What Do the 'Holiday Terror Warning' Targets Have in Common?

The entirely predictable holiday terror warning has been sent out from the Department of Homeland Insecurity to law enforcement agencies nationwide once again. Tell me if you can spot what all of the following potential targets have in common.

The document suggests that terrorists may consider public gatherings like "sporting events, parades, religious and cultural activities" to be attractive targets. "Attacks against these targets could maximize the psychological impact on the American public given the symbolic importance of the holiday season to many in the United States," says the bulletin. "Attacks against air cargo during this busy season are also a concern."

If you guessed that all of these are (a) places where large crowds gather, and (b) places where authorities have outlawed the otherwise legal carry of concealed weapons, you were right!

Laws of course vary from state to state, but the simple fact is that the large majority of states -- even those that allow concealed carry -- have lacked the foresight to see a concealed carry permit holder as anything other than a civilian protecting himself or herself. They have yet to grasp the fact that concealed carry permit holders are the first line of defense against a Mumbai-style attack.

In my county (Wake), there are 12,826 people with concealed carry permits, a fraction of the 195,553 citizens in North Carolina that could be legally carrying firearms on any given day. It goes without saying that the civilian firepower here dwarfs that of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. We must assume the same runs true in all “red” states.

Unfortunately, like almost every other state in the union, squeamish legislators here have unduly restricted the rights of carry permit holders to exclude them from "going heeled" in the vast majority of public places. Virtually every public place that a terrorist might find an attractive target has been made into a softer target by well-intentioned but short-sighted legislators.

Let's look at that list of potential targets that DHS published again: " ... sporting events, parades, religious and cultural activities." Add to that malls and schools as prime "anytime" targets that are especially ripe this time of year. In each and every one of these places, citizens in many states have been barred from carrying concealed firearms. These restrictions, with variations, have been pushed upon carry permit holders in every state where anti-gun politicians have caved to unrealistic fears that a permit holder could start firing indiscriminately into crowds. These same authorities, of course, are comforted by armed and uniformed law enforcement officers in these same locations, even though these officers are few and far between, and often have lesser firearm skills than the carry permit holders.

As a result of these restrictions, carry permit holders have two choices. They can choose to break these arbitrary and illogical laws and carry their weapons, running the risk of fines or imprisonment, or they can go unarmed. The vast majority, of course, choose to go unarmed. This is the exact point of nuisance restrictions placed upon carry permit holders. While anti-gun legislators bend to public opinion and pass minimal laws that allow the issuance of permits, they make the process of carrying as onerous and restrictive as possible in an attempt to keep the number of citizens exercising their rights minimized. It is nanny-statist, vindictive, and deadly.

Authorities across the country like to assure themselves that attacks like that cannot happen here. Such thoughts are not backed by reason. We are a free and open society, and of course we can be targeted by terrorist cells from without and within.

Right now Islamic terrorist cells are using Mexico as a staging area for attacks on America, trading their expertise in violence for the protection of Mexican drug cartels. Our borders, kept intentionally porous by cynical politicians, are routinely and easily infiltrated by heavily armed men, as the killing of a Border Patrol officer in a firefight this week regrettably underscores.

An open war is being waged on our southern border and is largely ignored by our media, but the simple fact of the matter is that the destabilization that the human and drug smuggling conflict provides serves to provide cover for an even darker shadow war. Reliable sources indicate that the number of Islamic terrorists quietly killed in black operations in North America amount to hundreds within just the past few years, and more are coming.

It doesn't take a regiment to cause chaos. The Mumbai attack was launched by just ten men so ferocious that days later the media was still reporting as many as 60 attackers. Thanks to our porous border and feckless politicians, it is all but assured that a similar band of terrorists will eventually slip across our borders undetected with whatever munitions they can carry and launch equally lethal attacks.

Sadly, foreign terrorists are not remotely our only threat, as a homegrown terror cell captured almost in my backyard revealed. Daniel Boyd and six others amassed weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition as they plotted attacks in North Carolina and Virginia against military targets. They could have just as easily driven thirty minutes  into Cary or Raleigh and slaughtered dozens at crowded shopping malls, movie theaters, or schools before police officers even arrived.

These misguided laws leave us open for a Beslan, a Ma'alot, or a Mumbai.

The Israelis have learned a hard lesson as the result of these kinds of attacks. They have learned to respond by allowing their citizens far more liberal carry rights. The result has been terror attacks cut short because of civilians dispatching terrorists before police officers even had a chance to arrive. We have the opportunity to achieve this same additional level of security at no cost by only striking antiquated and short-sighted laws.

Every day concealed carry permit holders across America leave for work, for school, for their churches unarmed. We will remain ripe targets, unable to begin to defend ourselves, until we force legislators to recognize that we, not the police, are going to be the first on the scene when an attack occurs.