

        And by that logic you think there needs to be less regulation of firearms???

        8 years ago at 4:48 pm
      10. Not So Sweetheart

        If you read the source article, you’ll find that Yousef never saw the attacker or came close to him. If he was armed, I doubt that his primary response would have been to add to the violence when so many innocent civilians were still around and try to take down the attacker, but rather he would’ve done exactly the same thing and help those civilians get out of harm’s way.

        8 years ago at 2:45 pm
      11. NatturdayinFrathens

        I read the article, he saved the lives by opening the door. He says he regrets not being able to save more. If he had a gun he could’ve still opened the door and then fought back and ended the violence.

        8 years ago at 2:51 pm
      12. CantDriveDixieDown

        Dude you really dont seem to understand this. The hero in this situation, if there were tighter gun control laws, would still be allowed to purchase a gun so long as his background check was okay. The government doesnt want to prohibit normal people from owning guns. They want to prohibit psychopaths and dangerous criminals from owning them. Under the current laws nearly anyone can walk into a gun store off the street and purchase a weapon. How do you think that is okay? A felon loses the right to vote but not the right to own a gun?

        8 years ago at 2:57 pm
      13. NatturdayinFrathens

        You clearly don’t know why the second amendment exists, so I’m going to try to dumb it down for you. Americans have a constitutional right to guns so that we can fight tyranny. Giving the government the power to decide somebody can’t have a gun without being convicted of anything is extremely dangerous. This isn’t about criminals because this dude didn’t have a criminal record.

        8 years ago at 3:05 pm
      14. CantDriveDixieDown

        Listen here you disrespectful little shit , I dont need some dumbass undergrad from some shitty school explaining the US Constitution to me. If you’re against legislation to stop criminals/mentally deficient people from buying guns, then you fall into one of the aforementioned categories. Likely the latter.

        8 years ago at 3:13 pm
      15. NatturdayinFrathens

        Hey man, it’s just a discussion, don’t get so upset. Nice ad hominem attack though, really showed me.

        8 years ago at 3:21 pm
      16. VandyConservative

        What about a college graduate from some excellent school explaining the U.S. constitution to you? Natturday is right, you’re wrong.

        8 years ago at 3:30 pm
      17. NatturdayinFrathens

        I have no problem with denying guns to mentally insane or felons, my entire point is that this still wouldn’t have prevented the attack.

        8 years ago at 3:09 pm
      18. VandyConservative

        Exactly. Unless someone has been charged with a felony, due process makes it illegal to deny any rights to an American citizen. The shooter was being watched, but no charge, so a ban on the sale of firearms to him cannot legally come from the government. A background check wouldn’t change that.
        The closest we could get would be the feds sending gunshops a list and *asking* them not to sell to these people. Which is still a bit questionable because that list is still subject to government abuse.

        8 years ago at 3:12 pm
    3. BillyQuantrill

      Jesus Christ, here we go. The shooter passed the mandatory NICS background check at the point-of-sale within the last month, as he was never charged or convicted of any crime. The FBI investigated and interviewed him twice, only to find that he had not done anything warranting a prosecution. To imply that anyone on a “watch list” (compiled arbitrarily by the executive branch, with no oversight from the judicial) be stripped of any rights is a clear violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments that ensure due process. These are features of the constitution, not flaws, and even the most left-wing courts in the nation (looking at you, Ninth Appeals) have consistently agreed.

      Our legal system – at its fundamental core – allows for monsters like this to exist in the shadows. It is a tradeoff for the freedoms we enjoy and take for granted. The minute we start stripping those rights away (out of fear, or a knee jerk something-must-be-done mob mentally) is the minute we stop being a constitutional republic for, of, and by the people.

      8 years ago at 3:13 pm
      1. GeebsNotGeeds

        The thing about this is that the second amendment was created as someone mentioned earlier, to allow for militias capable of overthrowing a tyrannical government. The government now has fucking drones, missiles, etc. rendering this pointless. Of course background checks won’t solve the problem of gun access, but the time has come to take another look at our second amendment because it was designed in a time when “owning a gun” meant muskets and the power to protect yourself against tyranny whereas now we have auto and semiautomatic weapons which are tremendously different from what our founding fathers designed the 2nd around.

        8 years ago at 3:43 pm
      2. BillyQuantrill

        That is incorrect. US Code, Title 10 defines the Militia of the United States as “all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.”

        In short, the militia the Constitution refers to are the entire people of the United States, not an organized fighting unit such as the National Guard. The founders/framers were quite clear in this – just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean you get to redefine it to fit your worldview.

        That said, I would fucking love it if Hillary and the Dems made legally modifying/repealing the Second Amendment a central plank of her candidacy. The GOP would hold the White House for the next 80 years.

        8 years ago at 3:56 pm
      3. CantDriveDixieDown

        the idea that today a militia could overthrow the US government is laughable. Only way it could even be possible is if a significant part of the US military defected against the government

        8 years ago at 4:46 pm
      4. GeebsNotGeeds

        Thank you, that’s the point I was trying to make. Not argue semantics about what the militia is defined as.

        8 years ago at 12:37 am
      5. CantDriveDixieDown

        Im willing to give up my right to own a machine gun if it means these “mosters living in the shadows” also dont have them. The founding fathers created the second ammendment in a time when the only form of firearm was a mussleloader. I highly doubt they would want every person living in this country to be able own a machine capable of killing 30 people in a matter of seconds. I too have been to gun shows, that somebody mentioned above, and know that something has to change. There isnt some grand conspiracy by the government to disarm the public to prevent rebellion. They arent worried about citizens overthrowing anything

        8 years ago at 4:56 pm
      6. BillyQuantrill

        You’re making a straw man argument, as machine guns have been de-facto banned since the 1930s. You can still obtain one legally, but it is extremely expensive and cumbersome to do so.

        The founding fathers also created the first amendment in a time when the only forms of expression were printing presses, quills and parchment, and town criers. By your incoherent logic, the First Amendment can’t possibly apply to today’s bullying-prone digital methods, right? Since Mormonism or the “Church” of Scientology weren’t around in 1789, they can’t possibly be protected by the First Amendment either, right?

        For someone claiming to have attended gun shows (excellent attempt to shore up your cred, BTW), you don’t seem to understand the first thing about how firearms are differentiated, how they operate, or the laws that govern them.

        You sound like yet another emotional, useful idiot opining on something he knows absolutely nothing about. Do yourself a favor and study up before walking into another buzzsaw, champ.

        8 years ago at 5:17 pm
      7. CantDriveDixieDown

        by “machine gun” I mean an AR15. I know its a semi automatic weapon but regardless its overkill for home defence. I dont particularly care about what you think of me. Just know that my position is coming solely from a place of concern for my friends’ and families’ safety

        8 years ago at 5:24 pm
      8. BillyQuantrill

        …and my position is coming solely from a place of concern for 319 million Americans’ individual liberty. To quote Ben Franklin, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

        8 years ago at 7:06 pm
      9. GeebsNotGeeds

        I’m not trying to tell you we should all suddenly not be allowed to own guns, just that we live in a world now where one crazy person with a gun can take 10+ American lives in seconds. Let’s look at that problem and do something about it is all. And expanded media and new religious groups are hardly the same as lethal firepower. Disregarding the fact that my point about the intention of the amendment is no longer what it is used for doesn’t change it. The guarantee of religious freedom and the freedom of speech/expression still serve their original function, albeit in expanded capacity. The function of preventing tyrannical rule is no longer served by allowing every Jack and Jill to own a gun. Every man in my family has owned a gun of some sort going back generations and I’ll be damned if you try to take them. But extensive background checks and controls I have no problem with. Even more crucial, possession of an illegal firearm should be punished in the extreme. Make owning an illegal weapon risky enough and the average crazy won’t try/be able to get one. That’s what I got.

        8 years ago at 12:53 am
      10. CantDriveDixieDown

        Ben Franklin never dreamed of a rifle with a 30 round mag. I dont care if you own one. I just dont want some psycho with a chip on his shoulder to be able to pick one up and shoot people as fast as he can pull a trigger. If youre mentally competent to own a gun then you should be able to.

        8 years ago at 10:46 am
  2. JakeFromState

    The best thing in my honest to God opinion is to rethink gun free zones, and keep civilians who are properly trained armed. I live in Kentucky and have my CCL, and carry everywhere I can not out of fear but mainly habit. And I’d rather have my firearm and not need it, then need it and not have it.

    8 years ago at 2:49 pm
    1. CantDriveDixieDown

      Agreed but people with CCL should undergo screening so that they can be deemed an asset in violent situations as opposed to a liability.

      8 years ago at 2:59 pm
      1. JakeFromState

        Oh I agree. I’ve seen it first hand. But on the other hand just because you have your CCL doesn’t mean your going to be using it to be an asset. By that I mean a lot of elderly will get it primarily for traveling purposes, and may only even carry in their car. So I agree with what your saying but at the same time people aren’t getting their license to necessarily use it in a sticky situation if that makes sense. I guess it’s more or less person dependent.

        8 years ago at 3:03 pm
    2. fratstar570

      I have my CCL as well but in Pennsylvania. I only got it because I happen to fish by myself in areas with a lot of coyotes/bears or where some Deliverance-looking fuckers would live. Other than that I personally feel uncomfortable bringing it with me in public areas. I’m all for having more extensive background checks, especially with those who are mentally unstable or are on government watch lists.

      8 years ago at 3:25 pm
    1. JakeFromState

      I’m not going to dignify this with an educational response because everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I strongly disagree.

      8 years ago at 3:04 pm
  3. Brobituallybad

    Here’s the scary part.. Run that shit back real quick for me.. You said the shooter was on a watch list? So we knew this guy was bad news and we didn’t get involved earlier… That’s the scary part! Why do people on a watch list get to buy American guns and do American stuff without severe penalty if we fear for our countries safety by their presence?

    8 years ago at 3:18 pm
    1. VandyConservative

      Go read the thread above you fucking moron. A government watch list doesn’t mean an American citizen can be stripped of his or her Constitutional rights to due process.

      8 years ago at 3:27 pm
      1. Brobituallybad

        Dude it’s not politics it’s fucking common sense. I live in the south and we do crazy shit all the time and I don’t know anyone on a fucking watch list. If you’re being watched by the federal government then maybe, there should be something to lose other than someone’s feelings about being on a stupid list if they’re not gonna do anything. These are American lives were talking about. I don’t care if infringe on someone’s rights if I think it’ll save 100+ people. Life’s not fair and this is America. I hope an American eagle attacks you for stupidity tomorrow at some point of your daily routine.

        8 years ago at 9:33 pm
      2. VandyConservative

        1) Not caring about liberty? Fuck you, you dirty commie.
        2) Weird threat/wish but I respect it.
        3) Fuck your own face
        4) You have horrific grammar, diction, and syntax.

        8 years ago at 12:15 am
      3. GeebsNotGeeds

        It’s called an amendment. They can be made when serious deep rooted problems like this arise. Might be time.

        8 years ago at 12:57 am
      4. GeebsNotGeeds

        Also I agree that not caring about your rights is fucked, but that hasn’t stopped the fed from strong arming our rights away in the past. Withholding highway funds to push states into raising the drinking age, reading our private communications, etc. It’s not right that they are infringing but hell, if they’re going to infringe on any rights we have I’d appreciate it at least being geared towards saving some lives domestically by keeping potential terrorists from having the power to light up my family.

        8 years ago at 1:02 am
      5. Brobituallybad

        It’s 8am. Wear a hat. I thought I heard a pissed off eagle flying around earlier.

        8 years ago at 7:10 am
  4. Jailbaitwarrior

    the fifth amendment was made in the 1800’s, times have changed, quit banging your sister and give your head a shake

    8 years ago at 3:28 pm
    1. Mister Sinatra

      You must have been eating glue during 5th grade social studies if you think the bill of rights passed in the 1800s.

      8 years ago at 4:01 pm
      1. Mister Sinatra

        People were talking about due process, so I was going to give him the benefit of the doubt on that one.

        8 years ago at 4:11 pm
      2. Mrk920

        I can’t, with good conscience, give “jailbaitwarrior” the benefit of the doubt

        8 years ago at 4:23 pm
    1. GeebsNotGeeds

      My apologies, I forgot caring about America was for boners. Beat off with sandpaper, limpdick.

      8 years ago at 1:07 am
  5. NatturdayinFrathens

    Any person who wants to kill a bunch of people is going to do it regardless of whether or not they can legally buy a weapon. The real issue isn’t gun control, it’s how do we stop these people from becoming radicalized in the first place.

    8 years ago at 8:44 am