Malls and Other “Soft” Targets

Kenyan officials are reporting that the hostages taken during the West Gate Mall attack last week were brutally tortured and killed in a variety of ways.  Kenya’s gun laws are exceptionally strict and there is no legal method to carry a weapon in public for self-defense (granted, that did not stop one former British soldier from doing just that – and that man saved more than 100 people from that killing zone).

Many malls in the US prohibit lawful concealed carry either by policy or because their insurance providers tell them that they must for some reason or another.

Imagine this.  You’re walking between Sears and Macy’s at your local mall. You can smell the wonderful blissful smell of freshly baked pretzels wafting your way from Auntie Ann’s and the hear the ppsssh of an espresso machine at Starbucks next door.  You see a trio of teenage girls walking the opposite way giggling about some boy or another.  A family of four – a dad and mom and two kids – pause briefly outside the doorway of a store.  You glance away and hear a loud bang, followed by a few more and then shouting – it’s chaos quickly – within seconds the trio of girls is lying on the ground screaming in pain and blood is pooling around them.  A half dozen more go down quick.  You dive behind a trash can and hope that whoever is shooting didn’t see you, but you risk a glance out to see if you need to move.  Two men – you can’t tell if they’re Arabic, Mexican, or just really tan, but they’re shouting something at the crowd of people.  One of them raises his rifle and fires into the ceiling a burst.  You have nowhere to go.

Now, let’s diverge from our little fantasy and just ask a hypothetical.  The family you noticed… that’s my family.  Now let’s make it more interesting… let’s say my wife is out with friends or home sick and it’s me and two kids.  I can’t scoop both boys up and run very fast…. but I can shove them into the store and tell them to hide.  Now here’s the question every mall owner and manager needs to ask themselves today: could you, personally, live with yourself knowing that the father in this story could be armed and defend his children and by default every other person there or would you rather insist on maintaining your precious fantasy of a world where a sign or a policy is enough to avert a tragedy?

Now another question about those signs… do you ever go faster than the speed limit?  And you expect those signs to keep your precious “property” safe?  Don’t be delusional.

I pray to never find myself in that scenario, but I know this – the quickest and most assured way to protect your property is to allow your patrons the right to protect themselves with every legal means at their disposal.  A terrorist attack like what happened in Kenya will happen in the United States some day.  That is a fact.  How bad that attack is will be determined by how quickly the attackers face return fire.

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The Death Of The Republic

This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.

Benjamin Franklin

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

Revelation 3:15-17

The opposite of love is not hate – it’s apathy. It’s not giving a damn.

Leo Buscaglia

Love cannot endure indifference. It needs to be wanted. Like a lamp, it needs to be fed out of the oil of another’s heart, or its flame burns low.

Henry Ward Beecher

I intend to explore for the rest of the week and beyond what seems to me to be the a serious threat to our republic, and what could ultimately be it’s death.

There is no doubt in my mind that we are staring at the gaping maw of tyranny – it is here, it is now, it is ongoing with the various and rapid-fire scandals at IRS, the Department of Justice, at NSA, and the full court press that these federal authorities are putting on the Bill of Rights and the liberties and freedoms enshrined therein.

You may say that scandals happen to every administration and the warning of encroaching tyranny is sounded every few years and nothing ever seems to come of it, but I believe we have entered a new highly dangerous point in the history of the experiment of American liberty.

I believe that we are under attack.  The attack is not coming from some other country or even one person or group in particular.  We are the enemy, because the root of the problem is apathy, indifference, and a lack of love.

Tune in tomorrow for why WE are the enemy to our own liberty.

Words and Deeds

Months back, eight months specifically, I wrote about Benghazi.

Killed in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

Killed in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

 

On September 11th, 2012, the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was laid siege, bombarded with weapons fire, and attacked by a coordinated, deliberate assault force.  The United States Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed by the assault along with State Department Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith.

Killed in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

Killed in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

All indications at that time and after the fact indicate that an organized attack had been initiated against the consulate.  What their motivations were, their targets, and how far they

 

would have pressed the attack is unknown because of stonewalling on the part of the Obama Administration.  They intentionally obfuscated the situation by insinuating that a YouTube video was to blame for enraging muslim sensibilities.  Even weeks after the event when nearly every indicator, exchanged correspondence, and every witness was shouting that it was a military-style attack rather than a riot run out-of-control.

Regardless of the facts, the Administration pressed on with their false narrative, not because the truth was too much for the public to handle, but because at that point in time, the Presidential race was in it’s final sixty days.  President Obama’s reelection was at-risk by bad news, especially in the War on Terror, which he claimed was being won because of the death of Osama bin Laden, and the narrative that al Qaeda was badly wounded and on the run.  In early September, national polling results showed Mitt Romney beginning to pull even with President Obama.

I was not in the room so all I can do is speculate at this point.

Were these two men sacrificial lambs on the altar of a national election?

If a military rescue team was dispatched and failed, would President Obama face the same criticism President Carter faced for the failed military rescue of the American citizens and diplomatic officers held hostage in Iran in the late 1970s?

Was something insidious going on out of the consulate in Benghazi that required the response forces to be withheld from intervening?

When requests for permission to dispatch special forces units to enact a counterassault and rescue operation (express missions that SEALs, DELTA, Force Recon, and other special forces units specifically train to execute) why were orders to stand down issued not once, but twice?

Why did security personnel from our embassy in Tripoli, Libya (the same distance from Benghazi as the nearest US military base – Souda Bay Naval Base) have to violate direct orders to not intervene, commandeer an aircraft, and fly to Benghazi in order to reinforce the beleaguered survivors?

Why are the survivors’ identities being withheld from Congress?

This charade has far surpassed a political motivated cloaking of the truth.  This has every scent and indication of a coverup of something monumental.

With all respect, the fact is we have four dead Americans was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans. What difference at this point does it make?

Then-Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton

Because motive matters Hillary, not just the motives of the attackers, but the motives of the administration and all of the players involved that have intentionally mislead the public in the aftermath.

Either you have lying to disguise complete incompetence at the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the White House itself, or you have lying to disguise the cold calculus of a politically-motivated decision to allow the death of a US Ambassador, Foreign Service Officer, and the deaths of two men who violated orders, former US Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, in order to protect the President’s reelection chances.

In the aftermath, the Administration essentially ran-out-the-clock on Benghazi prior to the election.

So, Hillary, it matters a great deal.

To steal a quote from V for Vendetta:

If our own government was responsible for the deaths of almost a hundred thousand four people… would you really want to know?

Paradigm Shift: Terrorism

**EDITED**

It was brought to my attention that perhaps I was being too harsh toward Bostonians as a whole, that families would need to be protected, and that putting what I laid out into practice was impractical and foolhardy.  Upon re-reading what I wrote from the perspective of someone undergoing the manhunt in their neighborhood, I partially agree.  I decided to edit this entry as a result.

Perhaps we’re approaching terrorism all wrong in this country.

Boston in Lockdown for Manhunt

Watertown, Mass. Shut Down in Manhunt for Second Boston Marathon Suspect

Two men (actually one since the older brother was killed in a shootout with police) are effectively holding the entire city of Boston and surrounding suburbs effectively under siege.  That’s approximately 4.5 million people.  Based on the city’s annual GDP, shutting down the entire city for a day will cost the Greater Boston area approximately $850,000,000 in economic production. One man – 4.5 million citizens effectively under siege – nearly one billions dollars of economic productivity lost.  All in the name of public safety.

What you have to consider is how this looks from the outside though.  The city is effectively shut down.  The people, while talking bravely, are acting cowardly by remaining locked up in their homes.  The economic impact alone is tremendous.  The 26 and 19 year old brothers suspected of the marathon bombing and the younger one, still wanted and freely roaming the streets of Massachusetts, serve as an example of a successful terrorist attack.

The impact that they have had is broad and multifaceted.  They took life suddenly, maimed dozens, and traumatically wounded the Boston Marathon for years to come in the minds, if not the hearts, of many despite the rhetoric and chest-beating by many after the fact.  The success of an hardly technical attack directly under the noses of hundreds of Boston police officers and other various agencies and directorates responsible for expressly preventing such attacks.  It immediately highlighted our vulnerabilities.  Future terror attempts will note that airports, aircraft, and firearms were unnecessary to cause terror and lock up a city in fear – common every day items properly combined are just as useful.

The economic impact will be painful as well, although it won’t be as immediately felt.

These observations are being taken by those that aspire to reproduce the same effects.  The means may be different next time, but these two managed to tie up the resources of nearly the entire state of Massachusetts, the FBI, DHS, and who knows what other agencies with little investment on their part.

The next time, the attack could come in NYC, or LA, or Chicago, Cleveland, or any number of other big cities.  The same lockdown and search approach will only further embolden the next attack as the costs in terms of manpower and wealth grow and the fear is just as insidious for those near the attack, despite whatever assurances they give themselves in the aftermath that they will continue living their lives with no changes, as city leaders order them to remain inside under a self-imposed siege in order to deny the benefit of crowds and a busy city to the fugitive on the run.

This from a supposed nation of minutemen?  Massachusetts, the home of the Minuteman, of Lexington Green, of Concord and the opening shots of the American Revolution 238 years old this very day?  The strength of Bostonians in the aftermath of the tragedy on Monday is remarkable, but this mandated lockdown denies the police their biggest ally in the fight to capture or kill the fugitive terrorist – the observant and wary citizenry of the city itself.  Every Bostonian had a reason to want this man located and stopped and to force them to remain docile and “sheltered in place” not only removed them from the equation, but it started a clock for the fugitive as the lockdown could only last so long before it was lifted (which it was shortly after I originally published the first version of this article).

Imagine the message that would’ve been sent and received loud and clear if those same Bostonians had been allowed to respond as their forefathers did 238 years ago today.  The way you stop the next terror event is not by locking up the people for their own protection, but by encouraging an overwhelming show that there will not be a NEXT event because the spirit of the minuteman still beats within the chests of every Bostonian.  Every citizen should have been encouraged to arm themselves and go about their day as usual, protected by those very arms wherever they were, with the vigilance that comes with moving about while armed, and the ability to not only report a sighting of the fugitive, but the ability to provide for your own protection without needing the police to risk their own lives on your behalf.  At the very minimum, such a display would be of the people’s liberty teeth, not as a threat against one another, but as a demonstration for all future terrorists that ANY future attacks will not be met by a voluntary siege, but rather by return fire from any and all angles.

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

United States Constitution, Amendment II

That is the reason the Second Amendment was codified as second in the ten of the original Bill of Rights, so that the people are not reliant on benevolent police for their protection, but rather are able to provide for their own protection, so that terrorists and tyrants would forever know that their evil is not only unwelcome, but will be repelled and repulsed, not just by a select few, but by any and all of the citizenry.

Boston, I grieve for you.  I wish for your sake that your city leadership had encouraged you to help them beyond just staying out of their way and treating you as citizens – stakeholders in your city and state – rather than as subjects.

Instances

It has been seventy-one years since our country woke up on another December morning.  War raged in Europe and the Pacific, but America was at peace.  We thought we were safe with two massive oceans on our east and west coasts that would isolate us from the inferno of these two wars.  We thought we were strong enough to deter any attack.

The Attack 1941 On Pearl Harbor

The Japanese were the same way.  They believed that they were due their empire.  They were extremely proud and had met nothing, but success so far.  While the attack on Pearl Harbor was a terrific success for them, it ultimately led to their downfall as their own pride guided their actions.  In their own eyes, they were destined and undefeatable.

ph2

The funny thing is that everything we thought was an illusion.  History has a funny way of giving us such a crystal clear perspective that we can say now that we should have seen our perceptions as hollow and false, but humanity has a funny way of sugarcoating it’s own state and making it oftentimes better than it actually is.  Call it vanity, false confidence, or bravado.  Whatever you want to label it, the symptom is of a deeper disease, pride.  Pride can be as damaging to us as bombs, bullets, rockets, and torpedoes.  In my own life, I can point to tripping points and if I am honest with myself, where I went wrong each time was that I held on to my pride rather than thrown it down.

WAR & CONFLICT BOOK
ERA:  WORLD WAR II/WAR IN THE EAST/JAPAN ATTACKS

Pride earns you nothing.  It is self-bestowed and hollow always, because our worth is not based on who we are or what we do, but on Whom we place our trust and faith, on Whom created us, on Whom gave us the whole Earth as our dominion.

ph4

So today, on this anniversary, don’t look back and think of how our great nation rose from the ashes of that fateful December day and punished our enemies at the time.  Look back and see how pride has disastrous side-effects.  Pride will hide the truth from each and every one of us, because the truth is black and white and the truth is not comforting… unless the truth you seek is the one found in Christ alone.

Yes, December 7th is forever a day that will live in infamy, not for the bombs that fell, the bullets that were fired, the torpedoes that were dropped, and the soldiers, sailors and airmen who died, but for the body blow we took as a nation because of our pride.

Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
    The Lord preserves those who are true to him,
    but the proud he pays back in full.

Psalm 31:23

 

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