“Je suis Charlie,” they tell us. “I am Charlie.”

They are referring to Charlie Hebdo, the radical left-wing satire weekly in Paris, France, that was the jumping off point for the lastest round of Islamist attacks on civilization. 12 people died in the initial attack, and several more were murdered in an attack on a Jewish supermarket by allies of the attackers in the following days.

I am not Charlie. Nor do I ever want to be.

Charlie was a victim. Charlie will always be a victim.

As the Suarez Group notes, Islamic terrorism over the past year has provided plenty of teachable moments on the strengths and weaknesses of our terrorist response system:

1). The fact that while the authorities are very good (for the most part) at thwarting organized, foreign-sponsored groups of terrorists, their ability to prevent a self-motivated jihadist is severely lacking. It is severely lacking and shall continue to be thus while we enjoy a relatively free society. Moreover, I doubt any readers would want to trade freedom for complete safety…or actually, the illusion of safety.

2). The fact that legislation and referendums and executive actions have no effect on those who have decided to become terrorists, since it is endemic of that particular group to flaunt any laws outside their own. Witness that France (and Canada), with some of the most restrictive gun laws on the planet, could not prevent a small marginally skilled group of Islamic Terrorists from killing nearly twenty people with extremely prohibited Kalashnikov Rifles.

3). The fact that as noble, self-less and courageous as the responding units may be, they are by nature a reactive force, and not a preventive force. They always have, and will inevitably always will, arrive too late…and after the fact.

Read that last line again.

They always have, and will inevitably always will, arrive too late…and after the fact.

The Department of Homeland Security admitted as much in a bulletin obtained by ABC News.

In a joint bulletin issued to local, state and federal law enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security and FBI said that while they are “unaware of any specific, credible threats against the Homeland” and find most threats to the U.S. homeland by supporters of ISIS “not credible,” they cannot rule out attacks in the United States from sympathizers radicalized by the group’s online propaganda.

“[B]ecause of the individualized nature of the radicalization process – it is difficult to predict triggers that will contribute to [homegrown violent extremists] attempting acts of violence,” the bulletin states. Moreover, such lone offenders “present law enforcement with limited opportunities to detect and disrupt plots, which frequently involve simple plotting against targets of opportunity,” according to the bulletin.

Homeland Security and the FBI cannot protect your community against “lone wolf terrorists.” They know it and have admitted it repeatedly.

Likewise, while state and local law enforcement will do everything in their power to get to the scene and engage an attacker (Islamist or otherwise) just as soon as a 911 call is made and a dispatcher can put out a location, they are going to be long, desperate, and deadly minutes away.

The only reasonable response for a sane and intelligent citizenry with a right to bear arms is to be trained and equipped to deal with such threats.

The Suraez Group post calls those individuals who have the mindset, training, and equipment to stand against such monsters “lone wolf counterterrorists,” and in a world where our government leaders are too craven and cowardly to even name the threats as Islamist terrorists, they are desperately needed among the citizenry.

We must self-rescue ourselves from those who would do us harm, and many steely-eyed Americans have set their jaws and accepted that challenge.

There are more than 11 million concealed carriers in the United States, more than doubling (nearly tripling) the size of the nation’s military and police forces.

These concealed carriers come in an infinitely wide spectrum of competencies and load-outs. Some may have no formal training and pack just a simple pocket pistol or revolver, and only on an occasional basis. Some are regular concealed carriers with decent training, and some of those have upgraded their daily carry due to the curse of living in “interesting times.”

There are more than a few people out there who have going all-in, augmenting their daily concealed carry with a “go bag” that might contain a fighting carbine (or a pistol variant of a fighting carbine), spare magazines, blow-out kits, and body armor.

The thought of a middle-aged, middle-management type with an AR-15 and a plate carrier locked away nearby is utterly terrifying to statists,

It is the embodiment of the militia that the Founders intended.

John the accountant might be a little older and slower than he would like to admit, but he’s put his time in at the range, and he knows his weapon and his capabilities.  He’s no operator and doesn’t pretend to be… and he doesn’t have to be.

Jamal the Jihadi may filled with bloodlust and utterly terrifying to the gender studies major crapping his skinny jeans outside of Hot Topic, but when John the “lone wolf counterterrorist” comes puffing through the food court with his AR-15, there’s a darn good chance that Jamal’s next meal is coming from Allah’s snack bar.

The media loves to play up the capabilities of terrorists. They love to insist that the “average Joe” simply can’t take care of himself.

The fact of the matter is, however, is that we are the militia the Founders always wanted us to be. We are more likely to be there when it all goes down than the police are.

And we are certainly capable of defending our own lives against a bunch of half-baked Islamist savages, if only we commit ourselves to the fight.

Update: A 20-year-old Muslim convert from Ohio whom his own father described as a “mama’s boy” has been arrested for allegedly plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol with pipe bombs and guns. This is precisely the kind of lone wolf that a well-trained gun owner can overmatch, saving lives.