The atrocities committed by Osama Bin Laden’s followers on September 11, 2001 should have been enough to convince Americans that they face a serious, ongoing threat from death-dealing “Islamic extremists.” The kind of threat that requires a radical increase in the number of armed Americans to defend against terrorism. And a large, aggressive military presence in the region where the Islamic terrorists live, to deter and/or punish plots against America. The President and his supporters don’t see it that way. Obama’s love of civilian disarmament – while arming entirely unreliable Middle Eastern actors – is well-known. His decision to withdraw our troops from Iraq – enabling the rise of the ISIS caliphate – is the logical flip side of this disarmament delusion. Like an airplane accident, it’s only a matter of time before these two mistakes combine with some other failure to allow another horrific attack . . .
I reckon the next terrorist attack won’t be as spectacular as an airplane coming out of the sky or as insidious as a weaponized Ebola victim. It’s likely to be something up close and personal, like the first Ft. Hood shooting or the beheading in Oklahoma City. Only bigger and more coordinated; a number of terrorists working in concert to bring glory to the ISIS caliphate. Think Kenya’s Westgate shopping mall massacre. A massacre that plays out over a number of days, for maximum media exposure. Think Beslan, with beheadings.
If so, it will be the kind of attack where an armed civilian or, more likely, a large number of armed civilians, could have mounted some kind of defense. If so, a whole lot of people who’ve never considered keeping or carrying a gun will suddenly want a firearm to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities from jihadis. Millions of Americans will discover just how hard it is to buy a firearm in states where making it hard to buy a firearm is a long-standing tradition. Gun control will be revealed as the statist plot that it is. Support will crumble.
For one thing, IEDs are the terrorists’ normal modus operandi, not a squad of gunmen willing to die at the hands of infidel SWAT teams. If the attack on American soil takes the form of a bombing or a series of bombings, the insult to innocent life won’t move the needle on gun control. History is our guide. What, exactly, does “Boston strong” mean? We sheltered in place and didn’t freak out! Strength through passivity! We went back to work! There’s your post-terrorist bombing template in gun control America.
For another, even if it is an armed attack suggesting personal defense, the mainstream media is on the side of the statists. It’s far more comfortable platforming government spokespeople and chronicling law enforcement response than it is revealing the profound, inherent weaknesses of gun control regimes. In other words, the “official response” to the terrorist attack (the government’s failure to detect the plot and the police response to it) will get all the attention. The “unofficial response” (personal protection) will fly under-the-radar.
Aside from a Supreme Court ruling sweeping away state infringements on Americans’ gun rights, there’s only one thing that would change the gun control calculus in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, downstate New York, Hawaii, California, etc.: a number of terrorist armed attacks. I hate to say it, but if there’d been a couple of Newtown massacres in a short time frame launched by Muslim terrorists, there wouldn’t be any question about . . . armed guards in schools. Just like the NRA suggested.
Yes there is that.
Instead of calling for the end of Bush the Elder’s Gun Free School Zone Act to counter the threat of school spree killers, the NRA’s post-Newtown press conference recommended armed government intervention. Proving that the old adage that people pull together in a crisis doesn’t tell the whole story. People pull together and submit to authority in a crisis. Hence the Obama administration’s slavish adherence to the Alinsky-esque saying “never to let a crisis go to waste.” More than that, when the going gets rough, like-minded people pull together. After Newtown, gun control states introduced even more draconian gun laws. States with firearms freedom loosened the chains.
In that sense, the forthcoming terrorist attack on American soil will not unite us in a determination to defend our freedoms. It will simply exacerbate the divisions between those of us who see government as the problem and those of us who see government as the solution. The former lost significant ground after 9/11, not the least in the form of the Patriot Act and the dramatic expansion of federal law enforcement. The question is: have we learned from the past or are we condemned to repeat it?