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.]