Oklahoma Terror and Gun Control
The horrible murder and beheading of an innocent woman in Oklahoma, committed by a recent Muslim convert, is being studiously ignored by the mainstream media. As has been pointed out by a number of conservative commentators on AT and elsewhere, the Left cannot countenance the obvious connection between the Oklahoma killer and the actions of Muslim terrorists in the Middle East. But the Oklahoma murder doesn’t just undermine the Leftist narrative of Muslims as a persecuted minority, rather than as assertive, and sometimes aggressive proselytizers. It also presents a problem on the issue of gun control, as the killer was brought down by a citizen (maybe using a so-called assault weapon) rather than by a small army of SWAT officers. This combination could be the perfect storm for two of the Left’s cherished ideas -- that Islam is the “religion of peace,” and gun control.
In general, the media and the Obama administration have downplayed or ignored the Oklahoma case. My own hometown newspaper, the Washington Post, on Sunday September 28, relegated this story to a below the fold digest section on page A2. On the facing page (A3) was a large and sensitive story -- complete with large above the fold photo -- about Michael Brown’s parents, of Ferguson, Missouri fame. Next to that was a similarly fawning piece on the Clinton’s new granddaughter. The Post’s website on September 29, featured a sympathetic story about the Oklahoma killer’s family, expressing shock that he could have perpetrated the crime.
Meanwhile, the details of Vaughan Foods CEO (or COO in some accounts) Mark Vaughn’s actions in stopping the Oklahoma terror attack remain obscure, at least in part because the mainstream media has not pursued them. What’s known is that Vaughn shot and seriously wounded Alton Nolen with a rifle during the rampage. The only other fact that has been widely disseminated is that Vaughn was also a reserve sheriff’s deputy. Almost any mainstream account of the incident trumpets this detail. While there is no doubt the Vaughn is a reserve deputy, there is also no publicized evidence that at the time of the attack, or during his courageous actions Vaughn was on duty, or acting as anything other than a private citizen. Vaughan Foods was his company. And although Vaughn evidently had recently sold some or all of his interest in the business, he remained on board in a management capacity, and it appears that it was in this capacity -- not as a reserve deputy sheriff -- that he engaged the terrorist.
There are many terrifying aspects to this episode, including the horrendous way Nolen killed Colleen Hufford and wounded Traci Johnson. But for the Left, another frightening part of the story is the damage a fair reporting of the incident would do to their gun-control agenda. And as the feckless Obama administration blunders through its last years in office, with Islamic terrorists of all varieties encouraged like never before, it is more evident than ever that the Oklahoma attack, rather than an aberration, is part of a long-term trend of organized lone-wolf Islamic terrorism in the United States that dates back several decades. Despite unprecedented security efforts and concomitant infringements on the rights of ordinary law abiding Americans, the attacks keep coming, with greater frequency and unpredictability.
Since 9/11, home-grown Islamic terrorists have struck targets in particularly vulnerable areas. The Beltway snipers preyed mainly on the D.C. suburbs, thick with federal installations and police, but low on armed citizens -- particularly in gun-rights hostile Maryland. Nidal Hasan attacked a Fort Hood clinic, where soldiers were prohibited from arming themselves. A wounded Boston Marathon terrorist shut down an entire unarmed city, which effectively surrendered itself to the draconian imposition of martial law, before he was caught. This came only after a homeowner discovered the terrorist after emerging from a government-imposed curfew.
Such lone-wolf Islamic terror attacks are bound to proliferate, aided and abetted by a government and media that refuse to acknowledge reality. As this happens, public pressure to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans will likely recede, especially if further instances of armed citizens acting in their own defense, or in defense of others, accompany the trend.
Several years ago, after a string of similar lone-wolf terror attacks in Israel were frustrated by private citizens, I wrote an article anticipating similar events in the United States. In the Israeli cases, quick thinking off-duty or former soldiers took matters into their own hands, sometimes in the presence of slow-reacting police or security personnel, to put an end to terror attacks. While the United States doesn’t have the same percentage of military veterans as Israel, it still has millions of veterans, and millions of other well-trained and experienced gun owners, target shooters and hunters, who are more than capable, and likely willing, to defend themselves and fellow citizens in the case of a terror attack.
In states like my own (Maryland) where draconian gun laws both restrict the purchase and possession of firearms, several things may happen, none of which will please the Left.
First, terrorists of all stripes will likely prefer to target such states with an increasingly disarmed populace.
Secondly, as such attacks take place, previously indifferent unarmed Americans will wish to arm themselves, only to find government imposed obstacles in their way. For example, Maryland’s recently enacted licensing requirements have already produced a dramatic slowdown in gun sales, and the closing of local gun shops. This no doubt pleases many liberal Maryland politicians. But for ordinary citizens, particularly young people with families who would rather not see loved ones murdered or maimed, the case for an unarmed citizenry should appear weakened.
Third, judicial and political action against jurisdictions which impose unreasonable restrictions against gun ownership and carry laws might receive increased popular and judicial support. In just the past couple of weeks, the District of Columbia, under court order, was forced to enact legislation permitting some form of self-defense carry for its citizens. Reluctant D.C. politicians relied in part on Maryland’s heavy strictures against concealed carry (which make it virtually impossible to carry a firearm for personal defense) in drafting its new legislation, despite the court’s order. Public and judicial unease about such restrictions in an increasingly dangerous environment won’t help preserve such anti-constitutional legislation.
For the Left, such scenarios would be a disaster. So while both the mainstream media and Democrat politicians have done their best to ignore or downplay the terror in Oklahoma, you can count on anti-gun hysterics if a private citizen acts in defense against an Islamic terrorist and either fails to end the threat or makes a mistake. In the bizarre twilight world of Leftist politics, nothing would be better. But that is not what happened in Oklahoma, and so for now the Left will just pretend that what actually happened didn’t.