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A perfect terror strategy for soft targets in country awash in guns

To The Daily Sun,

The NRA's blood-soaked, anarchistic agenda has been dealt a fatal blow. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its refusal to hear an appeal of Rockland Park's post-Sandy Hook assault styled weapons ban of 2013. By leaving the gun ban in place, this decision gives the green light to states and municipalities who wish to ban "dangerous and unusual weapons" (as stated in the Heller decision of 2008). The Heller decision acknowledged the right to self-defense but also acknowledged the right of states and municipalities to regulate firearms and ban the unusually dangerous ones.

James McCoole neglected to mention this very crucial part when he brought up Heller recently. In June of this year, the justices also refused to hear the NRA's case against a San Francisco law that requires gun owners to keep their firearms in a locked container or use a trigger lock. In another major case, Kolbe v. O'Malley, a federal judge ruled that Maryland could ban AR-15 and AK-47 type weapons and held that these weapons, "fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual arms." It appears the federal judge purposely used Heller's words, "dangerous and unusual." With the high court refusing to hear the Rockland Park appeal, it is likely the Maryland ban will also stand. Happy Holidays!

For the second time this year, Republicans blocked legislation that would help prevent people on U.S. terrorist no-fly watch lists from buying firearms and explosives. What? This vote occurred at the same time the San Bernadino terrorist incident was under way. American-born al-Qaida spokesmen Adam Yahiye Gadahn (Jihadi Joe) directed Islamists in a 2011 video, "America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?"

A six-page jihadist document obtained by The Violence Policy Center (VPC) found in Afghanistan, "How Can I Train Myself for Jihad?" also instructs would-be terrorists "on the advantages the United States offers for firearms training and advises readers on how to exploit them." The booklet advises that in "some states of USA, South Africa, it is perfectly legal for members of the public to own certain types of firearms. If you live in such a country, obtain an assault rifle legally, preferably AK-47 or variations, learn how to use it properly and go and practice in the areas allowed for such training. Respect the laws of the country you are in and avoid dealing in illegal firearms. One can learn to operate many arms legally, so there is no need to spend years in prison for dealing in small, illegal firearms. Learn the most you can according to your circumstances and leave the rest to when you actually go for Jihad."

This is a perfect terror strategy for soft targets in a country that is awash in guns, anti-government paranoia, and bizarre armed protests. It seems entirely possible that the San Bernadino terrorists planned their attack using this stealth tactic because they practiced shooting regularly at local gun ranges right up until a few days before the attacks. Even if these killers were on the terrorist watch list, they were able to obtain the weapons of mass murder they used. According to the Guardian, "records show that in the 10 years up to 2014 some 2,233 people on the terror watch list applied for a federal background check to buy guns or explosives, and of those 2,043 were allowed to proceed." Say what? The bill sponsor, Sen. Diane Feinstein, noted after the vote, "If you're too dangerous to board a plane, you're too dangerous to buy a gun." But that is way too sensible for the gun nuts.

Right-wing gun laws make it easier for an unknown home-grown jihadist or even one on the terrorist watch list to walk into a gun show, buy a semi-automatic with armor piercing bullets, and then proceed to a soft target and slaughter people. They also make it possible for any disgruntled employee to acquired weapons of mass killing and take down people just because of anger, differences, or perceived abuse. The need for better gun control is not just about terrorism because almost 10,000 Americans having a bad day shoot and kill other 10,000 Americans each year. And 20,000 shoot themselves each year while in some hellish mental state or cognitively impaired condition.

In March this year the GOP effectively killed a law banning cop-killing, armor piercing bullets for long guns like the AR-15 and AK-47. The San Bernadino shooters could have been legally armed with these green tipped bullets when it took 28 well armed cops to stop the rampage. Responders could have died. Its time to dump these dangerous fools called politicians that don't have anyone's interest in mind except special interests.

James Veverka
Tilton

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