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Saturday, December 5, 2015

New York Times Editorial, "End the Gun Epidemic in America": Treating the Symptom While Ignoring the Disease

In a front page editorial entitled "End the Gun Epidemic in America," The New York Times responds to the San Bernardino shooting by declaring:r

"It is past time to stop talking about halting the spread of firearms, and instead to reduce their number drastically — eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition."

The Times editorial fails to note that there are now more guns than people in the US. Query: Is it still possible to return the genie to the bottle?

Moreover, which categories of weapons and ammunition should be "eliminated"? Eliminate, for example, semiautomatic AK-47s? Okay, but do you also eliminate semiautomatic Glock 19 pistols? The 33 bullets in an extended Glock 19 magazine can be fired in 15 seconds.

Legislate against large magazines for both rifles and pistols? Maybe. But once again, good luck at rounding them all up.

But more to the point, the Times editorial would treat the symptom while ignoring the disease.

Over the course of the some 20 years that I served in combat units of the regular Israeli army and the reserves, I would bring my automatic rifle home on leave. My sons also brought their automatic weapons home on weekends. Yet instances of Israelis turning their weapons against civilians are extremely rare.

And Israel is not the exception. In Switzerland reservists keep their weapons at home, yet Switzerland does not experience the gun violence plaguing the US.

Is it poverty (there is also a high level of poverty in Israel) or a general climate of intolerance that fuels shootings in the US? I don't know the answer, but gun control, in and of itself, is not going to eliminate violence in the US.

Meanwhile, a Washington Post editorial entitled "After San Bernardino, Americans cannot abandon tolerance" calls upon the "United States to redouble its resolve to destroy the Islamic State and other barbarously radical Islamist groups," but warns against intolerance against American Muslims:

"By threatening to forcibly register American Muslims, as Donald Trump did, or likening Syrian refugees to 'rabid' dogs, as Ben Carson did, blustering politicians play perfectly into the hands of jihadists."

However, as I have repeatedly observed in recent days, there can be no ignoring the significant level of intolerance present within the American Muslim community. As reported by the Pew Research Center in an August 30, 2011 article entitled "Muslim Americans: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism," eight percent of US Muslims believe that suicide bombing can "often/sometimes" be justified. Or stated otherwise, if you randomly place 100 American adult Muslims in a room, only eight of them think that it's "often/sometimes" justified to blow you to bits.

And in a June 2015 poll of 600 Muslim-Americans, The Polling Company determined:

  • 29 percent strongly or somewhat agreed that "violence against those that insult the prophet Mohammad, the Qur'an, or Islamic faith is sometimes acceptable."
  • 25 percent strongly or somewhat agreed that "Violence against Americans here in the United States can be justified as part of the global jihad."
  • 19 percent believed that "the use of violence in the United States is justified in order to make shariah the law of the land in this country."

I ask the editorial board of the Washington Post, is this not evidence of intolerance, too?

Yes, the US has a problem with radical Islam, and as "politically incorrect" as this may be, answers to the dilemmas of gun violence and terrorism in the US also require that America's political leadership and progressive media acknowledge radical Islam's existence and seek solutions.

[President Obama declared today, "It is entirely possible that these two attackers were radicalized to commit this act of terror." Is Obama finally acknowledging the existence of radical Islam? Time for Obama to take a prolonged golf junket and let Joe Biden take up the reins of government.]

1 comment:


    Ben Boychuk:
    "The Too-Friendly City

    Syed Farook’s politically correct San Bernardino neighbors sensed something was up but said nothing."

    December 4, 2015

    "...But nearly 15 years after 9/11, people seemed to have received mixed messages. The Homeland Security mantra of “if you see something, say something” conflicts with admonitions from elected officials and other doyens of the political class that “not all Muslims are terrorists” (obviously) and “religious and racial profiling is wrong” (not so obvious).

    Faced with the choice of either “saying something” to the authorities about suspicious behavior that may or may not be a bona fide threat and remaining mum for fear of being tarred as a bigot people increasingly opt for the latter. Nobody wants that kind of hassle, and very few people think saying nothing will have the sort of deadly consequences that we saw on Wednesday. Yet that’s exactly what happened. CBS News reported that a man who worked down the street from the Redlands residence said he noticed “a half-dozen Middle Eastern men” coming and going from the place, but “decided not to report anything since he did not wish to racially profile those people.” Yet the man—whom the story did not identify, no doubt out of concern for his wellbeing—had enough common sense to recognize that something wasn’t right. “We sat around lunch thinking, ‘What were they doing around the neighborhood?’” he said. “We’d see them leave where they’re raiding the apartment.”

    [will let someone else find out where they bought the body armor and pipe bombs...but the call for more gun control is wearing thin...look - a cow!]