'Being Necessary to the Security of a Free State...'
War is raging. Now.
Unlike past wars, this is not being fought between two large armies on a battlefield. It isn’t being fought between two specific countries. It isn’t even being fought in any “traditional” way of warfare. This war is being fought in the midst of our very streets and towns. This is a war for our freedom and our survival. This is a war that will determine whether or not we continue to live as a free society, or whether we succumb to terrorist scum. This is a war against radical Islamic terrorists, and we are all – like it or not – soldiers living on the front lines.
Like soldiers going off to battle, we cannot hope to win this war without the necessary weapons. We don’t need tanks and airplanes to defeat this enemy. We already have the strongest military in the world. What we need is a population that can respond when threatened, that can stand up when terror strikes, and that can fight back. We need to stop arguing about gun free zones and other nonsense, and take real steps to ensure we live as a safe, and free, people.
Gun free zones are a terrorist’s dream. As we’ve seen recently in the terrorist sieges in Sydney, Australia, and in Paris, France, gun free zones attract terrorists like flies on honey. Australia has incredibly strict gun laws. Guns are practically outlawed, but that didn’t stop a terrorist from getting a shotgun and killing people. Likewise in France, gun laws are much stricter than America, yet terrorists still managed to get a couple of Kalashnikovs and butcher 16 people. Does it look like gun control is working? Did the people being held hostage feel safer because of those gun laws? No. They were hopeless victims. The only guns that could have stopped the slaughter were on the outside, and the only gun on the inside was the one murdering people. So much for the “gun free” zone.
In America, we have been struggling recently with the issue of how to regulate guns while maintaining our freedoms. This is a difficult question, because on one hand we have the Second Amendment, and on the other, we have to figure out how much regulation can ensure we won’t ever again have to read about 30 school children getting slaughtered. The passions are high on both sides. However, the recent uptick in terrorist attacks indicates that we need to consider gun-free zones in a new light, eliminate these built in havens for terrorists, and unite to defend ourselves.
“This would never happen in Texas.” During the Sydney siege, one twitter user posted this statement. This statement is not entirely true, but it does strike a chord. While the stereotype that every American has a six-shooter in their belt is far from reality, we do live in a society where a lot of us are armed. Whether it is a gun in a purse, or an AR-15 in the home, millions Americans exercise their Second Amendment right every day. The odds are better here than in most places in the word that if a terrorist tried to take over a café or other public place; one of the patrons would probably be carrying a gun. However, the odds still aren’t good enough to discourage terrorists from trying this sort of thing. As many have pointed out, it’s only a matter of time before some sort of terrorist attack like what happened in France happens here in America. That is tragic, but also should serve as a reminder that we still have a long way to go to ensure our safety.
This by no means a suggestion that we simply hand every American a gun and tell them to have a good time. Common sense should tell us that would be a disaster. We still need responsible background checks, and limits on the mentally ill and ex-cons. What we need to do differently is to loosen the restrictions on concealed carry permits, and do away with many gun-free zones. In this day and age, you shouldn’t have to have a complex reason to carry a concealed weapon. The news from France gives 16 reasons right there. Gun-free zones are a joke. How is a simple sign in the window going to stop a hardened criminal, or a terrorist? All they do is make the terrorist powerful, and the rest of us defenseless.
Eliminating gun-free zones is not a panacea, but it reflects the reality that we are a society at war. Making it easier for responsible citizens to carry concealed weapons does not mean there is a ready-made posse ready to face down battle-trained terrorists. But if there’s even a remote chance that a hostage is carrying a gun and gets a chance to use it and save lives, shouldn’t we at least try? It can’t hurt in that situation. All the police are on the outside; they’re no help until they barge in after the terrorist has started executing people.
Our Founding Fathers never imagined we would face such a threat. They conceived the Second Amendment to protect against a tyrannical government, not radical Islamists who want to kill everyone. However, they also foresaw that the only way this country could ever remain free was if the populace had a means to fight against those who would do them harm. America, thanks to the Second Amendment, can stand strong against terrorists. Will we? Will we realize that war demands a response and not a slogan? Before an American gun-free zone hosts a terrorist slaughter, I hope so.