The nature of an open society carries inherent risks. Some believe they can trade their freedom to mitigate those risks. And though it never pans out, there are always some willing to try it again. The events of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, the Washington Navy Yard Shooting, and most mass shootings serve to highlight the fact that the government cannot protect you. And yet, many continue to cling to the idea that if there were just more gun control, such things wouldn’t happen. The next tragedy will not change their minds. But, in a recent ABC News interview, the Secretary-General of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), Ronald Noble went against the grain, saying the US and other democratic nations are at a security crossroads and has only two choices according to the ABC article.
“Societies have to think about how they’re going to approach the problem,” Noble said. “One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves are so secure that in order to get into the soft target you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”
Though Noble calls it an evolution of terrorism, the fact is, attacks on “soft targets” like malls, movie theaters, schools, and transportation centers have been slowly increasing for decades. What was once a rare anomaly among violent criminal actors, has become the norm in recent years. Many law enforcement, military, and security professionals have long opined that it was just a matter of time before terrorists and other violent criminals turned to making large attacks on ordinary people. It boils down to simply being “easier” than hitting the “obvious” targets like government buildings and military installations that are often hardened against such attacks. Gun free zones, really are attacked more often than places where people are likely to be armed. Gun ranges are sometimes used for suicides but, no one has ever tried to start a mass shooting at a gun range. To that end, Noble’s comments eventually addressed the ongoing gun control debate here in the United States.
“Ask yourself: If that was Denver, Col., if that was Texas, would those guys have been able to spend hours, days, shooting people randomly?” Noble said, referring to states with pro-gun traditions. “What I’m saying is it makes police around the world question their views on gun control. It makes citizens question their views on gun control. You have to ask yourself, ‘Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past with an evolving threat of terrorism?’ This is something that has to be discussed.”
“For me it’s a profound question,” he continued. “People are quick to say ‘gun control, people shouldn’t be armed,’ etc., etc. I think they have to ask themselves: ‘Where would you have wanted to be? In a city where there was gun control and no citizens armed if you’re in a Westgate mall, or in a place like Denver or Texas?'”
A profound question indeed. I was actually shocked to see a former Clinton appointee, let alone someone from Interpol, asking the question. If you’re on the side that has long said, “Let’s just ban guns,” you too should be asking yourself this question. If you’d rather be among the victims at Westgate, more power to you. Feel free to move to Kenya. The full article can be seen at ABC’s website. http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/exclusive-westgate-interpol-chief-ponders-armed-citizenry/story?id=20637341&singlePage=true