September 11th is a rough day for a lot of us. Too many of us remember what it was like 18 years ago today when planes flew into the Twin Towers, followed by the Pentagon.
Today, I had timers set to remind me of just when each of those events happened, along with the falling of the towers, the crash of Flight 93, and so on. I never want to forget what happened that day.
It was awful and made all the more awful by the fact that there’s really not much of a chance to fight back. We marvel at the heroism of people like Todd Beamer on Flight 93 but also recognize just how little most of the victims could respond. There’s just now way to shoot back at airliners hurtling toward you and incredible speeds.
Yet most terrorist attacks aren’t like that. They’re not going to be. Attacks like 9/11 are the ultimate black swan events. They just don’t happen every day.
Terrorism does, though.
Attacks like San Bernardino and even El Paso are far more likely, far more prevalent in our society. We’re far more likely to encounter more pedestrian forms of terrorism, be it Islamic fundamentalism or driven by some other kind of ideology. That is if any kind of terrorism can or should be thought of as “pedestrian.”
While most of us will never witness something like that, the truth is that someone is going to be there. A lot of someones, to be honest.
They probably won’t be police officers, either. When you look at the ratio of police to non-police in this country, it’s downright terrifying to recognize how little protection we have.
Instead, it’ll be private citizens like you or me. It might even be you or me.
While we talk about the Second Amendment protecting our right to self-defense, the Founding Fathers also envisioned it making sure we could protect our nation from attack. It doesn’t matter where it’s from either. As those who serve swear, we “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
The problem is, terrorist attacks like San Bernardino and El Paso are used to justify gun control. They’re used to justify disarming the American people who should be our ultimate bulwark against terrorism.
You see, the good guys outnumber the bad guys. They always have and always will. That’s why 19 terrorists committed the attack but 412 first responders entered those towers to help people get out. That’s why those in the North Tower stayed even after the South Tower fell. They wanted to get as many people out as they possibly could.
Horribly butchery met unfathomable courage.
Now, I’m not saying that such bravery is common. I’m an optimist about humanity in general and I think it’s rare. But I still maintain that the good guys outnumber the bad guys any day of the week. As a result, more good guys in a position to meet the more mundane kind of attacks–the bomber on a subway platform, the truck trying to run over people, the maniac shooting up their workplace, etc.–with armed resistance.
Look, we shouldn’t be flippant about taking human life, but we should also recognize there are people who simply need to be shot in the face. Terrorists intent on killing or hurting as many people as humanly possible in the name of their cause are right at the top of the list.
While anti-gun voices are blasting people like the NRA and calling them domestic terrorists and saying people shouldn’t even be allowed to legally join the group, the targets of such hate may be the most effective answer we’ll ever see to terrorism.
“Smith & Wesson.”
Not everyone will want to carry a gun, even to defend their own lives. Some people just know they’re not cut out for it, and that’s fine. I had someone tell me they figured they had too short of a temper to warrant carrying a gun. I, for one, appreciated the honest self-evaluation on their part.
However, a lot of people can be trusted with it, and if we’re going to make sure that we never have another 9/11 attack, we need to make damn sure terrorists know that the American people are no easy prey.