“For nearly a millennium, Cologne has been associated with its Cathedral, its twin spires featured prominently on every imaginable thing – including the ubiquitous tall glasses serving the revered local beer, Kolsch,” R.W. Dooley writes at usatoday.com. “In the 20th century, the city became known for its easy-going, fun-loving nature, a city of warmth, hospitality and tolerance – and its wild Carnival.” And now . . .
Now, this ancient city on the Rhine is famous around the world as a place where gangs of drunk “foreign” men sexually assaulted hundreds of young women and terrorized them while police, outnumbered and unable to intervene, turned the victims away – sending them back to the very men who were victimizing them.
It’s heartbreaking – for those women, and for my city.
Notice that Mr. Dooley put the word “foreign” in scare quotes. That’s because it’s scary to say the words “Muslim refugees” in connection with pubic disorder, especially in regards to sexual molestation and rape. Readers might be tempted to think that allowing one million Muslims into Germany wasn’t such a great idea. And once they’ve stepped onto that train of thought the next station is mass deporation. Or worse.
Yes, there is that. The last time Germany had a problem with “the others” amongst them it didn’t end well for millions of Jews. Nor Germany, it must be said. This is the unspoken history hanging over Germany’s “foreigner problem.” Like the rest of his countermen, Mr. Dooley’s is reluctant to confront the solution — and I use that word advisedly — head-on.
Many of us in Cologne and other German cities do not see the assaults as a justification for reversing Germany’s open-door policy toward refugees. But we do believe that those who committed these crimes should be prosecuted and, if convicted, sent packing.
Thankfully, amid all the voices crying out to close the borders, there are those who believe, as I do, that lumping together all recent arrivals with those who committed these acts of violence is simply wrong – and it only serves those who want to ban all refugees from Muslim countries, and the far-right who would like to kick out anyone they deem a foreigner.
Which brings us to armed self-defense. Where is it in this discussion? Nowhere. Where should it be? Center stage.
Germany’s plight is a perfect illustration of the reverse of the expression “an armed society is a polite society.” Citizens who are powerless to defend themselves against “the bad element” amongst them — be they Muslim refugees or native-born Germans — turn to the government for protection. If the government is unwilling or unable to do so, as they were during the mass sex attacks, the people elect a government that is. And how.
Let us not forget that Germany disarmed all her citizens before World War II, not just the Jewish population. By the time the Nazis assumed power, civilian disarmament was well under way. The Socialist Party took advantage of the Weimar Republic’s firearms registration process and continued disarmament, until all dissent was neutralized.
And then bad things happened.
Could we see a repeat in modern Germany? A dramatic turn to the left (yes, left) leading to totalitarian rule? Absolutely. If, on the other hand, Germans reclaimed their natural right to armed self-defense, they could create a safe space (not to coin a phrase) where they could eventually learn to live with their Muslim inhabitants. And vice versa.
Will Germans put up with Muslim criminality, turn to the government for protection or take it upon themselves to defend themselves, individually, against lawlessness? We’ve already seen part of the answer, as bands of Germans have taken to attacking Muslims. Regardless of what color shirts they’re wearing, that’s a Santayana of not good.