By Robert B. Young
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- In less than three weeks, we’ve seen two of the more horrible radical jihadist attacks yet, of different sorts. In Paris on November 13 2015, we saw an ISIS-directed and organized mass assault on innocent citizens of a European country that has been as welcoming of Muslim immigration as any in the West.
On December 2 2015 in San Bernardino, just two radicalized Muslim immigrants unleashed murder on supposed friends and colleagues at what was a happy employee Christmas party until that moment.
The first was clearly political, and strategically driven by design of the puppet masters of Raqqa.
The second was certainly inspired by the same source but was conducted so personally that it also rates as a more intimate evil driven by the perpetrators themselves.
What joins them is the attackers’ grim and ghastly devotion to the belief that it is their gift and duty to kill anyone who does not accept their religious worldview.
This is why there are no more Christians or other religious remaining in ISIS territory, and no Muslims who openly disagree with them either.
Monday night (December 6) our President came out to tell us that we should continue trusting him to deal with this threat, from behind as with every other foreign policy matter he’s conducted. And then he swerved from condemning the Levantine “caliphate” and its proclaimed intention to destroy Western democratic civilization.
So what and who is he angry at? At American guns, and the vast number of Americans who value them. He apparently meant it earlier when he said he intends to dedicate the rest of his term to seeking stronger gun control.
At the same time, notice how flat the response to his speech has been from all sides. No one outside his administration is strongly defending his approach to ISIS. His partisans seem happier to jump on the ‘blame guns’ bandwagon again than to critique the absence of leadership that is so glaring to non-partisans.
Normally one just stays calm and holds on—to one’s gun, to one’s honor, to one’s temper. But this is beyond comprehension, even for a psychiatrist.
Homicides, violent crime, and gun accidents continue declining. Defensive uses of firearms are more widely reported. The number of legally owned firearms in America keeps growing. How can the supposed perils of a responsibly armed citizenry compare to the danger from organized evil aiming to extinguish all of us and all that we value?
Yet something interesting may be happening. The lines in the sand are becoming clearer.
The New York Times proudly ran its first front page editorial since going after Warren Harding in 1920. (With all the history that has taken place in the last 95 years, you’d think something else by now would have merited that attention.) It brazenly called for “eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition … [which] must be outlawed for civilian ownership … [and] would require Americans … to give them up.”
The presumptive next leader of the Democrat party has totally embraced gun control as a defining part of her agenda. She claimed that her model, Australia, enacted voluntary, paid gun surrenders—when it was actually government-mandated confiscation, with a pittance of restitution provided.
The Bloombergians are outspending all Second Amendment advocates put together. The big, bad NRA has to rely more on the voices of its (millions of voter) supporters than on distributing largesse to politicians.
Is it now or never for the victory of gun control, registration, then confiscations? Maybe.
But maybe not now, and maybe now never. There is greater eloquence and coherence among the pro-rights coalition, one that extends from supporting the Second Amendment to promoting the full Bill of Rights and honoring the entire Constitution of this country.
More people prefer to live among armed neighbors than in a theoretically ‘gun-free’ zone. There is an uptick right now in polls reporting people want background checks (not registration) and stricter gun laws (but not gun ‘control’), but that always happens after a highly publicized assault. Then opinion returns to its gradually improving basic trend in favor of the RKBA.
More states are freeing their citizens to bear arms in more places, without the blood baths we are always told to expect.
More law enforcement leaders are encouraging their constituents to exercise their right to be armed, trained and prepared to defend and protect themselves. Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Chief James Craig in Detroit, and Sheriff Paul Babeu in Arizona have been saying this for years. Suddenly Chief Cathy Lanier of the District of Columbia (yes, where it’s still almost impossible to carry legally) says “if you’re in a position to try … take the gunman out … be prepared … resilient and alert.”
In my state, New York, which is gun-controlled to an extreme, sheriffs in Ulster, Sullivan, Putnam, Wayne and Lewis counties have just asked qualified carry permit holders to do so. In Virginia, the Loudoun county sheriff just did the same. So did the Brevard county sheriff in Florida. Liberty University in Virginia actually wants its adult licensed students to carry on campus, and has announced training to promote that. There are few colleges doing that, but there are likely countless local jurisdictions announcing the same intent to rely on their citizens as first responders.
Much to DRGO’s pleasure, CNN featured Dr. Michael Neeki, a physician who was one of the first SWAT responders to the San Bernardino massacre. Yes, doctors can also be armed protectors.
President Obama may be discovering he has no leverage to force gun control on Americans. Some say he has mostly given up on it after all his proud talk.
The ACLU, along with pro-gun groups, has sued to change the secretive, subjective, incomplete and inaccurate ‘no-fly list’. Strange bedfellows perhaps, but they all oppose the reach of this government power that has caught up many American and foreign innocents who then have no way off. This is an acute concern with Democrat pressure to ban everyone listed from legal gun ownership.
We are finally (well, except for President Obama) seeing ISIS for what it is. We sound ready to do whatever it takes to end its reign of terror, even to sending American ground troops. Now that foreign-born terror has returned to our shores, we are waking up to the fact that we (America, and each of us individually) have to be the first responders in our defense against aggression (in the world, and in our own locales).
It could be too much to hope for, but it seems at least possible that these threats may again mobilize America to act as the vigorous republic it once was and not as the enervated empire it seems to have become. Could this also energize us all to resume our own responsibility for our lives, families and communities—to “be prepared … resilient and alert”?
— Robert B. Young, MD is a psychiatrist practicing in Pittsford, NY, an associate clinical professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a project of the Second Amendment Foundation. www.drgo.us