“The owner of a local gun range called authorities last September, suspicious about an inexperienced group that had come to learn how to shoot a pistol. One of those men drew much wider attention last week,” wsj.com reports. “Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, a 23-year-old Ohio man back in town three months after he returned from training with violent extremists in Syria, was the leader of the group at the gun range, according to court documents from federal authorities. He was accused by federal officials in court papers of contemplating an attack against the U.S.” If you see something suspicious at the gun store or gun range, say something. That said . . .
I’ve seen people at the gun range that look like gang bangers straight out of central casting. I said nothing. I am not qualified to ID criminals from their appearance. Even if I was, it’s innocent until proven guilty all day long. And I certainly wouldn’t assume that Muslim dress or Arabic speech indicated anything but an Arabic-speaking Muslim exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. BUT—
If I heard something indicating some kind of criminal conspiracy, I just might have a word with the range owner and/or law enforcement. Depending on the totality of circumstances.
It’s a judgement call, obviously. Equally obvious is that there are terrorists – or the non-political equivalent thereof – in our midst. Though hopefully not, if something horrific went down and we were in the vicinity, we would be the first responders. In that same sense, we are the eyes and ears of law enforcement.
Just remember that direct confrontation is just about the worst possible strategy if your spidey senses are tingling. Note the suspects’ description and grab a license plate number if you can. If you can do it safely and discreetly. Your actions could easily be interpreted as suspicious. You don’t need that kind of problem.
But neither do you need, or do you ever want be in the position where you end up saying, if only I’d . . .