Defense against terrorist attacks

In 2008 after the Mumbai terrorist attacks, I wrote a letter to the editor of my local paper.  I also sent versions of the letter to State and Federal representatives.

After the Mumbai terrorist attacks, there has been talk about how to prepare for an attack here. One item that is frequently missed is that the choice of when and where to attack lies with the terrorists and, therefore, the police can do little to prevent them. The terrorists will simply attack where the police are not. If you put guards on Chase Tower, the terrorists will attack the Marriott. Put guards on the Marriott, and they will attack a shopping mall. Put armed guards on the malls and they’ll attack the next Pacers home game. There simply are not enough police to be everywhere so they’ll simply go where the police are not. And since these terrorists are willing to die for their cause, the thought that the police will eventually arrive and stop them will not deter them. And if India with its highly restrictive gun control could not stop the terrorists from getting the weapons they used to kill, no such gun control legislation in the US could stop similar attacks here.

Fortunately, however, Indiana has a second line of defense against these terrorists. According to a 2004 article in the Indianapolis Star, there were then 300,000 residents of Indiana who were licensed to carry handguns. That’s one in twenty people in Indiana, and the number has likely only gone up since then. In most large crowds there will be some who are licensed to carry. Not all will be carrying at any given time and not all will have the fortitude to stand up to the terrorists and stop them from killing the people around them, but some will. And so we are guarded even where the police are not–by our own citizens.

Unfortunately, there are areas where those guards, provided without charge to the State or to the people so guarded, cannot go. There remain soft targets where terrorists like those in Mumbai could find fertile killing fields. Those targets are our schools, our universities, and our day cares. The threat is to our children and youth who are the very future of our nation. The very one’s to whom we should be giving the greatest protection are instead the most vulnerable.

It is vitally important that our schools and universities be protected from terrorists such as those who struck Mumbai. One way would be to hire and train armed security personnel for every school and university in the country, enough to have several in every building whenever children are present. This would be a costly undertaking and would take considerable time to implement. The other solution is far less expensive and that is to allow individuals who have a clean criminal record and no serious mental health issues–people, in fact, who can successfully obtain an Indiana handgun license–to be armed in such places and to encourage teachers and facility in such places to do so. This will provide the same, free, armed security that the rest of our State enjoys.

I got one reply back, from Representative Andre Carson (hack, spit), dismissive of the entire concept but claiming he’ll “keep [my] thoughts in mind.  I wrote the following response to him:

Thank you very much for your thoughts concerning gun control. I will keep your thoughts in mind when I vote in 2010.

You see, a person in your position cannot be ignorant of the facts unless he is willfully so.

A person in your position cannot help but know that there is a strong positive correlation between “gun control” and violent crime–the more “gun control,” the more violent crime.

A person in your position cannot help but know that the foreign examples of low crime or low gun crime had their low crime even before they enacted gun control legislation, and the trend has been for crime to increase after gun control is enacted.

A person in your position cannot help but know that India’s severe gun control, amounting to an outright ban for all practical purposes, did not stop the terrorists from obtaining guns and killing large numbers of people with them. That “gun control” only ensured that the victims could not fight back.

A person in your position cannot help but know that every time easing the infringement on the right to keep and bear arms is proposed (as, for instance, when a State proposes “shall issue” on handgun licenses) the predictions of “blood in the streets” are made, but every time the easing actually happens, the predictions fail to come true.

A person in your position cannot help but know that, for stated purpose of reducing individual risk of violent crime, gun control does not work.

Since you cannot help but know these things, I have to presume that there are other reasons for your stated position in favor of “strong restrictions” on guns.

Aside from the date, I see nothing I need to change in any of that.

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