Arm the Innocent
At 9:40 PM, November 13, 2015. Bataclan Theater in Paris, France, a car pulled up and three men with AK pattern rifles jump out and began firing, first at the Bataclan Café, then entering the theater next door. The men ran to the mezzanine shouting “Allahu Akbar!” and methodically sweeping the crowded floor with fully automatic fire and throwing hand grenades into the crowd. For twenty minutes the attack went on -- people dying, people bleeding, with some pretending to be dead in hopes they would be left alone. At about 10:00 PM the attackers took 60 to 100 people hostage and threatened to decapitate a hostage every five minutes. As first responders arrive, they are also attacked. Heroic actions on the part of the responding police and tactical units ended the assault, but not before 89 people died.
Twenty of the survivors are still in the hospital a year later.
Many bodies of the dead were so torn up that some believe they were mutilated and tortured. No one really knows whether it was that, or the effect of multiple explosions and bullet impacts.
This gruesome scene was the cumulative result of bad policy, weak government, and low national resolve, combined with explosives and high velocity bullets impacting human flesh and bone. It is a massive failure of government’s first and most important role: keeping citizens safe. If you have a strong stomach, do a Google search for images of Bataclan to see its reality.
Jihadis (along with the mentally ill and the aggrieved and obsessed) are planning more mass murders. Perhaps at your favorite music club, bar, or even your church or synagogue. Or a preschool.
At Bataclan, an anonymous security guard (he would not reveal his name out of fear) lay unwounded amid the dead and dying, hoping for a break in the gunfire. When it came, he heroically hustled survivors out the side door. Then the first police officer arrived on the scene and shot dead the terrorist on the stage. The heroic security guard spent the next 2-1/2 hours leading people safely away from the now bloody concert venue as the remaining Jihadis holed up in the building with hostages.
Let me ask you a question: would you prefer, or not prefer, for that brave soul to have been armed? Would you prefer, or not prefer, that 20-30 of the concertgoers had been armed? If you cannot easily say that yes, you wish they had been armed, then you are either allowing your ideology to hold sway over your morals, or you are simply not morally serious. What does it mean not to be morally serious? It means to value your view of yourself as peaceful/pacifist, or simply morally superior, more than you value other people’s lives.
T.S. Eliot said:
"Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves."
Since the 1960s, it has become acceptable, in one instance after another, to allow others to die in the name of our personal purities and pieties. In the name of a strange equivalence that sees all violence as morally equal, we grant these killers an unbeatable advantage over the civilized.
John Lott shows, in his revelatory book The Bias Against Guns: Why Almost Everything You've Heard About Gun Control Is Wrong, that public mass shootings drop to zero (or close to it) where there is a realistic expectation that the public is armed. Those who commit these crimes select sites, cities, and nations where the public is likely to be unable to defend themselves (such as gun-free zones) for their murders. Each of us, if we care about the truth of this issue, should read that book.
Perhaps it is time to arm the innocent. I prefer that the next ghouls who break into a meeting of good and decent people, as in San Bernardino, be met with a hail of returning gunfire. Let’s have the next jihadi who hates gay Americans and plans to kill as many as he can at a club or bar, as in Orlando, met with 20 gay people with guns. The police cannot stop these attacks. They arrive far too late to do so. A couple of unarmed security guards, no matter their heroism, do not constitute protection from this threat. Even a couple of armed security guards is inadequate for today’s realities. I was in Orlando just after the attacks there, and there were slogans all over the city on shirts, and hats, and up on walls. They said: “Orlando Strong.” San Bernardino had them too, right next to the sad displays of flowers and candles mourning the dead on Waterman Ave. Really? Strong? What is strong about this? Wouldn’t armed resistance to murder be strong, and in more than words?
Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach confronted murderer Adam Lanza when they heard gunshots in their school. Principal Hochsprung actually lunged at Lanza in an effort to disarm him. He killed her. Would you prefer that heroic woman to have been armed -- or not? The ghoul Lanza, when police were closing in, killed himself, which is what mass murderers often do when brave men and women with guns show up. The presence of guns in the hands of a couple of brave sheepdogs (such as the janitor who, risking his life, ran up and down the halls, warning the classrooms) might have meant a whole different ending to Sandy Hook.
The Eagles of Death Metal singer and guitarist Jesse Hughes was front and center at Bataclan when the massacre started. He escaped without injury but the experience changed him, and for a brief moment, the truth shot right through the media wall of leftist thinking when he said:
“I’ll ask you: Did your French gun control stop a single [expletive] person from dying at the Bataclan? And if anyone can answer yes, I’d like to hear it, because I don’t think so.” As he continued: “It just seems like God made men and women, and, that night, guns made them equal. Maybe until nobody has guns, everybody has to have them.”
Of course, the media responded with the usual assorted tsk-tsks and the issue quieted down, but Jesse’s statement still remains: singular, and almost startling in its truth.
There are sheepdogs (the brave, who are willing to risk their own lives to save others) in every group of people. Why do we refuse to allow them to defend us?
Sting performed at the just-reopened Bataclan on November 12 of this year. I am glad nothing happened at that show, but the we in the west have not learned our lessons -- we still prefer liberal pieties and “peace-talk” to arming the innocent and a having chance at living.