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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,” 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.

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    • Really, that’s your response? Aside from the fact that we don’t know the circumstances behind why she pointed her out, it may have been fear, it could have been causally referential, or any number of other reasons, but she is hardly the issue, or the “piece of work” here.

      This is clearly a ‘walk a mile in her shoes” scenario, and I will go out on a limb and say you have no experience whatsoever that can place you into the mindset of a Pakistani school girl in that situation. Right?

    • With all respect, she may not have known what this guy was going to do. Doesn’t say the gun was visible and kids carry guns there like i pods here anyway. He could have threatened her. I’m not saying she should put it in her diary with stars, but she might have been unknowing or intimidated. And the scum bag(s) here are Mr Ahsanullah Ahsan and his ilk.

      Sorry Bill, I started this before I saw your reply so +1

  1. you can purchase a gun under the age of 21, just not a handgun from a dealer.

    The girl that pointed her out got shot by the guy she helped out. Moral is, there’s no upside to helping the Taliban. Now if both girls families lynch a few Taliban supporters we would see the start of a positive trend.

    • The attacker could see that she was a ‘turn-coat’, someone who defects to the other side when it looks like the better side to be on. The attacker shot her also, because nobody likes a turn-coat.

      On the other hand, there are probably additional facts not revealed in the news article that would contradict this opinion…

  2. How did the Taliban become so warped, so hateful of women? I’ve read that their sexual strictures are so severe that most men are never ith a woman prior to marriage, and their sexual outlet has become little boys. “Women are for children, boys are for fun.” An entire country of shild molesters. Can’t we just nuke the joint and start over?

    • ancient customs… reinforced by religious practices… only infidels worthy of death would go against them.

      • Reinforced by religious practices?

        I thought homosexuality was a capital offense under islam. Wasn’t that guy in Iran saying something about how there were no homosexuals in the country?

        That part of the world is very strange.

        • Bottoming is sacrilegious, topping is ostensibly but is not prosecuted as it cannot be “proven” the way “obviously consensual” receipt can. That is why male tourists who get gang sodomized in the UAE get arrested and the testimony of their attackers is used to convict them of sexual deviancy crimes.

          One example I found, not sure if it is the same story. Lots of rape out there, unfortunately.

    • The woman brought light into the world and is the personification of God’s grace and mercy. Who else can the god of the sword hate more?

      Not that they don’t hate everyone, they just have a special disdain for women. Any woman.

      “Kill the Jew on Saturday, the Christian on Sunday, Blacks, Hindus, and Buddhists, every other day, and then, when they are all dead, they will kill each other. Yes, they are the religion of peace. When we are all dead, we will have peace.” Avi Lipkin

  3. 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.

    What a total crock. Pakistan is the main external enabler of the Taliban and principal vacation destination for wanted Al Qaeda murderers.

    • It is important to remember that Pakistan is not like most countries where the central civilian government pretty much controls the entire country. What are called the tribal areas, next to Afghanistan, are much like the western United States in the early nineteenth century.

      Pakistan’s civilan government is weak. During the Korean war, President Truman fired General MacArthur. That would never happen in Pakistan. Their intelligence service, the ISI, does what it wants independently of the civilian government.

  4. The Taliban’s brutal oppression of Women is part of their ultra-extremist Islamic Fundamentalism. Note, however, that in Saudi Arabia Women have many severe restrictions, and the Saudi’s are considered as being in the mainstream of Islamic practices.
    The stuff about “boys are for fun” is a new one on me. Sickening…I guess I was under the misapprehension that Islam had some serious prohibitions against homosexual and pedophile activities.

    • Technically homosexuality is verbotten, but folks always get selective with their interpretations. And pedophilia has been in those cultures longer than Islam. Many human cultures were okay with boys (and girls) as sex toys (especially for the elite) until relatively recently. It took us a long time to get this far. The more extremist Islamic cultures aren’t much different than we were a few hundred (or a few thousand) years ago. Unfortunately fundamentalism in all flavors resists progress (too bad they seem to be perfectly okay with accepting modern weapons–nothing like giving a medieval horse-and-sword mentality guns, bombs, RPGs and fissable material).

      That said, taking pride in murdering little girls has never been okay anywhere, anytime. I think the Taliban could use another “reminder” of that.

  5. Robert; “Nor can anyone under the age of 21 purchase a firearm from a federal firearms licensee. ” Not true. Please correct.

    What the Taliban did to this girl and her friend is unconscionable. In the name of humanity and civilization, in the name of all that we hold dear, the Taliban and their analogs, their enablers, sympathizers, sycophants and apologists need to be mercilessly crushed and eliminated. And in no short order. Damn them all, every last one of them.

  6. Pull on the Tiger’s Tail, and you’d better have a plan for dealing with its Teeth.

    I despise the Taliban,but lets focus on the girl for a moment. Malala stood up to a gang of international cretins-and the Taliban are the kind of cretins resourceful enough to execute 9/11. As such she should have expected and prepared for some form of retaliation.

    If **I** publicly wrote a document challenging these cretins, I’d make certain to have two firearms ready to go on my person with extra mags and body armor on at all times. Islamic terrorist organizations are not known for having thick skin.

    • She spoke her heart despite the danger to her personal safety. I absolutely respect that. Godspeed, Mulala.

    • ….and the Taliban are the kind of cretins resourceful enough to execute 9/11.

      The resourceful ones are al-Qaida. The Taliban are the bumpkins running around in the hills with AK-47s.

  7. Honor killing is making its way into America… with some Islamics children growing up and acting on too many Western Ideas. They think it’s Okay to take out a dishonorable child than to just cut them loose and denounce any familial ties. We Americans are shocked when we hear about them.

    Yet, it is a cultural norm in the middle east. Assassination is also a norm for those who defy or denounce Islamic beliefs. Those who don’t conform to it in Islamic beliefs can be seen as defying the word of their prophet and their god.

    • I don’t necessarily disagree with barnhardts ideas about Islam but her own blatantly religious fervor about that and various other social issues recently makes her good points very difficult to notice.

  8. The Taliban represent one form of Islam in the same way that fundamentalists in this country who shoot doctors represent one kind of Christianity. It’s high time for mainstream religious leaders of all faiths to declare the killing of innocents like this girl to be a mortal sin.

    • They do, but it means nothing. All religions are dangerous poisons that enable this kind of thing, especially when their holy books and sayings advocate all sorts of atrocities.

    • No, they represent Islam in the way that Nazis represented Germans (and other Europeans) in the 1930s. It may only have been the true believers who went out and did violence, but if the others were uncomfortable with it, it was mostly because they thought it was taking too long.

  9. In response to ccw at 16 in vermont. Not so. I had to wait till 21 like the rest. But there are no other laws. Just pass the bg check and out the door you go. I love it here. Only issue is getting nonresident permits can be a pain since we do not issue. You need to see the cleo in your area and have an interview and printing. Then u get a letter saying you can legally own and carry. (Not a felon and no warrents check).

  10. I’ve come to believe that even if the WHOLE rest of the world came out and denounced this act, it would make no difference. The radical fringe of any religion believes that they are right, and any and all that dissagree are wrong. All the protests, law passing, hand wringing, fund raising, and awareness campaigns you can imagine will do nothing. Short of killing all the lunitic fringe and destroying ALL of their books and papers, the only long term solution I can think off is educating the next generation about what is wrong with being part of the lunatic fringe while waiting for the older generations to die off from old age while they are kept in guaranteen camps. Best case is it would take many decades to accomplish, if all the young people can be separated from their old school elders. This method was attempted by the US in the second half of the 1800’s with the hope that the Native Americans could be assimilated into mainstream society (example, the Carlisle Indian school). That didn’t work out all that well either. So we are back to killing the fringe off to prove that killing innocents is a bad thing. A funny thought, killing off groups of people to eliminate the possibility of them killing off groups of people. Hard to wrap one’s mind around that, unless you think of it as cutting away diseased flesh to save the rest of the body. Another thought to ponder is who decides which groups are part of the lunatic fringe? This stuff is not easy to fix, I wish it were.

  11. One year later, she appeared on The Daily Show to talk about her experience:

    “If you hit a Talib, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib,” she said. “You must not treat others with cruelty…You must fight others through peace and through dialogue and through education.”

    Once she decided she could not respond with violence, Yousafzai thought about what she would say to a terrorist.

    “I would tell him how important education is and that I would even want education for your children as well. That’s what I want to tell you,” she envisioned saying, “now do what you want.”

    You can find the full 3-part extended interview here:

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