But Cerberus is also very big in guns. It is run by people for whom everything is just business, from firesales to firearms, from Irish property deals to selling weapons of war to anyone who wants them. The connection between Belfastand Orlando reminds us of a truth that is easily forgotten – behind every mass shooting by a deranged psychopath in the US is a very profitable industry owned by Ivy League graduates with clean hands and manicured nails, respectable people who fund politicians in Congress and host charity galas inManhattan. If they had a slogan it would be the old Roman adage, pecunia non olet – money has no smell.
Cerberus got into guns for exactly the same reason it got into the ownership of shops and offices and apartments in Belfast and Bangor and Newry – because there’s money in it. It purchased Bushmaster, which makes the most popular range of semi-automatic assault rifles on the US consumer market, in 2006. Then it set up what it called the Freedom Group, a conglomerate of arms manufacturers that, in 2013, sold 1.8 million firearms and 1.2 billion rounds of ammunition.
Fintan O’Toole: Orlando, Cerberus and the profits of mass murder