As is fitting, the massacre that occurred at the Pulse in Orlando on June 12th is dominating the media, our minds, and as conservative columnist Star Parker said so well, we need to “mourn with one eye open.” Paul Foreman did a splendid job of both asking the question, “Why didn’t anyone fight back?” as well as remind us of common sense options if we find ourselves in a live shooter event. His column, Foreman’s Forum, can be found on page 23. Mayor Ronnie and I discussed public safety and situational awareness in his column, What Makes Ronnie Roll, and the need to continually remind the “average citizen,” whatever that is, of the need to stay alert and know how to act responsibly in any situation. The Mayor’s comments under “What Makes Ronnie Roll.”
However, my intent in the course of this Publisher’s Point is to educate our readers as to the all-encompassing nature of jihad, as well as some of its targets and strategies. I am not a professional, I simply earned the right to speak to this by virtue of living in Baghdad amongst the experts, and having to deal with the aftermath of successful jihadist acts that killed people I cared about.
My husband told me of an account written by a first responder who was on the scene to deal with the bloody aftermath. This man had always wondered what it would be like to be at what in the military is known as a “mass cal,” which is Army speak for a mass casualty event, and technically includes both injuries as well as fatalities. He expected the eeriness or the “surreality”, (if I may be allowed make up a word), to be the utter silence from being in a location where death abounds and all movement has ceased. Instead, what was unexpectedly unsettling to the first responder was the cacophony of cell phones that seemed to be utterly frantic as they chirped, rang, spoke, played music, or whatever the customized ring tone sounded like in the desperate desire of friends and loved ones to make contact. The sound was heartbreaking.
The LGBT community is both understandably alarmed as well as poised to leverage the carnage in order to parlay an act of jihad into a violation of civil rights. For the record, I am someone who has dearly loved gay friends and family members, I do not agree with the lifestyle, am not a hater, and personally know way too many people who have “come out” of the lifestyle and become spouses and parents to think that you are “born that way.”
The gun control folks are predictably calling for more gun control, Chick-fil-a (the supposed haters of gays) opened up the local store on a Sunday to give away food to people helping at ground zero as well as those giving blood, and the NRA has made some folks angry by saying that “terrorists are not deterred by gun laws”, and, “law-abiding gun owners are tired of being blamed for the acts of madmen and terrorists.” I agree. A well-armed citizenry should never be painted with the same brush as a murderer. If you disagree, do your homework on Switzerland, where every home is required to have a gun, and the weapon is issued by the government. Many historians believe that the reason the Nazis didn’t invade Switzerland is that they knew they would lose for this very reason. The Swiss only “appeared” to be neutral.
Here is what needs to be understood: if you are not a follower of Allah according to the standards of a jihadist, you are fair game for what happened at the Pulse. It was a superb psy-ops move to target a gay bar, but if you are a Jew, a Christian, a Buddhist, a Hindu, an atheist, an agnostic, a woman who dares to go for a walk by herself, a Westerner of any kind, or a fellow Muslim who is not functioning as a true believer from the perspective of the jihadist, you deserve to die, period. There is absolutely no concept of innocent civilians, armed or unarmed. And, the only assurance of heaven for the one who “dispatches” you is to self-martyr; hence, the “inspiration” to take yourself out and as many others as you can while you are at it.
Therefore, the quicker we understand that we understand that this was not a hate crime, but true jihad, it is a global campaign, and the only way to deal with it is to come together in firm response as well as love, the better off we are going to be. To “steal” from FDR, the only thing we have to fear is that we give in to fear, and allow ourselves to be scattered and silenced.