Legally speaking, there is no state in these here United where Americans below the age of 18 can carry a concealed weapon or buy a long gun from a federal firearms licensee. The minimum age for an FFL handgun purchase is 21. Common sense, right? “The gunman approached the bus and asked whether anyone could identify Malala,” abcnews.go.com reports. “When one of her schoolmates singled out the teen, the gunman shot her twice, including once in the head. He also shot the girl who identified Malala before fleeing. Malala is in serious condition, while the other girl’s condition is unknown.” The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, without any shame . . .
“This [teenage girls going to a Western-style school] was a new chapter of obscenity, and we have to finish this chapter,” Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. “We have carried out this attack.”
Gun control advocates will respond to this horrific crime (if they do) predictably enough: arguing for a world where bad guys can’t get a gun with which to shoot teenage girls. Most gun rights advocates would see it from another perspective: wishing that Malala’s bus driver had been armed, so he could have taken out the Taliban assassin before he carried out his murderous mission.
As a father to four girls, I say the sooner my daughters are armed the better. Yes, I know: I’m responsible for their safety until they reach the age of majority. But three of them live on different continents. And I’m also responsible for helping them become independent individuals, which includes teaching them how to defend themselves.
Mind you, none of my girls live in a society where armed gunman shoot teens for religious reasons. Not that it’s impossible to imagine—as a Jew, and as an American who watched an airplane full of passengers and jet fuel slam into Tower Two of the World Trade Center.
In any case, none of them are “high value targets,” as was Malala:
Malala’s rise to prominence began in 2009, when she wrote a diary for BBC Urdu under a pseudonym chronicling the oppression she and other girls at her school faced at the hands of the Taliban. At the time, the Taliban had ordered the closure of all girls schools in the region.
Her father, who ran a private school, was forced to comply, leaving Malala and her friends with nowhere to study. In all, 50,000 girls were forced out of school in a matter of days.
In one blog post titled “Do not wear colourful dresses,” Malala wrote about not wearing school uniforms, to avoid being detected by the Taliban.
Guess that didn’t work out so well. At the risk of offering a piercing glimpse into the obvious, laying low isn’t always enough to avoid hatred and violence. You need to be ready for it. Or as ready as you can be.
Responding to today’s attack, Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said in a statement: “We have to fight the mindset that is involved in this. We have to condemn it.
“Malala is like my daughter, and yours too. If that mindset prevails, then whose daughter would be safe?”
Truth be told, none of our daughters are safe, anyway. Not completely. How could they be? As my father used to say, no one gets out of this life alive. The trick is not to let anyone help you on your way. As Apple says, there’s an app for that.