Mumbai Attacks Should Offer Sobering Reminder to Americans

As the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India reach the end of the third day, more than 125 people lay dead, with twice that number wounded. All day, I’ve been away from the computer and away from the news. I was sad when I saw it was still going on.

It’s understandable that, while gathered with family over the past few days, the blood and gore and flames and guns on the news stations may not be the best or most popular choice for viewing. Still, I hope that a lot of people are watching and listening or at least following along, as the attacks of the past few days should really offer a sobering reminder of just how open and unprepared we are here in America.

These terrorists, after all, weren’t people who hatched an elaborate plan involving flight training, airport security, simultaneous cockpit incursions, and more. These were gunmen. These were people who, by one account in The Scotsman, “looked like any student” before opening fire and killing dozens. Sure, they had automatic rifles. Sure, they had zodiac-style boats. Sure, they simultaneously attacked about ten different locations. Absolutely, it is fairly obvious that the terrorists were not a bunch of fly0-by-night yahoos, but nothing so far shows that they did anything extraordinarily difficult from a tactical or strategic standpoint.

We are so wide open here in the United States. Many of our shopping malls and schools are in so-called “gun-free zones,” meaning that only law enforcement officers and those with ill intent are permitted to carry firearms on and around the premises in question. The problem, however, is that when seconds count, the police are minutes away. In 1984, 21 people were shot dead in a Southern California McDonald’s; in 1991, 23 were killed in a Killeen, Texas cafeteria shooting; in 1999, of course, 13 were shot and killed at Columbine High School (on the very day that the Colorado state legislature was to vote on concealed carry legislation); in 2007 alone, five were killed in Salt Lake City’s Trolley Square Mall in February by a shooter, 32 were shot to death at Virginia Tech in April and, at this time last year, another eight were murdered by a gunman at an Omaha mall. Then, there were four separate school shootings in February of this year alone. All of those attacks happened in so-called “Gun-Free” zones, but none of the shooters were involved in a terrorist group of any sort. Point being, not only do we defeat ourselves with a politically-correct, it’s-not-gonna-happen-to-me attitude toward foreign policy and Islamic terrorism, we handcuff ourselves with ridiculous legislation, guidelines and social norms in our own country as well.

When I was at the King of Prussia Mall last week, I saw thousands upon thousands of people, and not a single security guard. Maybe they were there and were in plain clothes. Maybe their Segway transporter moves so quickly that I couldn’t see it. Regardless, it dawned on me then just how open we would be to a simple attack — it’s a shame it actually happened in Mumbai a few days later.

Of course, a gun on every hip will not prevent a Mumbai-style attack on American soil. If the Islamic fundamentalists want us–and they do–they will certainly try. Only a proactive overseas approach toward terrorism in general, coupled with increased security here at home and a growing intolerance for meritless political correctness can stop a tragedy in the planning stages and beyond. Remember, after all, the six people currently on trial in New Jersey for planning to attack Fort Dix.

We must continue to take the fight to the streets of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, rather than tuck our tails between our legs and invite those who hate us into the neighborhoods in Baltimore or the suburbs of Los Angeles. We must close our northern and especially our southern border at home. We must continue responsible surveillance and foster an increase in educated human intelligence.

Most of all, though, we cannot let these attacks fall back into the recesses of our minds, victim of a gnat-like attention span more interested in Dancing With the Stars than Special Report with Brit Hume. Talk to your families about it. Talk to your coworkers.

In the meantime, while I don’t often get religious here at America’s Right, remember that each and every day on this Earth is a blessing from God. We should thank Him for letting us be here in the first place, pray for those who fight and sacrifice to keep us free and safe, and certainly for those who didn’t make it out of their hotels and community centers in Mumbai.

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Comments

  1. rls says:

    I’m certainly not going to equate all Muslims as terrorists, however it must be noted that almost all terrorist attacks in the last seven years were perpetrated by Muslims.

    There have been over 5,000 thwarted terrorist attacks worldwide in the last seven years due to the Bush Doctrine which engendered international support for the GWOT.

    I feel fortunate that I do not live in a major US city for I think that we are indeed going to see another attack on our soil soon.

    I just hope we have the right response.

  2. George says:

    You may not have seen any security guards at the Court or the Plaza, but there were probably several CCW holders out there shopping. Remember folks, it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it

  3. Anonymous says:

    The terrorists involved in Mumbai were trained and coordinated. One of the best thing Bush has done is to effectively close Al Quaeda training camps. We haven’t seem another training video in quite awhile. Mumbai argues that there’re training camp(s) open again, most likely in Pakistan. One way or another they must be closed.

    We should continue to arm ourselves at home, and carry whenever possible. I’ve read Iraeli teachers keep a pistol in their desks. There have been so many school shootings that would have most likely been shut down very quickly if American teachers did also. How about this? I’m not litiginous, but it might help if some families of victims file suit against those who declared “gun free zones”, leading to massacres. There have been massacres shut down by armed citizens. Our society has changed in many ways in response to other lawsuits. Witness handicap accessible facilities everywhere. I’d rather take my chances with armed responsible citizens than with terrorists, crazies or gangs.

    George Bush may be inarticulate but he deserves a great deal of credit for what he’s done to keep us safe in the last eight years.

    Thanks for your clear, thoughtful and well written articles. Keep it up!

  4. Jeff Schreiber says:

    That’s right, George. I was one of them.

    (Hey — I didn’t see any signs…)

  5. goddessdivine says:

    Amen. “Gun-free zones” are a joke. The only guarantee is that law-abiding citizens are unarmed and left vulnerable to psychos or terrorists to wreak their havoc.

    Maybe I’ll look into a concealed weapon permit before Jan 21st…..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,
    What if you DID see a sign?

  7. Anonymous says:

    As little as most people may realize it, we are already under attack here at home. At least two people have already received threats; one of whom filed a suit that is now before the US Supreme Court (there are now two cases before SCOTUS); another who did months of research to prove that the copy of Obama’s BC as displayed on his websites, is a forgery.There are also questions as to whether Obama’s Selective Service Registration is legitimate.

    Another website (Atlas Shrugs) was allegedly closed down for a time by Google. The site explains how many of the stories that pertained to Obama, could not be accessed. Also the website for the NJ citizen who has a suit before SCOTUS claiming that Obama is not a natural born citizen, was shut down completely, as was the parent company, blogtext .org.

    In addition, both cases that were sent to the Supreme Court were interfered with by one of the SC clerks, who tried to prevent a Justice from seeing the cases, and also tried to sabotage them by changing the wording, so that at least one of the cases would not be eligible to be heard by the Justices.

    The complete filings by the NJ citizen who established “standing” and now has his case scheduled to appear before all nine Justices for discussion on Dec 5, 2008, can be found at:
    http://www.lanlamphere.com/public (Overnight Radio AM.)
    Find the category “Leo C Donofrio v Nina Mitchell Wells”, by either clicking on ‘site map’, and scrolling down, or on the left side of the page, scroll downto ‘Leo Donofrio’ and click there.

    There is also a very good article about Google (on 11/17), and a link to Dr James David Manning PhD (11/11). Dr Manning has several You Tube talks that are informative:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8b_usFyLHQ

  8. Janet says:

    I have this weird gut feeling about the week after next. Dec. 5th is the SCOTUS review of the Donofrio Obama inelibiltiy case and the 15th is when the electors vote. My gut feeling is that Obama will step down without showing his BC to avoid jailtime/fines/embarrassment and that will leave us with a new vote which would be Hillary vs McCain and Hillary would win hands down.

    But the upheaval and uncertainty would leave us vulnerable to an attack which I think might be that very week. So yes, keep eyes open at all times, place plastic over your basement windows and stock up on water, protein bars, etc. Don’t mean to sound paranoid, just saying what my gut feelings are. Thank goodness they are sometimes wrong.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Here’s where the 2nd amendment rights get a little open to interpretation…

    With all due respect, Jeff, how do I know that a CCW holder has remembered to put their safety–or whatever you call it–on. What if that things goes off when they are standing there leaning over their shopping bags and the bullet hits some kid in a stroller next to them (God forbid)? I understand the ‘having it for the moment you need it’ argument, but what about the accident rate? I know, I know, gun owners are so SAFE–they are so careful, blah blah, etc… Says who? I haven’t seen your safety course grades or the checks you go through. I imagine, like anyone else, you forget things like where you left your car keys once in a while, so I assume you could also forget other things, too. Again, I am saying these things with all due respect. I just don’t think the right to keep and bear arms goes wherever you go. For your home, yes, but for Chuck E Cheese–no. There should not have to be a sign everywhere it is unreasonable to have a gun (talk about forcing PCness).

    So, if 5 guys run into a mall and start shooting, theoretically (if everyone interprets the 2nd amendment as such) 80 other people pull out their weapons and start shooting everywhere? Yikes! And what about the statistics that say you are far more likely to get killed in an accident with a gun than you are to need it in such a scenario?

    I know I’m going to get a lot of flack for these comments, but I am just trying to state some reasonable concerns. Gun owners can be so very defensive (no pun intended) of their rights and I’m just not sure that those rights automatically extend beyond one’s home.

    Realistically, we do need to beef up security at our schools and public places. I’m not sure the ‘wild west’ milieu is what we should be striving for. “Are you going to the grocery store, honey? Don’t forget your gun!” Sheesh.

    You don’t have to publish these comments–I don’t really mean to start up any arguments. What you state in the article about the US being too open is absolutely correct and worrisome, but I just had to state that not everyone sees the issue in the same way. Thanks.

  10. Author says:

    If Obama and the DNC don’t respond by Dec 1st, what do you think Justice Soutor do?

  11. Kahleeka says:

    I heard there have been 4000 deaths in India due to terrorism since 2004, not including the recent massacre in Mumbai.

    If we will be “tested” as Joe Biden prophesied, more people will appreciate how George W. has protected us! Here’s to hoping they never realize what a great job he has done! :X

    God have mercy on India!

  12. Leah says:

    My son is in school in Israel. The first surprise he was was soldiers walking around the mall with M-16. He actually felt safer with them there.

    Jeff, you should read about what those animals did to the Chabad House, and how good and righteous the Rabbi and his wife who ran it were. I had friends who told me it can never happen here. I wonder what it will take for them to wake up and be more aware?

  13. Jeff Schreiber says:

    “With all due respect, Jeff, how do I know that a CCW holder has remembered to put their safety–or whatever you call it–on. What if that things goes off when they are standing there leaning over their shopping bags and the bullet hits some kid in a stroller next to them (God forbid)?”

    Anonymous,

    Modern firearms–certainly the ones which I carry–will only go off if the trigger is pulled. Remember, my friend, that regardless of whether a firearm goes off for good or bad reasons, there must be someone behind it pulling the trigger.

    Of course, safety is paramount. My guns are locked up at home when not on my hip, access denied to others.

    Listen, I understand your concern, and had them myself for a long time. I remember, while working on a article for a newspaper in SC about an officer that shot himself in the leg while doing a routine walkthrough of a college bar, I was surprised that the police department used weapons with no external safeties. Even though I was assured that the gun could be dropped, run over, blah blah blah, and the only way it would go off is if the trigger was pulled (in fact, the cope was shot because some girl tried to pull the gun from his holster), I didn’t believe it.

    I didn’t know enough. Now, my carry gun of choice, a Sig-Sauer P226, similarly does not have an external safety.

    I encourage you to find a friend who DOES carry, or who DOES protect him or herself at home and go with them to a range. Start with a .22 pistol or rifle. Learn a little.

    The guns aren’t the problem. It’s the guns in the wrong hands which are the problem.

    The best safety, after all, is the one between your ears.

    Again, I understand your concern–they are fairly typical–and I hope that you won’t catch too much flak for it. In fact, because I DO have the moderation ability, anyone who goes over the line on this, anyone who goes beyond mere information, will not have their comment published.

  14. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Jeff,
    What if you DID see a sign?

    Se habla Espanol?

    (I kid. I kid.)

    In all honesty, you should read a little into the Appalachian Law School shootings, stopped by a pair of students who went out to their car to grab a firearm.

    Or the Luby’s Cafeteria shooting, in which the gunman was NOT stopped by several people who had guns in their cars in the parking lot but did not carry because of a lack of CCW laws in Texas (soon after that shooting, CCW passed).

    Or the Trolley Square Mall shooting, in which the shooter was stopped after having killed only five people by an off-duty police officer who specifically ignored the signs, carried while dining with his wife, and crossed an entire mall TOWARD gunfire to stop the shooter.

    If I see a sign telling me that I am NOT allowed to protect my family to the best of my ability–and while I am not Jack Bauer or James Bond, I like my chances with a firearm better than without–I will not shop there. Period. Someone who wants to do ill will certainly won’t heed the signs.

    (Did you know, by the way, that Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold closely followed concealed carry legislation in Colorado, and actually did the school shooting on the very day the legislature was to put it up for vote?)

  15. SeanOsborne says:

    A really Great blog Jeff. Head and shoulders above the rest and why I come to get the lastest on the Obama BC issues. When the sun rises tomorrow things should begin to percolate.

    With respect to Mumbai, perhaps you might find a few minutes of time to read what I’ve written on this issue, the tactics and technology used, the identification of the terrorists responsible, and the state sponsorship of this terrorist assault which brings nuclear powers India and Pakistan once again to the brink. You can read all of that and more HERE or HERE.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I live in Nevada, which is an open territory as far as carrying right now. We don’t need a CCW to carry, only to carry under concealment. If you put a holstered gun on your hip and have it in full view, you are legal, if you put that same holster in a purse and close the purse, you are illegal.

    I used to work as a flagger on highway construction on the grave yard shift (6 PM to 6 AM) and one year there were drivers shooting at us from moving autos on the road that we were trying to protect them from hazards on, I was guarding a turnaround gate where the 2 1/2 foot high cement K-rails had been removed from the middle of the highway, therefore anyone who wanted to turn around could and someone coming from the other side would not be able to see them; anyawy, my boss told me one night to bring my gun with me to work and have it on my hip, cause I was all alone out there on a 3 mile stretch of darkness with only a klegg light where I was, and totally open and vulnerable. I was on the border between Calif and Nevada, right on the line, that was my station for the whole night, for the duration of the job (about two months). Now Calif does not have recipricoal granting of rights concerning a CCW with Nevada, which is totally stupid and ignorant (as far as I am concerned) and Nevada does not have a rule that you need to even have a CCW if the weapon is visible, but if you use that weapon on someone who runs over the border to CA, you are held if you don’t have a CCW for CA, even if you have one for Nevada. The only placae a CCW permit for Nevada is good in Nevada is Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Montana and possibly Arizona. A Calif CCW permit is NOT VALID for Nevada, but is good for Oregon, Washington and some other states, but if you are a Nevadan, and travel somewhere, usually that somewhere is in Calif and that ais where most of the open shootings, such as drive-bys and highway pops and mall shootings or school shooting are located, and a Nevadan can’t carry legally in Calif….. unless they have gone to a Calif school and spent $160. to get a CA CCW permit, that is only legal there, not in Nevada. In Nevada a CCW permit only costs about $70 or $80 bucks and is valid in other states that the Nevadan might go into for hunting or whatever, but not in Calif.

    In other words, waht I am trying to say here is that the CCW alone is a very stupid law and if theya re going to have a CCW Permit issued, it ought to be valid in all states, not one valid and another not. You go to school, pass a test of accomplishment to gain that permit and have to receive a passing grade, so what makes it up to a neighbor state to invalidate the rights of that person who has followed all the rules and gotten the permit and then not be able to use it, wherever, for whatever purposes he might find himself in need of protection and the ability to use that permit/weapon that he so rightly obtained in good faith to comply with the law???

    And one must remember that IT IS ALWAYS THE INTENT OF THE PERSON WHO IS HOLDING THE WEAPON THAT MUST BE RIGHT OR WRONG, THE WEAPON DOESN’T SHOOT ITSELF. If a person succumbs to all the testing, the FBI and HS and CIA and AFT checks and does everything right, usually that person will not do WRONG with the weapon. It is the person who buys a gun from another street thug with intent to harm or do wrong with that weapon, that will usally harm others, not the other way around. Yes, there are cases on the books, where something goes awry and a person snaps, but those cases are far more unusual than common.

    Claudia,
    Reno, NV

  17. Anonymous says:

    Really, really enjoy your website.

    Attn: Texans

    There will be a new bill in the next legislative session which will allow open carry in Texas. We currently have CCL’s but are not allowed to openly carry our weapons. Below is a link to an online petition in Texas. I encourage all to sign the petition and forward the website to all others interested in expanding and protecting our 2nd amendment rights.

    http://www.opencarry.com/

    I agree with the statment regarding the ability to legally carry our concealed weapons to all states. Texas is a reciprocal state that recognizes ALL other states CCL’s. Unfortunately, not all other states recognize ours. It gets a little confusing for travel for law abiding citizens. Jeff, I am with you, I would rather have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. BTW, on of the victim’s daughters in the Luby shooting testified before Congress to allow concealed carry.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the info, Jeff and Claudia–I am the chicken-hearted wussy who wrote the Anon comment @ 2:12. Although I am OK with your second amendment interpretations, I personally will never go near one of those things. I have two relatives who injured themselves with their firearms (accidents, of course) and I don’t know how many more to go (lol).

    Once when visiting grandpa, my 6 year old son found a handgun on a side table when he wandered into the guest room. I entered the room about 5 seconds after him and saw him holding it, thinking it was a toy saying “Hey mom, look at this!” (It was a summer house, so grandpa had forgotten it was there.) Very long story short: I firmly told him to put it back down and he did. Freaking out ensued. You can imagine I aged about 30 years that moment!

    Although I agree that safety is between your ears, yea, right, well, with all due respect again, I am not necessarily worried about ‘you’–just because everyone who legally owns a gun started out sane doesn’t mean they all end up that way. Stress of normal life and all. You will always have wimpy worry warts like me to deal with when you talk about gun rights, sorry about that, but that’s reality. Thanks for hearing me out–it means a lot to me.

  19. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Once when visiting grandpa, my 6 year old son found a handgun on a side table when he wandered into the guest room. I entered the room about 5 seconds after him and saw him holding it, thinking it was a toy saying “Hey mom, look at this!” (It was a summer house, so grandpa had forgotten it was there.) Very long story short: I firmly told him to put it back down and he did. Freaking out ensued. You can imagine I aged about 30 years that moment!

    The thought of my two-year-old stumbling across a gun in my house–or anyone else’s for that matter–makes me shudder and want to cry. That’s why, unlike your grandfather, I keep mine locked up in a big ole’ safe, unless they’re on my hip.

    I understand where you’re coming from, though, I really do.

    There’s a great piece by Fred Thompson on the concealed carry issue, written shortly after the Virginia Tech massacre (which one student or teacher, capably armed, could have stopped and saved possibly dozens of lives) which I will have to find. In the meantime, thanks for reading, and thanks for not being afraid to type out what you thought would be an unpopular opinion.

    – Jeff

  20. Jeff Schreiber says:

    For the Texans and Nevadans out there — I personally don’t get open carry when a CCW/CHL/CCL is available to those who qualify.

    Like wearing one of those tactical 5.11-style vests just screams out “I HAVE A GUN!” I would imagine that carrying in the open would also essentially put you at risk of being the first one shot should a Luby’s-type of situation arises.

    Also, there’s something to be said about the retention issue. If nobody knows I am carrying, I don’t need to worry about some yahoo trying to take it from me.

    Furthermore, there’s the public perception issue. Some people are just freaked out by firearms. I used to be, because I bought into the Hollywood-perpetuated myths of “oh gosh, if he drops it, we’re all gonna die!” and such. Personally, if I see someone seated next to me at a restaurant and their “cellphone” under their shirt looks an awful lot like a Glock 26, I’m generally comforted, especially if the guy is with his family or something. For some people, however, it causes anxiety to see someone in line at the checkout counter with a USP compact on their hip.

    I just don’t see the point to open carry where concealed carry is available. I mean, I’m sure not out there to prevent anyone from doing so (see the 924c case quoted by Scalia in Heller), but it’s just not my personal choice, that’s all.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The thing about Open carry versus CCW, in Nevada, except in Las Vegas, the deaths and breakins are notably less out in the rurals than they are say, in a city like Vegas, where when you are out in the rurals, every house comes with an arsenal of some sort and everyone knows it, before they go bust in someone’s door to try and do a home invasion. They know that they will get shot and most likely killed, so they don’t do those types of things in the rural areas. In am including Reno in the rural category, as I live out of the city area, and every neighbor of mine has at least three weapons in their homes, and even young children know how to shoot all of them. They are taken out target shooting on a regular basis by their parents and learn about guns very solidly, mostly before they are 5-6 years old and definitely by the time they are 10 years old.

    I was visiting my grandparents in Oregon when I was about 8 years old and my grandpa took me out to teach me to shoot, and I killed my first cougar that day, with a rifle that was longer than I was tall. Every once in a while I go target shooting to brush up my skills. And most people who handle weapons with integrity do the same, and we don’t fire off a gun because we drop it or something slips in our fingers and it goes off, when we pull a gun out and hold it to shoot something, we mean to shot whatever it is we are going after, and know exactly how to do it. It is only amatures, or those that are scared and unsure about what they are doing, that accidents happen to.

    In cities like Las Vegas, you have the street thugs who really just use the weapon as a status symbol or vindictive measure, and without thought or consideration of the actual danger they posess. They use it for control over others, in hate filled situations, and IF I were in Vegas and needed a gun, I would not have one qualm about using it there, because of the mentality of those very street thugs. However, having a gun on my hip would throw the average thug off his balance and he probably would immediately know that I know what I would be doing with that gun on my hip, should he choose to challenge me in any way. Most likely, that would save my life even before he should want to threaten it. Sometimes the visibility of a deterent weapon is all a person needs to save their own life. It is a much safer place in Nevada than most places, with the exception of the Las Vegas area. I perosnally would not go near many places in California without a gun somewhere near because of the lack of safety in that whole state, and I was raised in California and lived the Cali dream until I was 32, and moved out of there before it really stated getting horrible, now it is deadly in most all of the cities, but not here in Nevada.

    I use a 9mm loaded with hollow points. The one thing a person always needs to know about guns is that you never point one at anything unless you mean to use it, and you never shoot to wound, you always shoot to kill. Because if you don’t get him on the first shot, you will be dead on the next one. The minute that gun becomes a weapon in your hand aimed at someone, you have to be able to pull the trigger, with a sureness that only experience and confidence can give you. I think it is a good thing to teach children how to use guns in a sensible manner, and give them a respect for the weapon, then they will know what it is capable of doing and they will be able to make the right decisions about the control of their lives if a situation arises where they need that control. I do not advocate just letting a child have a gun for the heck of it, without teaching them everything there is to know about it before hand, but I do think that they should be taught, because you never know what life will bring upon their shoulders and you might want to them to be able to protect themselves in all cases, don’t you?

    Claudia,
    Reno, NV

  22. Anonymous says:

    “There’s a great piece by Fred Thompson on the concealed carry issue, written shortly after the Virginia Tech massacre . . .”

    Jeff, that article is at:

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OTIwYzMyZmQ1YzQ1MDNmZTMyYzQ1Y2U3YTU4YzNmNGE=

    Thanks.

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