“First they came for the bloggers, the atheists, the secular intellectuals,” the subhead under theguardian.com article Inside Bangladesh’s killing fields: bloggers and outsiders targeted by fanatics reports. “Then the three-year murder spree spread to aid workers, minority religions and Muslims who did not want their country reshaped by extremist Islam.” The examples provided are gruesome.
The attack on Professor Rezaul Karim Siddiquee was so frenzied that its traces remain more than a month later, arcs of dried blood spattered up a pink wall and a pile of sand covering bloodstains that had pooled on the ground where the softly spoken lecturer was all but beheaded . . .
He was killed on his way to work in the city of Rajshahi by four men who knew their target and his routines well. At least one of the killers was a former student who had a reputation for barracking the professor in class about the “immorality” of the English literature he taught, police believe . . .
The murder fitted into a pattern laid down over a gruesome three-year killing spree by extremist groups in Bangladesh: a bloody but brutal attack in broad daylight with the most basic of weapons, and later a claim of responsibility from Islamic State (Isis) or al-Qaida.
And guess what? The targeted attacks are “working” . . .
A week after Siddiquee’s killing, three men on a motorbike roared into the village of a Hindu tailor, Nikhil Joarder, hacked him to death and threw his body in a ditch. Again, they struck in the middle of the day, on a main road lined with shops and homes, but his former friends and neighbours all insist that no one saw the faces of his killers.
The murder put an end not just to Joarder’s life, but to a long history of religious diversity in the village. Joarder’s wife and his brother’s family fled after the killing, and now the courtyard of corrugated iron homes that was the tiny Hindu enclave is locked and empty.
Americans’ standard reaction to this kind of targeted violence abroad: it couldn’t happen here. Ignoring the fact that it has happened here.
Our country has a long, sad history of exactly the same kind of “ethnic cleansing” that’s bedeviling Bangladeshi society. Specifically, the genocide inflicted on native Americans by the federal government and both the pre- and post-Civil War rape, torture and murder of black Americans.
Guardian writers Emma Graham-Harrison and Saad Hammed highlight the Bangladeshi government’s ineffectiveness at stopping or punishing the Islamic extremists hacking and beating “secularist” citizens to death. But the authors singularly fail to point out that there is an answer to this murderous jihad: armed self-defense. Well, there should be.
dhakatribune.com gives us a glimpse of Bangladesh’s civilian arsenal.
According to Home Ministry sources, there are nearly 217,000 legal firearms of various types in the country right now, all licensed under the Arms Act 1878. In the last five years, the government has awarded 10 firearm licenses of various types.
So 217k legal firearms in a country of 162 million souls. Including ten new ones in the last five years!
The risks of carrying an unlicensed firearm couldn’t be any more severe. Anyone who “intended that such fire-arm should be used for the commission of any offence of murder” — a definition that could easily include carrying a gun for self-defense — is looking at the death penalty.
Meanwhile, the Bangladeshi government isn’t have any of that “shall not be infringed stuff.”
The Government may at any time order or cause to be seized any arms, ammunition or military stores in the possession of any person, notwithstanding that such person is licensed to possess the same, and may detain the same for such time as it thinks necessary for the public safety.
Gun rights are the foundation of a civil society. The lack of gun rights is an open door to tyranny of one sort or another.
Hence the Second Amendment. Hence patriotic Americans’ declaration — however authentic — that they’re willing to die to defend their natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Here’s hoping the government never forces armed Americans to put that oath to the test.