Recently, my attention was brought to this remarkable proposal--repealing (or at least "scaling back") the Second Amendment, as part of the "fight" against terrorism. The good folks at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) argue that "terrorist sleeper cells" might be "quietly amassing handguns and assault rifles, and planning suicide shooting rampages in our malls."
Their solution, apparently, is to make the legal purchase of firearms in the U.S. impossible, or at least vastly more difficult, in order to thwart these scary "sleeper cells." The article doesn't mention how this would help with the guns the terrorists have already "amassed." Perhaps more importantly, it remains silent about the fact that any kind of wholesale civilian disarmament program, even if it were somehow possible (it isn't), would then render the public helpless, unable to defend themselves from the very danger of terrorists with guns.
Anyone who truly believes our shopping malls face a scourge of gun toting terrorists (a scenario that I, personally, find rather unlikely) would be better served by a strategy directly opposed to civilian disarmament. Leave the terrorists with no "soft" targets. Pass a national concealed carry reciprocity bill. Rescind restrictions on fully automatic weapons (NFA, Hughes Amendment to FOPA, etc.). The ISPU article borrowed a scenario straight out of a Tom Clancy novel, but neglected to mention how the attack on the shopping mall was stopped--by shoppers with concealed firearms.
The writers of the ISPU article do make one point with which I heartily agree:
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.Precisely--we should take a good, hard look at the value of being equipped to respond to deadly threats with deadly force of our own--and then go shopping (AR-15s make wonderful belated Christmas gifts).
By the way, I somehow managed to miss the fact that this has already been discussed in some detail over at Hairy Hobbit's Hideaway.