Asking the Right Questions, Afraid of the Possible Answers

It has been a little more than a week since the arrest of an apparently home-grown jihadist in the wealthy Boston suburb of Sudbury, Massachusetts on federal terrorism charges for allegedly conspiring with others and planning attacks on American shopping malls. I don’t know about you, but news of this man’s arrest and plans disappeared from the news cycles far too quickly from my taste.

At a time when Democrats are looking to make America less safe through measures like the gutting of the PATRIOT Act and the investigation of intelligence-gathering practices and possible prosecution of intelligence officials, we should be asking any number of questions about attacks on so-called “soft” targets on American soil: How many more men like the one arrested are there? What are we doing right in terms of keeping America safe? What could we do better? And, the question which I’ve been asking myself for a number of years now . . .

Why hasn’t it happened yet?

Like our nation’s schools, our shopping malls are about as soft as targets can get. At schools across the country, no-weapons policies deter the capacity for self-defense among capable teachers or students who, like me, choose to abide by the law, and at shopping malls we’ve watched as Hollywood comedies have been made about the incompetence of and lack of preparedness among mall security officers. As a result, we’ve witnessed just how much of a soft target our schools and malls are in recent years as gunmen who possessed neither formal training nor the fervor of radical ideology killed innocent men, women and children at shopping malls in Utah and Nebraska and schools in Virginia, Colorado and Illinois.

We’ve seen, time and time again, that “gun-free zones” do nothing but ensure that people like Sulejman Talović or Seung-Hui Cho have little or no barriers to the manifestation of their madness. Like those sick men, jihadists care little about our laws.

So, why haven’t we seen more terrorism on a smaller, less-grand scale? Why haven’t we seen the result of a backpack left under a table in a Starbucks and later detonated? Why haven’t we seen homicide and suicide bombing of mass transit buses and trains? Why haven’t we seen a Mumbai-style attack on an office building, hotel, supermarket or shopping mall, or a Beslan-style attack on an elementary school?

Certainly, any one of those attacks, especially if repeated, would bring America to its knees. Heck, at the height of the sniper attacks in and around Washington, D.C.–weren’t guns illegal there at the time, by the way?–as people up and down the I-95 corridor kept their heads on a swivel, looking around for white vans as they gassed up their cars, I was convinced that we could very well see attacks of a similar nature in cities large and small across the country, all too aware of the effect they would have upon our consumer-centric economy.

Thankfully, we never saw copycat attacks, and we have not yet seen small-scale terrorist attacks here on American soil. But why? While there may be no absolute answer, there are a few relevant factors.

  • Wiretapping and surveillance. When it comes to whether a law is good or bad, I’m no fan of the PATRIOT Act. It runs afoul of the Constitution. It represents the edge of a dangerous, slippery slope in terms of government involvement in American lives. But when it comes to whether a law is effective, there is no question that PATRIOT has saved American lives. That congressional Democrats are bragging about having the opportunity to pull the teeth from that law makes me absolutely sick.
  • Geographical distraction. A fancy way of saying that we’re fighting them in Afghanistan and Iraq so we don’t have to fight them here. While I’m not certain of the makeup of those currently killing our fighting men and women in Afghanistan, I know that a large number of insurgents in pre-surge Iraq were coming from other nations, true-believing jihadists eager to have a shot at Americans.
  • The lingering taste of the “Cowboy Diplomacy” so reviled by the left. Terrorists around the world knew that any attack on America would be responded in kind. Any of that swagger left behind by the previous administration, however, is dwindling if not gone due to Barack Obama’s detente-at-all-costs approach to foreign policy, and lack of commitment to the Global War on Terror as a whole.
  • An armed society. America is not England. America is not France. Terrorists who plan on attacking soft targets like shopping malls will be met with opposition, not from military personnel or law enforcement officers, but from ordinary Americans who have taken it upon themselves to protect their families. We’ve seen the lifesaving effect of armed citizens in a number of occasions, including at Appalachian Law School and the aforementioned Trolley Square Mall shooting; in both cases, a murderous rampage was cut short by someone carrying their own weapon.

There’s more, of course, but you get the point. We’ve gone from being on the offensive against radical Islamic jihad to apologizing for past American conduct, assuaging dictatorial world leaders with every chance, and erring on the side of ignorance rather than vigilance. We’re in the process of securing uniquely American rights for those caught in the act of attacking American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. We’re Mirandizing terrorists on the battlefield. In short, we’re doing everything possible to handcuff our own efforts to preserve American safety and security, and doing so in the name of political correctness.

It’s only a matter of time, folks, until blood is once again shed on American soil. So far, the Obama administration has been catching wannabe terrorists in the nick of time, but if this president and his flunkies continue to undermine our intelligence capabilities, erode morale among those who keep America safe, and handcuff our troops on the battlefield, his string of luck may very well run out.



  1. Rix says:

    All terrorist activities can be stopped cold by a single public declaration along the line of "we will melt three random Muslim capitals into radioactive glass and immediately seize all assets belonging to the respective countries if a single terrorist act is perpetrated by a Muslim fanatic linked to a foreign organization on sovereign American soil". There will be a lot of stink in EU and UN but stink is pretty much the only thing these two can do these days.

  2. WIMP-IN-CHIEF says:

    Rix is right. Barry and his man_gina will never do it tho.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Rix, the UN should be made glass FIRST.

  4. JtM says:

    Alot of good all this "healthcare reform" will do if we're all dead.

  5. Dee says:

    It's hard to imagine BO doing the "cowboy swagger" in his Mom jeans.
    I only hope that the country can hold on until 2012. As you say, he is making the US appear very soft. If something should happen under his administration, I have great concern as to what he will do.

  6. William A. Rose says:

    There will be bloodshed on our land. Again. It's only a matter of time. It should be mandatory that every citizen of sound mind carry a firearm. People's attitudes towards one another would change in a hurry. People would be courteous to one another (respect is earned). We would then be able to defend ourselves and one another against the evil. Something wicked this way comes.

    Just my thoughts.

  7. Gail B says:

    Rix, you are spot on! As my engineering friend from high school says, drop something on them and turn their country to glass. If they know that is our policy, they will sit down and shut up, unless our Resident in Chief is one of them.

    Jeff, I've been concerned about your previous comments regarding the Patriot Act. I was glad to read your comment about it today. I, too, think it is overreaching and unconstitutional; but my concern was more that it could be used AGAINST us rather than FOR us. With all the GPS stuff that ACORN did, the tracking technology that is being developed, I became really worried about where this administration–and government–was heading.

    Thanks to your nagging memory of things supposed to be forgotten, and thanks to you for the time you gave in writing about it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Jeff: Sorry for being off-topic, but WHY NO ARTICLE ON DOUG HOFFMAN?

    This is big news and it would be fun to hear you opine on this situation!

    Lisa in TX

  9. Still a Patriot says:

    Hi Jeff -

    I truly believe that God's hand of protection is a factor, in spite of how much He has been pushed aside. I think one of Obama's biggest lies was that America is no longer a Christian nation.


  10. Anonymous says:

    Message to Obama Administration:

    START making Decisions,
    STOP making Excuses!!!

  11. gorillamydreamz says:

    Wasn't it Nathan Hale who said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance?

    I never bought the old chestnut that America came under attack because the world envies it. I heard it time and again since 9-11, and it rings as hollow now as it did then. What prompted the attack then was simply lack of vigilance, apathy, and a false sense of invincibility. The attacks happened because America believed itself immune to the hatred of a little disillusioned jihadist with money. It was a fatal mistake on our (I say 'our', as in, the western world's) part, and one I hope that will never happen again.

    We westerners value our freedom to choose, our liberty to exert our rights to free speech, religion, and expression. Sadly, in our hubris we failed to understand that others don't have those freedoms, those rights and those liberties, and have never known them. Moreso, we didn't understand that such places that haven't had those freedoms and liberties, are so endoctrinated by their restrictive, anti-democratic beliefs, they would see us as evil incarnate, and would fight to the death what we represent: change, progress, equality, freedom of choice.

    Freedom is indeed a precious gift, and sadly, not one everyone wants. It is therefore imperative that we stand guard for any threat to our freedom… whether it comes from terrorists without, or a bill that would restrict those freedoms in any way.

    Lest we become that which we fear…

  12. gorillamydreamz says:

    I just wish to amend my post a little, before the corrective hordes do it for me.

    "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance" has been attributed to Thomas Jefferson, not Nathan Hale.

    While the attribution was wrong (mea culpa), the message remains true nonetheless: cherish your freedopm, and guard it jealously against all who threaten it from without as well as within.

  13. Randy says:

    "A fancy way of saying that we're fighting them in Afghanistan and Iraq so we don't have to fight them here." It is not easy for these people to get visas to the USA anymore, but if they look Mexican they could come across the southern border with a coyote.

  14. Anonymous says:

    There will be a terrorist attack in this country before the 2010 elections. Bet on it. This cabel of falsehood will encourage it any way they can. Terror attack…national emergancy…suspension of civil rights and due prosses. A crisis is an opertunnity for obama.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Late for the discussion, but interesting topic and one that has been on my mind the last couple of days. I think the main reason we have not been bombed in America is that they are too busy trying to kick the infidel out of their Muslim lands, we are polluting it and that is more of a priority now. However, my fear is that with pourous borders they have been smuggling in the raw materials for explosives and/or finished products ready for use. Once a critical mass has been reached and/or we withdraw from the fight overseas they will direct their attention here & they will unleash destruction on our population. I pray this is just me being paranoid, I would rather let others mock me than Americans get blown apart by bombs, but from the discussions here others feel the same way so I don't feel too paranoid. As for me I have some way of defending myself and my family with armed force. THis is not armchair bravado…I absolutely fear the thought of having to kill someone, but I have prayed about it, thought about it and lost sleep over it. But, I am mentally prepared to defend what God has given me to protect, it is one of my highest duties as husband & father. Absolutely no offense to those in law enforcement – you have my utmost respect – but we both know you can not shadow me and mine 24/7/365. I know they will do their best but the average call rsponse I believe is 3-5 minutes, and honestly, my entire family can die before they can get there, so I must prepare myself. I never thought I would be a "gun nut" but I do encourage others to prepare to defend yourself, like the article says armed civilians have made a difference before and we can and will again.

    Praying I am wrong, Rob from Alabama

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