Timothy Davis / July 17, 2015

A Dark Day for America

Four Marines are dead. Gunned down in cold blood by a cowardly terrorist named Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez in Chattanooga, TN. These four Marines will never go home. Four families’ lives are forever changed. America lost four heroes.

Yesterday’s horrific shootings took place at a recruiting center and a combined Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center. Authorities are still hemming and hawing over whether to label this as Islamic terrorism. However, it seems incredibly likely that this was an act of terrorism inspired, or ordered, by ISIS.

Our worst fears have been realized. ISIS finally managed to strike at America, at our military. ISIS has long sought to successfully attack America, and now they have. While the FBI hasn’t come out and said that this attack is ISIS linked, there is a tweet going around that was sent from an ISIS-linked account almost at the exact moment the gunman opened fire in Chattanooga. The timing is too “perfect” to be a coincidence.

ISIS tried to attack us once before, in Texas. However, their “soldiers of the caliphate” were mowed down by law enforcement before they could say the word “Jihad.” Unfortunately, the same did not happen here in Tennessee. Our soldiers didn’t have any protection. No one thought that in this day and age our military should be protected. Not one person in our government had the common sense to protect such an obvious target.

As a result, ISIS attacked a military installation and killed four Marines. This is an act of war. ISIS chose a target that they knew would be ripe with potential victims, and where no one could shoot back. Military installations are traditionally gun-free zones.

In a truly sickening bit of irony, the headline photo on CNN during the shooting was an image of the front of one of the buildings that was attacked. You can very clearly see the “gun-free zone” sign — right next to a couple dozen bullet holes.

These are the installations that are supposed to be secure to house our brave men and women who risk it all for our safety. We have failed. As a nation we have failed to protect those who protect us. We can’t always save them. When they are overseas in the middle of a gunfight there is very little we can do other than try to give them whatever technical edge we can. However, when they are stateside, we must make sure none of them are killed by terrorists. It should be our number one priority to makes sure they are well defended from anyone who wishes to hurt them.

Instead, we are now reading about yet another act of terrorism involving a military installation in the U.S. We didn’t learn our lesson from Ft. Hood in 2009 and 2014. We didn’t learn our lesson from the Washington Naval Yard massacre of 2013. Will we learn our lesson now? We damn well better.

There are no words that can adequately express the rage that each and every one of us should be feeling. Our own stupidity allowed this to happen. Instead of looking at the number of shootings at military installations in recent years and trying to figure out why our own military personnel couldn’t fight back, we chose to blame the gun. We chose to call it “work place violence.” We chose to say that we need more gun control — even if the shooters couldn’t legally own a gun in the first place. We quite literally did everything in our power except give our men and women a chance to defend themselves.

Instead of taking ISIS seriously, President Obama and his ilk have insisted that ISIS is being defeated, and that we are winning. Tell the families of those four Marines killed that ISIS isn’t really a threat. We have taken no meaningful action against ISIS to stop them from being able to carry out attacks in America. Dropping a few bombs is nice, but it ultimately accomplishes very little. Now we’re paying the price for our folly.

We give 18-year-olds the most advanced weapons the world has ever seen, and trust them to go overseas to kill terrorists, or whoever else threatens us. Then they come back and are told that they have to give up their firearms to prevent anyone from getting shot. Does it look like it has worked? Count the dead. Count the wounded. Count the dozens who suffer from PTSD because they no longer feel safe in their own country. This stuff isn’t supposed to happen in America. This is where they are supposed to be safe.

There are those who insist that this so-called “siege mentality” is nothing more than an excuse. They say that we don’t need our military armed on American soil. They insist that if you get rid of all those guns, no one will get shot and killed. They claim that anyone who thinks we are at war on our own soil is delusional and suffers from Islamophobia, racism, or some other five-dollar word. They say that ISIS isn’t concerned with us, and that if we stop meddling in the affairs of the Middle East, we will be left alone.

All of this stupidity just cost us four good Americans.

Look around. Terrorists have been arrested in Boston, NYC and various Midwestern states. They have been planning bombings, shootings, decapitations, you name it. Just this past week, a police captain’s son was arrested in Boston, MA, for planning to bomb a college cafeteria in the name of radical Islam. The threat is very real. We just can’t be bothered to take it seriously.

This has got to end.

We can no longer simply stick our heads in the sand and ignore the bodies piling up around us. War is here, whether we like it or not. ISIS is determined to strike at us. Thursday they succeeded. They will try again. We can pretend all we want that this wasn’t terrorism. Maybe President Obama will say that Abdulazeez was just a disgruntled youth. Maybe he’ll blame a flag. Maybe he’ll blame the gun. However, the reality is that this was Islamic terrorism. You can be offended by the truth all you want, but that’s what it is.

ISIS has started a war, so let’s give ‘em one. Let’s show these cowards what a real war is. Let’s remind them that when you attack us, you pay the price. No more half-hearted airstrikes. No more “gathering intelligence.” The time for tap-dancing is past. The time for action is now.

Four good Marines died yesterday on American soil, at the hands of an Islamic extremist. Never again.

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