How long would the jihadis at Charlie Hebdo, Westgate, Mumbai – and many other terror attacks to come – be able to continue killing if they were surrounded by armed citizens? Interpol states that the only way to stop such attacks is to allow citizens to carry arms (the only alternative to an armed citizenry is “extraordinary security” surrounding every area where many people meet – train stations, super markets, schools, etc. – which is of course completely unrealistic). If guns are illegal, only violent criminals, fanatic jihadis and our over-worked, understaffed police will have them.
In case you are unsure whether it is a good idea that citizens legally own firearms: Switzerland has very liberal gun laws and one of the lowest percentages of homicide in the world. Interesting statistics on guns, homicides and firearm related accidents in the US here.
Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said today the U.S. and the rest of the democratic world is at a security crossroads in the wake of last month’s deadly al-Shabab attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya – and suggested an answer could be in arming civilians.
In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Noble said there are really only two choices for protecting open societies from attacks like the one on Westgate mall where so-called “soft targets” are hit: either create secure perimeters around the locations or allow civilians to carry their own guns to protect themselves.
“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.” …
Citing a recent call for al Qaeda “brothers to strike soft targets, to do it in small groups,” Noble said law enforcement is now facing a daunting task.
“How do you protect soft targets? That’s really the challenge. You can’t have armed police forces everywhere,” he told reporters. “It’s Interpol’s view that one way you protect soft targets is you make it more difficult for terrorist to move internationally. So what we’re trying to do is to establish a way for countries … to screen passports, which are a terrorist’s best friend, try to limit terrorists moving from country to country. And also, that we’re able to share more info about suspected terrorists.”
In the interview with ABC News, Noble was more blunt and directed his comments to his home country.
“Ask yourself: If that (Westgate terror attack) 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.'”