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Harold Hutchison / September 23, 2016

The Second Amendment Solution to Terrorism

How gun rights help defend our country.

The Crossroads Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota, could have been an even more awful scene this past Saturday when a radicalized Somali refugee screaming “Allahu Akbar” carried out a knife attack. The terrorist inquired whether potential victims were Muslim, just as al-Shabaab attackers at the Westgate Mall in Kenya did. Eight people were injured in the attack. Fortunately, none died.

Jason Falconer, a part-time officer and owner of a shooting range who is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor and competitive shooter, was also at the mall. Falconer acted, drawing a legally carried gun and shooting the jihadi before anyone was killed. It’s probably a safe bet that the magazines in the gun Falconer was carrying held more than 10 rounds. In short, he’s very likely one of those Americans that Hillary Clinton places in her “basket of deplorables.”

The fact that there wasn’t a higher casualty count in St. Cloud is something a lot of gun-grabbers will ignore — much the way they ignore how rarely rifles are used to commit homicides in the United States. (FBI crime stats note that in 2014, rifles of all types killed 248 people, fewer murders than from blunt objects, “personal weapons,” and knives.) But Falconer is a textbook example of how the Second Amendment can help protect this country from terrorist attacks like those in San Bernardino, Orlando, Paris, and elsewhere.

The fact is, Israel has used concealed carry to fight terrorism, and that has mitigated the cost, if not actually thwarting, terrorist attacks. Some recent incidents involved stabbing, but there’s a reason that many of the terror attacks in Israel have shifted to murder-suicide bombings. Why? Because that sort of attack leaves responders with little else to do but clean up afterward.

The dirty little secret is that terrorists, like criminals, are often cowards. When faced with effective resistance, they will usually fold if they’re not killed outright. The key, then, to mitigating or thwarting these attacks is to introduce effective resistance — or the threat of effective resistance — as soon as possible. As Nick Meli proved at the Clackamas Town Center three days before the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, an armed citizen may not need to fire a shot to end an attack.

At Garland, Texas, a cop on-scene dropped two jihadis dead with no innocent casualties. But at the Pulse Nightclub, the delay led to 49 dead.

That doesn’t mean that an attack like Paris or Bombay won’t happen in the United States. While most states have “shall-issue” concealed carry laws or, better yet, constitutional carry, there are some outliers. California, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland and New York are notable in this regard. Even in states with good concealed carry laws, there are still too many “gun-free” zones. Schools, in particular, are a huge area of vulnerability. Sandy Hook Elementary School, Virginia Tech, and Umpqua Community College are notable examples of how “gun-free” zones end up as killing grounds because the only gun there belongs to the killer. In those attacks, seconds mattered, and the cops were minutes away. That response time can even lead to the terrorists getting away — as the two jihadis in San Bernardino nearly did.

Conversely, San Bernardino and Paris, among other attacks, should show that gun laws, particularly bans on certain semi-auto firearms, do not stop these attacks, either. Nor can they stop any attack. The Boston Marathon bombers acquired guns, but also used pressure-cooker bombs. The recent jihadi bombings in the New York City area also used pressure cookers — and the terrorist got past New Jersey’s byzantine and onerous gun laws to obtain firepower, too. In Nice, the main murder weapon was a panel truck — and that attack had 60% more fatalities than the attack in Orlando.

The evidence is there for anyone with common sense to see it: The responsible exercise of Second Amendment rights can — and has — protected Americans. Whether it was from criminals, tyranny or now terrorism, good guys with guns have proven they can stop the bad guys — if they’re allowed to.

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