Americans were shocked and disgusted to learn of another act of terrorism on our soil, this time in Orlando. In the aftermath of this terrorist attack, President Obama and Hillary Clinton renewed calls for more gun control, including a ban on whole categories of semi-automatic firearms. They are desperate to create the illusion that they’re doing something to protect us because their policies can’t and won’t keep us safe. This transparent head-fake should scare every American, because it will do nothing to prevent the next attack.

The terrorist in Orlando had been investigated multiple times by the FBI. He had a government-approved security guard license with a contractor for the Department of Homeland Security. Yet his former co-workers reported violent and racist comments. Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s political correctness prevented anything from being done about it.

Radical Islamic terrorists are not deterred by gun control laws. The San Bernardino terrorist attack wasn’t stopped by California’s so-called “assault weapons” ban. The gun ban in Brussels didn’t prevent the terrorist attack there. And France’s strict gun control didn’t stop the two attacks in Paris, committed with fully-automatic rifles and grenades.

Repeating the same thing but expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Law-abiding gun owners are tired of being blamed for the acts of madmen and terrorists. Semi-automatics are the most popular firearms sold in America for sport-shooting, hunting and self-defense.

Congress banned their manufacture for 10 years, from 1994 to 2004. The law also mandated an independent study on its effectiveness. The study proved the ban had no impact because criminals and terrorists are not deterred by gun control laws. To suggest otherwise provides a dangerous sense of false security. We don’t need false promises. We need real leadership.

It’s time for us to admit that radical Islam is a hate crime waiting to happen. The only way to defeat them is to destroy them — not destroy the right of law-abiding Americans to defend ourselves.

Chris W. Cox is executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action.

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12 thoughts on “Gun Laws Don’t Deter Terrorists

  1. I read this to try and understand how it is possible to justify semi-automatic or automatic weapons in light of Orlando. And I can see how this argument makes sense. Superficially. The process used here. 1. Lay the groundwork that gun control doesn’t work by vaguely citing examples. 2. Provide a solution by blaming something else. So radical Islam is to blame, and the solution is “destroy them.” But how? Easy to say, almost impossible to do. And was Omar Marteen even a radical Islamist? If not, how does your proposed solution equate? It doesn’t. It isn’t a solution. It’s deflection, and deflection is never a solution.

    Moreso, this article doesn’t address the central question that people like me are asking: if the guns used by Omar Marteen not been legally available to him, would 50 people be alive today? Brussels was different as that was a concerted terrorist attack involving significant planning and resources. Marteen was a mentally unstable individual who had access to guns only appropriate for mass killing. It seems fairly logical. Take away his ability to buy such a gun and that attack would never have been possible. Why not address that? Because it can’t be addressed? What else is someone like me to think, when the central question is left unanswered?

    You state: “Law-abiding gun owners are tired of being blamed for the acts of madmen and terrorists.” If I had a hobby being abused to the point time and again that dozens – in total hundreds – of innocent bystanders were dying, I would say enough, let’s get this under control, my personal enjoyment isn’t worth this. Why are gun hobbyists so content to stand by as their hobby is used for mass murder? Shouldn’t you be the first to stand up for safety and accountability when your hobby is being abused? These guns are only available to the public because you want to use them. Now 50 more people are dead. You should be the solution, not pointing fingers at others to solve this. What is your solution? Oh right. Destroy radical Islam. Good one.

    It saddens me to read that the best and brightest of the NRA can’t manage more than a superficial and weak defense of your hobby. I’m not saying this to attack the gun lobby. I truly want to understand this viewpoint, even if I’ll never agree. But this sheds no light, offers no solution and only points the fingers at someone else to solve the problem – so long as it means keeping your self-interest out of the solution. Hardly a viewpoint worthy of sympathy.

    1. Why did the FBI allow this mad man the right to buy Guns? They knew there was somthing wrong with this guy and they allowed him to make the purchase of these guns!! But he was on the no fly list?! Fix the laws that are already in place and quit trying to take away my rights that my forefatherson and brothers and sisters died for.

    2. When killers cannot get guns they resort to other methods such as bombs or arson. Now we are playing into the hands of these killers by making their attacks even more profound by wanting to take away guns from innocent law abiding people who have nothing to do with these kinds of things.Effectively disarming us and making us defenseless.

      Many people defend Islam and say it has nothing to do with these attacks and yet in the same breath blame upstanding non murderous citizens who own guns. You claim that gun owners should relent and give up their guns because a few bad people use them in a malicious way. Using that reasoning are you ready to give up your car or truck? Motor vehicles kill more people than guns and they are not really a necessity. The USA could expand public transit and more people could walk and bike to work. Automobiles are used to commit homicide, suicide, kidnappings, sexual assaults, the transportation of illicit goods and drugs and more, and the oil that they use causes war and strife.Many car crashes are horrific where people are decapitated and dismembered , burned to death alive or suffer life long injuries. Are you really willing to stop driving to save lives?

      Another point that is missed is the fact that there are thousands of people in the USA and in other countries who have access to real assault rifles, artillery, tanks, jet fighters, grenades and mortars and bombs. We call them soldiers and police officers and yet we put our trust in them not to use these weapons on us. And for the most part they do not. It is the same with the civilian ownership of so called “assault rifles”, We the people” are the ultimate authority in the USA, not the police or the military. The people hire the police and military to keep them safe. In some countries the police and the military abuse this power and there is a military coup because those who have the weapons are in control. The 2nd amendment may not be perfect but who knows what horrors it has prevented.

      I can appreciate that many citizens believe that by banning these guns outright will stop the killings and that may or may not be true to a point. But at what cost? Where will society go when only a few people have this power. History has proven that the cost is high and that power is abused and used against the masses to control them.
      The USA now has one of the biggest standing armies in the world because a lot of good people are armed.

      These semi-automatic rifles are used in shootings because they accept large capacity magazines. That is an important thing to have when facing multiple enemies shooting back. Guns developed over many hundreds of years for good reason. Bullets are actually simply small spears or arrows thrown by a chemical reaction rather than a mechanical one. This arms race has been going on for centuries. But a true assault rifle has selective fire capability. Soldiers trigger fingers may not work so well after firing hundreds or thousands of rounds in battle where multiple targets are attacking. Bolt action rifles are now obsolete because they just cannot keep up and it is hard to work a bolt so much.
      Should citizens be able to legally acquire military style weapons? That is a good question. A weapon like this owned by a good person who has no murderous intent is not a threat. But in the hands of a bad person, they become our enemy. And how do we stop these enemies?

      The gun manufacturers could design and produce an AR-15 for example that has a magazine well that does not accept military magazines. 5 round civilian magazines of a different configuration could be made and sold. Any killer would have to bring multiple magazines and switch them out often, giving opportunity to counter attack or escape.
      Any modifications to these magazines could be made a felony.

      But again, is the system really broken? An unarmed people are a vulnerable people. In nature, all life forms have some kind of defensive mechanism be it sharp claws and teeth, large muscles for escaping, sharp hooves and antlers, poison etc. Mankind developed weapons for good reason.

      1. Mark, this was a better rebuttal than the NRA original article, to be sure. Maybe I’m spoiled because I don’t have people shooting at me and I trust my government. I would sooner call 911 and trust the system when trouble arises than a neighbor with a gun and a questionable attitude. The wrong attitude and I guess yes, the only solution is build walls around you and yours and shoot them before they shoot you. Thankfully my existence hasn’t eroded to that point yet.

        So to answer your question of how we stop these enemies, we call 911. Let trained, equipped impartial people with the proper resources deal with it. But then I don’t live in a war zone and “we the people” means us, not me against you.

        But I still haven’t had the question answered: if the guns used by Omar Marteen not been legally available to him, would 50 people in Orlando be alive today?

      2. John, the answer is yes, those 49 would probably still be dead, and possibly many more. It does not take a gun for a madman to commit mass murder. 2,996 killed and 6,000+ injured on Sept 11, 2001 without the use of a gun. 168 killed and 680 injured on April 19, 1995 without the use of a gun.
        I live in a rural area where a 911 response time would be over 20 minutes, if they could find my house at all. Many homes near me have been broken into by drug addicts stealing things they can easily pawn for drug money. Your strategy to call 911 and wait for a good guy to show up is just naive.
        You put a lot of trust in the government. I took a concealed carry class and the instructor trains the state police and other local departments. He said that the police, even when given free ammo. Refuse to practice, are worse shots than his civilian students, and are less safe when handling firearms than the civilians he has taught. I realize this is anecdotal and the observations of one man, but he was a policeman for over 30 years and I tend to take him at his word.
        Finally, last weekend in Chicago, a city that has arguably the strictest gun control in the country, 48 people were shot. None of them were shot with an AR-15. Did you hear anything about this? Why is that? The media and the president don’t care because they were all black? Because an AR-15 wasn’t used? It it’s not a big deal because the shootings were spread around the south side and not all under one roof? Because Chicago is a Democrat controlled city with tough gun laws and this would prove gun control doesn’t work? Why would the government you trust so much bury this story?

      3. Everybody seems to forget ,Omar Marteen was employed at a security agency with contracts with federal sites . He was vetted to carry a sidearm on federal sites , cleared to buy approved personal arm for that purpose by the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION . This is not a local permit issue !

    3. I believe the failed mental health system is to blame, along with the very questionable FBI vetting process. Twice he was interviewed by the FBI, and I assume that would include talking with family and coworkers, and no one mentioned violent tendencies and hate speech. And he was denied entry in to Florida police academy. Then filed a complaint stating he was denied because he is Muslim (paranoid much?). Many people saw this man for what he really was, yet no one wanted to hurt his feeling( political correctness run amuck) and get him the mental help he really needed.
      I personally see no need in many things; high fashion clothing, flushable toilet wipes, child molesters, home owners associations, dishonest politicians, early release for prison inmates, repeat violent offenders. I am not calling for a ban on these things, some may be your favorite, so why would you call for a bad on one of my favorites? Don’t blame the hammer if you hit your finger instead of the nail!
      He could have used a gasoline bomb, let’s outlaw gasoline. Real solutions please. No knee jerk . Thank you for letting me vent.

    4. One thing seems rather obvious to me .You are not a person who has ever made a decision to run to the fire to aid another . Don’t get upset ,most people’s instincts tend to aviod danger . Those of us who by nature or nurture run to danger understand that , or try to . What is harder to understand are people who insist that those willing to place themselves between them and danger be impeded . Is it a guilt reaction because they flee danger , or is it an envy inspired coping device ?

  2. I saw an excuse laden speech by the head of the FBI calling monitoring known Islamist militants . He likened it to finding a needle in a haystack ,then went on to say his priority was not to disturb any other part of that haystack . He and those over him ,up to P.O.T.U.S ,himself need to do their job or leave . When the FIRST PRIORITY is to find the needle and neutralize it , SET FIRE TO THE HAYSTACK ! We are involved in a war where our president , for whatever his reason(s) ,refuses to let us defend ourselves . In fact he has done everything he ,as P.O.T.U.S. , can do to provide succor to our self-avowed enemy and distance us from our allies . If those are not the actions of a traitor ,they are a damn good imitation .

  3. I guess we must ask, since all whom support “any gun for anyone, defend ourselves blah blah AKA sell more guns and ammo lobbyists whose charter, by the way represent gun/ammo mfgs, not citizens, yet to hear of nra fighting for shooters to reduce huge cost of ammunition which is at all time highs, as is gun mfg stock/profits. We might ask about the fact that Canada has allowed 27,000 Muslims in and NO issues, Canada also has rather strict gun laws, and has not had a mass killing since 1988 when they enacted tighter laws. They have a good banned gun list, you can obtain one of those but lots of paper as military type assault-killing machines restricted. Same for handguns, you can carry concealed, but must really justify such, not with “i am scared of //// (fill in this weeks targeted group) as promoted by scare tactics by pols, lobbyists and special interest as well as weirdo’s in USA “scared” as recent nra rep stated on TV news. Canada does have gang issues with guns, the guns as documented by Canadian press, are bought with no issues crossing border for no question mass buys readily available, the same is true for USA gangs most bay/howl about, yet none question where all the “gang guns” come from. Canada does not have huge numbers of what amounts to in real world unqualified, concealed carry folks prancing about whom maybe fired 20 rounds or less, in many cases none fired, and no to little education in gun laws-safety prancing about, pretenders of “Defend/defense” of this and that. Note one does not master a handgun to be able to safely shoot in public areas, as any real handgun shooter knows.

    A bit older and long time shooter/hunter, simply cannot ever remember meeting WW2/Korea and most NAM vets that wanted to again use anything that was combat type arm, that popularity of wanna be “Seals/Spl Ops” mach o types only happened after draft ended and nra was pushing assault based guns with little to zero hunting values, but have macho sounding names, in fact 223 calls were illegal for deer etc in most states until lobbyists bought elected. We might also look at not just the assault based killing machines out there, but also various shotguns and “pistol type M16/AK47’s which can actually be concealed, accept 30rd or more mags, and have absolutely no use other then killing. We have no real use for any of these things, other then Trump/nra and related pushing fear, hate and intolerance, pushing 2nd Amd, but 100% against freedom of religion and tolerance, all the while doing best to assure those who are probably less then really qualified to “defend blah blah” (real world is ammo really to expensive now days via scared with not much education in what these guard house lawyers purport is “my right” blah blah but as proven by dictators across history have proven, scare folks with rhetoric’s, and they are yours to manipulate, but first set up a target group to hate,

    So we need sane gun laws, no one is going to storm into your home to take your guns, regardless of nra-etc propaganda, if that happens nation has more issues then just gun confiscation, as common sense dictates. We need to look, perhaps at Canada and other nations for some guidance, not copy, but perhaps pick here and there. One start might be limit on capacity, say ten round mags, provisions to modify any existing mags. Oddly, with nor organized fears, even bizarrely many state, restrict mag size to hunt, mandatory hunter safety laws (yet none for carry or so simple course my dog could pass it AKA more profits, anything to sell guns. AM gun owner, all types but no longer want to mess with M16, had enough in military, handgun target shooter for years, preferred gun is a exact replica of Hawkins’s 50. “Defense” gun is Model 11 16 gauge, square ender, nr 4 shot and good bird gun, 44 single action with shot rounds for snakes. Reload for all, I am not fearful of “those Muslims etc”, in fact have a few “Muslim” buds I have bird hunted with over the years.

    I am sorry to see all the assistance the fear and hate of “Muslim’s” has done to aid ISIS and prove their propaganda that USA is afraid of them, instructs their folks if in USA to go buy assault killing machines locally as gun laws so weak they can arm selves here. Seems we hammer target group where hundreds die just getting out of war zone, they retarget them for purposes of selling fear, translate it to hate AKA get votes, more profits for gun industry. Seems not only aiding the bad guys (est 40K ISIS cowering this nation now focused on fear) but so scared or told to be, many willing to give up religious tolerance many dies to preserve. Not a new thing here as family immigrated from Ireland mid 1800’s, were terrorized by various Evangelist’s Est Coast through Midwest, finally moved on to MT. So I do have zero tolerance for the fearful-hateful-intolerant, old family journal explains why they, Catholics, like today’s Muslims were under attacks by intolerance and ignorance. So folks, let’s look at who really wants “any gun for anyone”, who profits, who buys legislation, (note it can easily reverse when pols for sale), how come Canada which closely mimics USA in most areas, can gracefully allow 27,000 “Muslims”, and have a bit restrictive gun laws, and not the daily mass killings of USA. They Canadians as show are not “scared of ////”, so why are so many here?

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