Posts Tagged shootings

How Women Can Prepare For Dangerous Encounters

From The Federalist:

If you decide a firearm is the route you want to take, it’s important to do so methodically. Every state has different laws about how to possess a handgun legally, so follow the guidelines in your state. In fact, contrary to some of the outlandish rhetoric on social media last week, concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law-abiding citizens around. Resolve to do likewise. Start with the U.S. Concealed Carry site, which offers good pointers.

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“Do Something” Is Not A Solution

From Reason:

But the something matters an awful lot. In this case—and in so many others—”do something” actually means “do something to other people.” It means “force other people to do something they don’t want to do, even if you’re not sure it will actually help.” The call to “do something” privileges action over analysis and mandatory one-size-fits-all solutions over incremental, local, and voluntary action.

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Dems Not Satisfied With Gun Control Go After Body Armor


U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, announced his legislation on Sunday to require FBI permission before anyone except law enforcement could buy what he termed “sophisticated body armor,” setting a bar that would require a clear purpose, such as an occupational requirement, for the buyer to seek the safety equipment.

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The “Buyback” Fallacy

From Bearing Arms:

There’s nothing voluntary about turning over your firearm if you’ve been told you’ll go to prison if you’re caught with your gun. It’s asinine to pretend otherwise, which makes me wonder if the editorial board of the Christian Science Monitor are truly unaware of the compulsory nature of the New Zealand confiscation scheme, or if they’re attempting to deceive their readers about the New Zealand program in order to pitch “buyback” programs here.

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A Gun Ban Is What They Want

From The Federalist:

The point is that if we’re going to advocate for tighter gun laws on the basis of numbers, the same exact reasoning would apply to alcohol and tobacco in arguably a much stronger way. Yet from my experience, many people hesitate to extend the reasoning this far. Maybe they are drinkers or smokers themselves, or maybe they see it as “going too far.” But again, from a purely numbers perspective, the reasoning is hard to dispute.

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NY Post Overreacts After Shooting

From Bearing Arms:

The New York Post is blasting its support for a new ban on semi-automatic rifles on the front page of the paper today. Op-ed editor Sohab Ahmari tweeted out the news earlier this morning, calling the most commonly sold rifles in the country today “military-grade weapons.”

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Remember The Heroes Not The Shooters

From National Review:

These deaths are horrifying. The incidents are terrifying. But notice something important. We are blessed that the numbers of fatalities are far lower than they were at places such as Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, or Santa Fe High School in Texas. And a big part of that lower death toll can be summed up in one word: heroes. In fact, of the four total fatalities in the three incidents, three of the dead were people who took heroic action. Two of the dead were young men who directly charged their attackers.
What’s more, we’re now remembering the heroes’ names more than the shooters. The shooters failed in two of their core missions — to kill large numbers of victims and achieve enduring fame. And if they keep failing, I wonder . . . could the mass-shooting contagion finally start to break?

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A Total Gun Ban Is The Goal

From The Federalist:

The tragedy at the heart of the gun control debate is that any firearm that can be used for good can also be used for evil. There are not good guns and bad guns. There are just guns, used by good and bad people. Any firearm that is effective for legitimate uses like hunting and self-defense will also be effective when used for evil purposes.

Nor can guns always be kept out of the wrong hands, for we cannot always know who will do evil, and those known to be hellbent on doing harm to others will often circumvent restrictions. Thus, the only realistic way to prevent mass shootings and end gun violence would be a total gun ban, ruthlessly enforced. Unfortunately, gun control advocates’ rhetoric is deliberately crafted to obscure this uncomfortable reality.

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Before A Gun Debate Can Start Both Sides Must Read This

This was originally published after the Vegas shooting. The amount of regulations already on the books is astounding.

From The Hill:

After the Las Vegas murders, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) urged Congress to “take a stand against gun violence by passing common-sense gun safety laws.” On Monday, after the mass murder in Texas, he wrote, “A simple idea: Anyone convicted of domestic abuse should see their rights under the 2nd Amendment severely curtailed.” On Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Flake(R-Ariz.) announced that he and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) are writing a bill “to prevent anyone convicted of domestic violence — be it in criminal or military court — from buying a gun.

In the spirit of these proposals, here are some ideas for tough federal gun laws — most of which should have been enacted years ago.

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Panic Makes for Poor Counterterrorism

Panic Makes for Poor Counterterrorism is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By Scott Stewart

A lot of panic has followed the Dec. 2 armed assault in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 people dead and 21 wounded. It was the worst international terrorist attack in the United States since the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, surpassing the death toll in that attack by one. U.S. President Barack Obama has labeled the attack as a new type of terrorist threat, while Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has used the attack as grounds to call for a ban preventing all Muslims from entering the United States.

I don’t often editorialize in the Security Weekly, but I believe it is important to set the record straight and to place the San Bernardino attack in the proper perspective.

Not a New Form of Terrorism

First, as I noted in a piece I wrote before the San Bernardino shooting, terrorist armed assaults are not a new thing. They have been a staple of the modern terrorist era: The Lod Airport attack by the Japanese Red Army and the Munich Olympic attacks in 1972, the 1985 Rome and Vienna airport attacks by the Abu Nidal Organization, Benjamin Smith’s multi-state shooting rampage and Buford Furrow’s attack against a Jewish day care center in 1999 are all examples.

Like Marxists and white supremacists, jihadists have frequently used armed assaults, including attacks conducted by grassroots jihadists. In fact, the first jihadist attack inside the United States that I am aware of was El Sayyid Nosair’s assassination of Jewish Defense League founder Rabbi Meir Kahane in November 1990 with a handgun. Nosair was a grassroots jihadist tied to al Qaeda’s ideology through his attendance at a mosque led by Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, also known as the “Blind Sheikh,” who was later convicted for the 1993 New York bomb plot, a wide-ranging terrorist conspiracy to bomb targets in the United States.

The counterterrorism successes of the United States and its allies following the 9/11 attacks made it more difficult for al Qaeda and its jihadist progeny to insert trained terrorist operatives into the United States. Instead, jihadist ideologues began to call for individual jihadists to think globally but act locally — in other words, to conduct attacks where they live. Among the first jihadist ideologues to advocate this leaderless resistance model was Abu Musab al-Suri in 2004. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula began advocating the strategy in 2009 — the year that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula-linked gunmen Carlos Leon Bledsoe and Nidal Malik Hasan carried out armed assaults in Little Rock, Ark., and Fort Hood, Texas, respectively. In early 2010, now-deceased al Qaeda core spokesman Adam Gadahn appeared in a video urging Muslims living in the United States to buy guns and shoot people.

These statements, when combined with a string of failed or foiled bomb plots, allowed us to forecast inMay 2010 that jihadists in the United States were going to shift away from complex bomb plots toward easier and often deadlier armed assaults.

In light of this history — and our forecast — it is very difficult to accept Obama’s claim that the armed assaults in Paris and in the United States in San Bernardino; Garland, Texas; and Chattanooga, Tennessee, represent some new type of terrorist threat.

Do Not Panic and Surrender Your Civil Rights

In light of Trump’s statement about prohibiting Muslims from traveling to the United States, I’d like to repeat something I wrote in the Nov. 12 Security Weekly:

Both governments and the general public should keep the latest attack in the proper perspective to avoid succumbing to panic and acting rashly. Policies rooted in fear usually lead to waste and poor security decisions, while unrealistic demands from the public can cost huge amounts of money, encroach on personal privacy and still fail to guarantee security. Instead, a better response is to maintain realistic expectations and recognize that it is impossible to fully secure any target. Terrorist attacks that kill people are terrible and tragic, but the world is a dangerous place, and people sometimes plot to do terrible things. Every now and then, they will succeed.

I have spent most of my adult life investigating terrorist attacks, helping prosecute individuals involved in terrorism, protecting people and facilities, and educating people about how they can take responsibility for their own security. It grieves me deeply to see 14 people gunned down in cold blood as they were in San Bernardino. I also do not mean to trivialize the individual deaths; I have lost a friend and classmate and other colleagues to terrorist attacks. However, in the big picture, an attack that results in 14 deaths is terrible and tragic, but it is not an existential threat to our national security or survival, especially when compared with the 589,430 cancer deaths, more than 23,000 flu deaths and more than 32,000 traffic fatalities expected in the United States in 2015.

Some will argue that the 14 deaths in San Bernardino came all at once and not as separate cases as with cancer and the flu, and are therefore more significant, but this argument does not hold water with me. More than 227,000 people died in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and fewer than 3,000 people died on 9/11. Yet the 9/11 attacks spawned a global sense of terror and a geopolitical reaction that had a profound and unparalleled impact upon world events over the past decade; the tsunami did not have the same type of impact. Clearly terrorism is having its desired effect and is causing people to fear it in a manner that is hugely disproportionate to the destruction it can actually cause.

This irrational fear is again seeping into popular politics, as seen in Trump’s statement about banning Muslims from traveling to the United States. As an American, I am offended that someone like Trump, who is running for the highest office in the country, would succumb to irrational fear and allow it to dictate U.S. policy. Moreover, the policies he is proposing would erode the personal liberties our country was founded upon and would scrap the rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of religion enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. The United States is the world’s only remaining superpower and does not need to cower before the threat of low-level, sporadic armed violence by an extremely small percentage of the worldwide Muslim population that embraces the jihadist ideology.

That is why we need to keep the San Bernardino shootings in the proper perspective. Such incidents do not pose some revolutionary new threat, and the limited threat they do pose certainly does not merit laying aside our civil liberties and the principles our nation was founded upon. Furthermore, even if we were to suspend the Constitution and forfeit our personal liberties, the government still could not prevent every potential terrorist attack. It simply cannot be done — ask any dictator.

In the final analysis, the world is and always has been a dangerous place. All of us are going to die, and unfortunately some of us are certain to die in a manner that is brutal or painful. Recognizing that terrorist attacks — like car crashes and cancer and natural disasters — are part of the human condition permits people and the governments they empower to take prudent, measured actions to attempt to prevent these attacks and mitigate those that cannot be prevented.

It is the resilience and perseverance of the population that will determine how much panic a terrorist attack causes. By keeping a proper perspective and by separating terror from terrorism, citizens can deny the practitioners of terror the ability to magnify their reach and power. To quote C.S. Lewis when he was referring to a different kind of terror — that caused by the looming specter of nuclear warfare: “They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”

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From Failed Bombings to Armed Jihadist Assaults

This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR

By Scott Stewart

One of the things we like to do in our Global Security and Intelligence Report from time to time is examine the convergence of a number of separate and unrelated developments and then analyze that convergence and craft a forecast. In recent months we have seen such a convergence occur.

The most recent development is the interview with the American-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki that was released to jihadist Internet chat rooms May 23 by al-Malahim Media, the public relations arm of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). In the interview, al-Awlaki encouraged strikes against American civilians. He also has been tied to Maj. Nidal Hasan, who was charged in the November 2009 Fort Hood shooting, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the perpetrator of the failed Christmas Day 2009 airline bombing. And al-Awlaki reportedly helped inspire Faisal Shahzad, who was arrested in connection with the attempted Times Square attack in May.

The second link in our chain is the failed Christmas Day and Times Square bombings themselves. They are the latest in a long string of failed or foiled bombing attacks directed against the United States that date back to before the 9/11 attacks and include the thwarted 1997 suicide bomb plot against a subway in New York, the thwarted December 1999 Millennium Bomb plot and numerous post-9/11 attacks such as Richard Reid’s December 2001 shoe-bomb attempt, the August 2004 plot to bomb the New York subway system and the May 2009 plot to bomb two Jewish targets in the Bronx and shoot down a military aircraft. Indeed, jihadists have not conducted a successful bombing attack inside the United States since the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Getting a trained bombmaker into the United States has proved to be increasingly difficult for jihadist groups, and training a novice to make bombs has also been problematic as seen in the Shahzad and Najibullah Zazi cases.

The final link we’d like to consider are the calls in the past few months for jihadists to conduct simple attacks with readily available items. This call was first made by AQAP leader Nasir al-Wahayshi in October 2009 and then echoed by al Qaeda prime spokesman Adam Gadahn in March of 2010. In the Times Square case, Shahzad did use readily available items, but he lacked the ability to effectively fashion them into a viable explosive device.

When we look at all these links together, there is a very high probability that jihadists linked to, or inspired by, AQAP and the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) — and perhaps even al Shabaab — will attempt to conduct simple attacks with firearms in the near future. Read the rest of this entry »

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