Normally, I try to stick to armed citizen stories that happen here in the United States, but this news from Afghanistan is definitely worth covering. A teenage girl in Afghanistan named Qamar Gul shot and killed two Taliban terrorists after they broke into her family’s home and murdered her parents for supporting the Afghan government.
The AFP press agency reports that the Taliban members were seeking Gul’s father, who was the local mayor and a vocal supporter of the government, and dragged both him and his wife outside of their residents before gunning them down in the street. In response, the teenage Gul grabbed an AK-47 and fired back, killing two of the terrorists and injuring several others.
Several other Taliban fighters later came to attack her house, but some villagers and pro-government militiamen expelled them after a gunfight.
Afghan security forces have now taken Gul and her younger brother to a safer place, said Mohamed Aref Aber, spokesman to the provincial governor.
Since the incident, social media networks have been flooded with praise for Gul’s “heroic” act. A photograph of Gul, wearing a headscarf and holding a machine gun across her lap has gone viral in the past few days.
“Hats off to her courage! Well done,” wrote Najiba Rahmi on Facebook. “Power of an Afghan girl,” wrote another Facebook user Fazila Alizada.
As the news outlet notes, it’s not uncommon for Taliban members to target villagers that they “suspect of being informers for the government or security forces,” despite the fact that the terror group has agreed to peace talks with the Afghan government.
Stories like this are a grim reminder that evil exists in this world, and you can’t combat that evil with a gun ban. Afghanistan has incredibly restrictive gun laws that make the possession of most small arms a criminal offense. Carrying a firearm for self-defense requires a government-issued license that is rarely granted to the average citizen. Do members of the Taliban pay any attention to those gun laws while they’re waging their campaign of terror against citizens who are hoping for peace and stability? Of course not, and in the absence of a strong, effective government, particularly outside of big cities like Kabul, many Afghans choose to violate the law in order to protect themselves and their families from attacks like the one that claimed the lives of Gul’s mother and father.
Gul may not have had a legal right to pick up that AK-47 and fire at the terrorists who’d just murdered her parents, but she exercised her natural right of self-defense when she did so. What gun control advocate would really argue that the presence of that rifle in Gul’s hands made matters worse, or that Afghanistan just needs a few more gun control laws to wipe out Taliban terror across the country? Of course it would be better if the Taliban wasn’t around. Of course it would be better if the Taliban didn’t have guns. It would also be great if I had a flying horse that could talk, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon either.
It’s a messy, complicated world we live in, and the simplistic notion that we’ll all be safe if none of us are armed ignores the fact that it’s the law-abiding who inevitably are disarmed first. Afghanistan’s restrictive gun control laws do nothing to stop Taliban attacks, but an AK-47 in the hands of a teenage Afghan girl at least ensured that two terrorists won’t be able to destroy any more families in the future. What happened to Qamar Gul and her brother is an absolute tragedy, but it could have been even worse if she wasn’t able to protect herself and her sibling from the evildoers at her door.