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Why make a tough job harder?

June 15, 2016

Trying to filter legitimate arguments out of all the political sleaze that surrounds the slaughter in Orlando is a chore.

However, a few items do stand out.

First, there is the political reaction to the incident.

You just knew the issue of gun control was going to be front-and-center on the left, and it is.

Let’s see.  Radical ISIS-inspired killers are targeting peaceful citizens just trying to have a nice night out, so we should immediately pass ill-conceived gun control laws.

For those pontificating about the gun control issue, let’s look at why so many people are so opposed to more gun control laws.

  1. Many people believe that they may have to defend themselves, because local and even national law enforcement is not equipped either philosophically or by training to do so, and it seems to many that this administration doesn’t even want them to defend us. Add in the concerted effort of the last two years to weaken the authority of the police, and you have a recipe for disaster.
  2. This president has shown a penchant for ignoring both existing law and the Constitution, resulting in a sort of “give ’em and inch and they’ll take a mile” mindset.
  3. At various times, the gun control lobby has indicated a desire to confiscate all firearms, similar to what happened in other countries.
  4. No one thinks that controlling or eliminating the purchase of firearms of any description would stop terrorists and criminals from obtaining weapons.

Incidentally, the AR-15 is not a dedicated “weapon of war.’  That would be the M-4 and M-16 Army Assault rifle, which is configured to go full-auto at the flick of a lever.  The AR-15 (for Armalite, the manufacturer, 15-inch barrel) is the civilian semi-automatic weapon. Given the right circumstance, a muzzle loader can be a weapon of war. Although the AR-15 is mechanically capable of cycling fast enough to fire 7-800 rounds a minute, it won’t unless you can pull the trigger that fast (approximately 13.3 times per second).

All that being said, it does take a human to pull the trigger, which brings us to the immigration/refugee question.

That is to say, the question of stemming the flow of immigrants from overseas, legal and illegal; the so-called Trump solution, if you will.

That issue is somewhat like the destruction wrought by a flood. You can’t begin the clean up until the water goes down.

We have absolutely no idea where most of the people that have crossed the border illegally are today, much less what they are doing.

The sheer volume of people already here that need to be checked out makes the probability that some of them will never be found, much less vetted,  pretty likely.

Continuing to leave the floodgates open isn’t going to help that problem, which is Trump’s whole point. Whether his hypothetical solution is practical at the wholesale level, or he would need to generate a list of exceptions would remain to be seen.

Omar Mateen and his wife are not the only terrorists in our midst. This IS going to happen again as long as ISIS remains capable of inspiring people to kill.

Then there is the utter failure of the systems we have in place in the case of the Orlando shooter.

This 2013 article explains to some extent how the system is supposed to work, particularly as regards persons exhibiting some sort of mental health or national security risk issue.

Obviously, it didn’t work that way in the case of the Orlando shooter. The FBI, or rather its upper management, has definitely got some ‘splainin’ to do.

The agency is falling back on the definition of probable cause and protection of civil liberties as though terrorists are common criminals.  If a ten-month investigation is not cause to flag someone in the system, whether he is indicted or not, then just what standard should apply in those cases?

It would seem like having some classification on the list mandating at least an extended waiting period for people that fit Mateen’s profile might not be a bad idea.

Ooops, there’s that banned word. Profile.

Everything has a profile. All birds are not robins, but all robins are birds. In any kind of profiling you have to start with a baseline.

There are certain characteristics that this particular flavor of  terrorists have in common.

And as mad as it makes some people, while it is undeniably true that not all Muslims are terrorists, so far, all the terrorists have been supporting an extremist version of the religion of Islam.

These are not misunderstood college preppies toilet papering a yard.  Nor are they street criminals mugging someone for their wallet.

They are people that want to impose their warped view of the world, which happens to be centered upon a 7th-century interpretation of a religion, at the tip of a knife or the barrel of a gun.

Why do the semantics matter?

If you believe, as most people do, that the vast majority of people whose religious doctrine is Islam are peaceful law-abiding citizens, then why would you not want to differentiate between them and their perverted doctrinal cousins? Failing to do so sort of paints them all with the same broad brush.

Trying to pretend that there is no connection between Islam and what’s happening in the world is simply naïve, given that every act of terrorism invokes the name of Allah.  The terrorists don’t say “I’m doing this in the name of Uncle Mike, or because I don’t have a job.”  They are called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant for a reason.

One wonders if this squabble over the semantics would be so vociferously defended by the left if these folks were declaring their acts to be in the name of the Christian God.

Semantics aside, stopping this threat is now a generational struggle. Failing to use all the tools available just makes the whole job harder to do.

From → op-ed

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