Skip to comments.In the Fight Against Terrorism, Some Rights Must Be Repealed - (Hunh? Disarm us to fight terror?)
Posted on 03/08/2005 8:05:19 PM PST by freeholland
The newly appointed CIA Director Porter Goss, believes that terrorists may bring urban warfare techniques learned in Iraq to our homeland. If he is right, we could have a whole new war on our hands. The prospect is indeed scary.
The idea of terrorist cells operating clandestinely in the United States, quietly amassing handguns and assault rifles, and planning suicide shooting rampages in our malls, is right out of Tom Clancys most recent novel. If not for the fact that the 9/11 attacks were also foreshadowed in a Clancy novel, I would have given the idea no further thought.
However, rather than facing this potential threat publicly, the Bush administration is only focused on terrorist attacks involving missiles, nuclear devices and biological weapons. Stopping terrorists with WMDs is a good thing, but what about the more immediate threat posed by terrorists with guns? The potential threat of terrorist attacks using guns is far more likely than any of these other scenarios.
This leads to a bigger policy issue. In the post 9/11 world where supposedly everything has changed, perhaps it is time for Americans to reconsider the value of public gun ownership.
The idea of public gun ownership simply does not make sense anymore. The right to bear arms, as enumerated in the Second Amendment, was meant for the maintenance of a well-regulated militia. At the time the amendment was adopted, standing armies were viewed with a great deal of suspicion, and therefore, gun-owning individuals were seen as a protection mechanism for the public. These gun owners were also seen as guardians of the republic against the tyranny of the rulers. The framers of the Constitution saw the right to bear and use arms as a check against an unruly government. That state of affairs no longer exists.
Today, only a handful of citizens outside of neo-nazi and white supremacist goups view gun ownership as a means of keeping the government in check. Even those citizens who continue to maintain such antiquated views must face the reality that the United States armed forces are too large and too powerful for the citizenry to make much difference. Quite frankly, the idea of the citizenry rising up against the U.S. government with their handguns and assault rifles, and facing the military with these personal arms is absurd. The Branch Davidian tragedy at Waco, Texas, was one such futile attempt.
The more important consideration is public safety. It is no longer safe for the public to carry guns. Gun violence is increasingly widespread in the United States. According to the DOJ/FBIs Crime In The United States: 2003 report, 45,197 people in the United States were murdered with guns between 1999 and 2003. That averages out to more than 9,000 people murdered per year. Nearly three times the number of lives lost in the tragic 9/11 attacks are murdered annually as a direct result of guns.
Examples of wanton violence are all around. One particularly heinous incident of gun violence occurred in 1998 when former Aryan Nation member Buford Furrow shot and wounded three young boys, a teenage girl and a receptionist at the North Valley Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles and then shot and killed a Filipino-American postal worker.
Another occurred in July 1999 when white supremacist Benjamin Nathaniel Smith, a member of the World Church of the Creator, went on a weekend shooting spree, targeting Blacks, Jews and Asians. By the time Smith was done he had wounded six Orthodox Jews returning from services, and killed one African-American and one Korean-American.
Just recently, in Ulster, NY, a 24 year old man carrying a Hesse Arms Model 47, an AK-47 clone assault rifle, randomly shot people in a local mall. While the Justice Department did not label this murder a terrorist attack, all the signs were there. The Ulster, New York shooting is an ominous warning of what lies ahead. Terrorism can be a homegrown act committed by anyone with a gun and is not unique to a Middle Eastern-looking man with a bomb. As long as the public is allowed to own guns, the threat of similar terrorist attacks remains real.
The idea of curtailing rights in the name of homeland security does not seem implausible given the current state of civil liberties in the United States. The war on terror has already taken an enormous toll on the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments, and thus far, very few Americans have objected. In light of this precedence, it seems reasonable that scaling back or even repealing the right to bear arms would be an easy task.
In fact, it will be a very difficult task. So far the civil liberties curtailment has affected generally disenfranchised groups such as immigrants, people of color and religious minorities. An assault on the Second Amendment will impact a much more powerful constituency.
According to the DOJs Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2002 41 percent of American households owned at least one gun. According to these same statistics, 50 percent of the owners were male, 43 percent were white and 48 percent were Republican. More than 50 percent of the gun owners were college educated and earned more than $50,000 per year. Regrettably, these folks are going to marshal their considerable resources to protect their special interest.
This is a shame. Instead of laying waste to the civil rights and civil liberties that are at the core of free society, and rather than squandering precious time and money on amending the U.S. Constitution for such things as preserving marriage between a man and woman, the nation ought to focus its attention on the havoc guns cause in society and debate the merits of gun ownership in this era of terrorism.
So long as guns remain available to the general public, there will always be the threat of terrorists walking into a crowded restaurant, a busy coffee shop or a packed movie theater and opening fire upon unsuspecting civilians.
The Second Amendment is not worth such risks.
Junaid M. Afeef is a Research Associate at the Institute for Social Policy & Understanding. His articles are available at http://www.ispu.us.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This guy isn't just stupid. He is stupid to an astounding degree.
Well, in that case neither is the 1st, or the 3rd, or the 4th, or the 5th......we just can't be too careful about TERRORISM (TM) these days.
I hate to profile based on a name, but how much you wanna bet the author of this piece is a terrorist and seeks to disarm Americans before committing a giant atrocity himself? Well, I suppose you could change his name to Sarah Brady and that would change nothing.
Just more of the same old brain dead idiocy. First we have to get rid of our guns to protect ourselves from rabid criminals. Now we have to get rid of our guns to protect ourselves from homicidal terrorists. Notice a pattern?
The victims, MUST have MINIMUM seccess. The CIA says so!!!
Look at the source. Afeef is a Muslim who doesn't want us armed to fight the terrorists. Funny how he attacks our contstitutional right to defend ourselves but is concerned with constitutional rights in the defense of terrorists.
At first I was going to ask how old this guy was, I thought maybe this was a junior high report.
Then I saw that the author is an attorney, and everything fell into place.
Nobody can be this stupid without a purpose, can they?
The Constitution is not a Suicide Pact; it's a Living Document.
Bwahahah.... Yeah, thats it, disarm us. After 9/11, they couldn't keep simple pistols on the shelves. Americans reaction to attack was to arm themselves, even if the threat was not the type you could stop with a pistol (try stopping a 757 from ramming your house with a pistol). It was, however, a logical reaction to fear.
So, if a criminal's worst fear (according to statistics I've read) is a tie between a vicious dog or armed homeowner, I wonder how the terrorists feel? They plan for every contingency (at least the "professional" ones do), so how does taking on a pissed off crowd of armed Americans grab ya for operational security?
An armed citizen is the ultimate free radical, you don't know where we are and you don't know how good we are with the weapons we have. Tough to plan for that.
I just love the Liberal group think..if we only outlaw the guns ....the criminals will follow the law and not use them....yeah thats it...a criminal will not break the law...
If unalienable rights must be repealed I suggest that the muslim author of that piece have his rights to life and liberty revoked.
Not only are these the the disorganized thoughts of an idiot, they are the dreams of most of those we call public servants. Probably 90% of all Police chiefs, 60% of legislators, and probably 40% of Republican office holders hold similar views. I firmly believe that there will be terror type attacks with weapons, and the govt will begin disarming Americans. Soon we will be proudly dependent on the whims of our betters, just like Canada, Britain and Australia.
The INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL POLICY UNDERSTANDING looks like an Islamofascist front. Check out the board of directors.
Or just invoke the "universal executive power of the law of nature"....... that way we can keep our guns!
Transportation means were used in both the trade tower and the Oklahoma City attacks. It makes more sense to ground planes and ban rental trucks to control terror.
I was encouraged by her stastistics for gun ownership. With those kinds of numbers it will be a very hard battle to confiscate guns in the US.