Fort Hood exemplifies the insanity of our modern age

David Burge (aka Iowahawk) reduces the insanity at Fort Hood to a mere 22 perfect and pithy words.  (Hat tip:  Caped Crusader.)

No guns on army bases

Imagine, if you will, that what happens at one of these bases isn’t one crazed gunman or disaffected Islamist but is, instead, a sustained, surprise paramilitary attack. Will our sitting duck troops call 911 then too? They are vulnerable to any surprise attack, whether it comes from one or dozens or hundreds of murderously inclined and heavily armed people.

Fort Hood: Workplace violence or act of terror?

If you think the Fort Hood massacre was a terrorist act by a determined jihadist, rather than an “act of workplace violence that was coincidentally committed by a Muslim who spouted jihadist rhetoric,” consider signing National Review’s petition at Change.org:

Petitioning Chuck Hagel

The Ft. Hood massacre was an Act of Terror

Petition by National Review

The Fort Hood massacre was an act of war carried out by a violent jihadist who had infiltrated our Armed Forces while taking advice and encouragement from Anwar al-Awlaki, who was so clearly an al Qaeda commander that President Obama authorized his wartime killing by a drone strike. We are a nation at war based on a congressional authorization of military force enacted after al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 Americans in the atrocities of September 11, 2001. If the war is to be waged seriously, the government must recognize that the Fort Hood massacre – in which twice as many Americans were killed as were killed in the jihadist bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 – was an act of terrorism committed by the enemy. We must honor the sacrifice of those killed and wounded at Fort Hood by acknowledging its true context.

To: Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense

The Administration has designated the Ft. Hood massacre as workplace violence, and not what it was: an Act of Terror. By not designating this event as such an act, it disrespects the lives of the 13 who lost their lives that day, and dozens more who were injured and those helped their fellow soldiers.

Furthermore, Nidal Hassan will not be tried as an enemy combatant, but instead will be court-martialed.

Finally, without an Act of Terror designation, those wounded in defense of our nation will not receive a Purple Heart.

This is outrageous and I call on you to change the official designation now before the trial for Nidal Hassan proceeds any further.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

As of this moment, 340 people have signed the petition.  National Review is looking for 10,000.

Hat tip: Earl

Factual weaponry for the stalwart foot soldiers fighting on behalf of the 2nd Amendment in the cause of Common Sense

I thought it would be useful to assemble in one place factual data refuting the Left’s instinctive demand for gun control in response to the Newtown tragedy.  In no particular order, I’m setting out their arguments and the factual counter arguments:

England is the most violent country in the Western world

1.  America’s out-of-control guns make it the most violent place in the world.  False.  First of all, there are two different types of violence.  The first is violence by a government against its people.  The second is violence by a people against each other.

Thankfully, America is still way, way, way low on the list of violence by a government against its people.  I’m sure that the beleaguered citizens in North Korea, or China, or Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, or Gaza and the West Bank, Saudi Arabia, or Iran, or in any other dictatorship around the world would love to have a chance to live in America.  They would laugh at what we call “violence,” because they understand that the worst violence is always that visited by an armed government against an unarmed citizenry.

As for the people against people violence, putting aside fairly anarchic places such as Brazil or Peru or Mexico, America still doesn’t even rank near the top of the list.  The most violent place to live if you’re afraid of your fellow citizens is . . . drumroll please . . . England, a country with ferociously stiff gun control laws.  (See the chart, above.)  Incidentally, the violent crime rate in England increased dramatically from the moment the Labour government put extremely harsh gun-control laws in place.  Not only was there more gun crime, there was more of every kind of crime.  If you read the British papers, you learn that the Brits got very creative about violence, resorting with ferocity to knives, broken bottles, head stomps, drowning, choking, poisoning, etc.  People who want to kill will kill.

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Bring out your dead in Acapulco

2.  Countries with strict gun control laws don’t have mass murders along the lines of Columbine or Newtown.  False.  There are three types of mass murderers:  (1) ideological killers, who are usually Muslims with the random Timothy McVeigh thrown in for good measure; (2) insane people; and (3) professional killers, along the lines of the drug gangs Mexico.  These people are driven to kill and will do so regardless of any limitations placed upon them.

Your crazed or professional killers will always get guns and bombs, as Anders Breivik did when he killed 77 people, mostly children, in strict-gun-control Norway.  They will use fertilizer and box cutters to turn trucks and airplanes into bombs, as Timothy McVeigh did in Oklahoma and Al Qaeda did on 9/11.  They will turn cities into charnel houses, as the Mexico drug gangs have done in Mexico, despite Mexico having some of the strictest gun control laws in the world.  (Of course, the interesting twist to the Mexico murders is that Attorney General Eric Holder ignored Mexican law and ran hundreds of illegal weapons into Mexico, courtesy of Operation Fast and Furious.)  They will blow up buses and subways, as Muslim extremists did in London; and trains, as Muslim extremists did in Spain.  They will slaughter school children, as one madman did in Scotland.  Islamic extremists in Mumbai were not slowed down even a little bit by India’s strict gun control laws.  Germany, another country in love with strict gun control, also couldn’t stop a mass murder at a school.  Gun control does not stop mass murder.

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Widowed teen mother shoots home intruder

3.  Gun control in America will lower the number of gun related murdersFalse.  Even if one concedes that ideological killers, insane people, and professional killers are in a class by themselves, and operate outside of gun control laws, won’t gun control laws stop garden-variety criminals, suicides, and impulse killers?  No.  Emphatically no.  Guns are a very useful deterrent, especially for women.  Men have a physical advantage over women, but they don’t have any advantage over a trained and armed woman.  (The picture above is of Sarah McKinley, an 18-year-old widow and mother of a small child, who killed home intruders seeking drugs.) Homeowners are sitting ducks if robbers know that they are unable to defend themselves.  If you doubt these assertions, just look at the statistics.

Howard Nemorov kindly assembled some statistics and they show definitively what the NRA has always claimed:  when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns:

Collating gun ownership rates with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) homicide data underscores the above conclusions:

* States with the lowest firearms ownership average the highest firearm and non-firearm homicide rates.
* As firearms ownership rates increase, homicide rates generally decrease.
* States with the highest gun ownership have the lowest firearms homicide rates.

[UPDATE: I've also been reminded that Switzerland and Israel, both of which arm their citizens, have amongst the lowest violent crime rates in the world.]

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Fort Hood shooter

4.  At the very least, gun free zones are safe placesFalse.  Gun free zones are barrels and those in the zone are the fish.  Gun free zones are the one place in the world the mass murderer knows that he cannot be stopped.  This is true whether the gun free zone is an army base, a school in Columbine, or a university in Virginia.  In each of these locations, mass murderers took advantage of everyone else’s unarmed status to go on gleeful killing sprees.  (Glenn Reynolds has more here.)

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Second Amendment

5.  Congress should outlaw gunsFalse.  Even if you think Congress should, it can’t.  Like it or not, the Second Amendment stands in the way, stating as a matter of contract between government and people that the American people the right to bear arms.  There is only one mechanism to bypass the Second Amendment — more amendment.  Or, as Article 5 of the Constitution says:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Funnily enough, gun control advocates seem disinclined to attempt either of the options the Constitution provides for its amendment.

[UPDATE: In the comments, Wolf Howling noted that, while Congress can't do anything, an activist Supreme Court can. This raises an interesting question. Since the beginning of the 19th century the Supreme Court has granted itself the power to interpret a law's constitutionality. Does that same power give it the right to interpret the Second Amendment out of existence? In other words, can the Supreme Court effectively nullify a Constitutional Amendment?]

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Pulp Fiction

6.  America’s culture is violentSort of true, but let’s figure out where to place the blame.  I say “sort of true” because, while America certainly isn’t up there with Britain or certain other European countries when it comes to violence, we’re certainly a more violent country than Iceland or Japan.  (Although Japan has an insanely high suicide rate, so lack of both violence and guns doesn’t mean lack of suffering.)  Because we are a ginormous, heterogeneous country with a huge influx of immigrants, both legal and illegal, we are never going to have the social unanimity that other countries use as a counter to violence.  We cannot mimic Iceland or Japan because our population is too differently constituted.  In this regard, it’s worth noting that Nordic countries such as Sweden, Norway, and Denmark that have opened their Leftist hearts to a vast influx of Muslim immigrants who don’t subscribe to Nordic social norms have seen a huge increase in one very specific type of violence:  rape.

There’s another reason America has a violent culture:  our entertainment industry celebrates it.  Movies, TV shows, video games, and music are all blood-soaked.  They are also all the product of a dominant Progressive industry.  Yup — the people who are selling American disarmament are also the same people glorifying an extraordinarily violent culture.  My suggestion is that, before the Progressives take away my Constitutional right to bear arms, they give some thought to changing the message they sell to America and the rest of the world.

[UPDATE:  USMaleSF had the courage in the comments to speak the unspeakable:  America's violent culture tends to cluster around blacks and, more than that, it clusters around ghettos, with the greatest number of gun crimes being black on black crime.  Stating this fact honestly should be seen as the opposite of racism.  I, safe in my little suburban enclave, am far removed from this scourge.  The ones at risk are blacks themselves, especially women, children, and adolescent males.  The political correctness that silences our tongues makes us morally complicit in a violent subculture that preys upon itself.]

If you read only one thing this weekend — read Mark Steyn on Fort Hood and Multiculturalism

In a field rich with excellent conservative writers, I always think Mark Steyn is the best.  The joyful days, though, are the days when he outdoes even himself.  In this week’s column about the fluffy multiculturalism that reared its head both before and after Hasan’s deadly terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Steyn outdoes himself.  Here are a few excerpts, but you have to read the whole thing to get the flavor:

The truth is we’re not prepared to draw a line even after he’s gone ahead and committed mass murder. “What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy,” said Gen. George Casey, the U.S. Army’s Chief of Staff, “but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.” A “greater tragedy” than 14 dead and dozens of wounded? Translating from the original brain-addled multicult-speak, the Army chief of staff is saying that the same fatuous prostration before marshmallow illusions that led to the “tragedy” must remain in place. If it leads to occasional mass murder, well, hopefully it can be held to what cynical British civil servants used to call, during the Northern Irish “Troubles,” “an acceptable level of violence.” Fourteen dead is evidently acceptable. A hundred and forty? Fourteen hundred? I guess we’ll find out.

[snip]

The brain-addled “diversity” of General Casey will get some of us killed, and keep all of us cowed. In the days since the killings, the news reports have seemed increasingly like a satirical novel the author’s not quite deft enough to pull off, with bizarre new Catch 22s multiplying like the windmills of your mind: If you’re openly in favor of pouring boiling oil down the throats of infidels, then the Pentagon will put down your e-mails to foreign jihadists as mere confirmation of your long established “research interests.” If you’re psychotic, the Army will make you a psychiatrist for fear of provoking you. If you gun down a bunch of people, within an hour the FBI will state clearly that we can all relax, there’s no terrorism angle, because, in our over-credentialized society, it doesn’t count unless you’re found to be carrying Permit #57982BQ3a from the relevant State Board of Jihadist Licensing.

He shouted Allahu Akbar *UPDATED*

An eyewitness heard those words — Allahu Akbar — come out of the killer’s mouth.  Private Joe Foster, though, is still ready to do his job, as he did at the time of the shooting, and that despite a bullet strike on his femur.

UPDATE:  You must — MUST — check out Mudville Gazette to see the way in which CNN twisted Private Foster’s words.  It’s shocking.

What you lose about Islamic terrorism when you read only the headlines

My liberal friend is a headline reader.  That’s why we had a ridiculous conversation in which he wondered about the Fort Hood shooter’s motives.  To the reader who scans, headlines that say “motives a mystery” trump even those articles that add, under the headline, little facts such as Muslim death cries (“Allahu Akbar!”), radical mosques, jihadist internet postings and FBI scrutiny.

I thought of this when a scan of my local paper led me to yet another completely misleading headline today: “Filipino militants behead captive schoolteacher.” The incurious reader, with the MTV or CNN approach to news gathering, is left with the impression that there’s some sort of civil war in the Phillipines, with some of those nasty Filipino’s acting out.  The slightly more inquisitive reader will discover that Al Qaeda lies at the heart of this brutal murder:

Suspected al-Qaida-linked militants in the southern Philippines beheaded a schoolteacher after kidnapping him last month, officials said Monday.

The severed head of Gabriel Canizares, 36, was left in a bag at a gas station on Jolo Island, three weeks after suspected Abu Sayyaf militants stopped a passenger minibus and dragged him away in front of his colleagues, said regional military commander Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino.

The militants, notorious for bombings, ransom kidnappings and beheadings, were reportedly demanding a ransom of 2 million pesos ($42,000) for his release.

What’s fascinating is that the word “Islam” never appears in the article, while the word “Muslim” appears only in what seems to be an irrelevant aside, in the very last paragraph, about student populations in the region:

He said his department was at a loss how to ensure security for public schoolteachers in high-risk areas and feared that the kidnappings would discourage others from teaching underprivileged youths in Muslim areas.

I’ll readily concede that you’d have to have lived under a rock for a long, long time not to appreciate that organizations such as Al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah (described in the same article as a “Southeast Asian terrorist group”) are Muslim in nature.  Nevertheless, the AP’s deliberately unwillingness to acknowledge that Al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah aren’t just coincidentally Muslim, but have as their central tenet the violent advance of their Muslim faith, goes beyond a writer’s desire to avoid larding prose with the obvious.  Instead, the news service is manifestly trying to unlink the groups from religion in the public mind.  To this end, the report carefully carefully gives out the groups’ names, while describing them as “militants” or “terrorists,” the genesis of whose terror or militancy clearly has no known cause.

This obfuscatory, almost fraudulent writing* matters, as we know, because of the media’s frantic effort to de-couple the murderous Hasan of Fort Hood** from his faith.  Jeffrey Goldberg, whose tenure at the Atlantic is going to get shorter and shorter as he keeps stating honest truths,*** has this to say on that subject:

A consensus seems to have formed here at The Atlantic that the Ft. Hood massacre means not very much at all. Megan McArdle writes that “there is absolutely no political lesson to be learned from this.” James Fallows says: “The shootings never mean anything. Forty years later, what did the Charles Whitman massacre ‘mean’? A decade later, do we ‘know’ anything about Columbine?”  And the Atlantic Wire has already investigated the motivation for the shooting, and released its preliminary findings. Of Nidal Malik Hasan, the Wire states: “A 39-year-old Army psychiatrist, he appears to have not been motivated by his Muslim religion, his Palestinian heritage (he is American by nationality), or any related political causes.”

It seems, though, that when an American military officer who is a practicing Muslim allegedly shoots forty of his fellow soldiers who are about to deploy to the two wars the United States is currently fighting in Muslim countries, some broader meaning might, over time, be discerned, especially if the officer did, in fact, yell “Allahu Akbar” while murdering his fellow soldiers, as some soldiers say he did. This is the second time this year American soldiers on American soil have been gunned down by a Muslim who was reportedly unhappy with America’s wars in the Middle East (the first took place in Arkansas, to modest levels of notice). And, of course, this would not be the first instance of an American Muslim soldier killing fellow soldiers over his disagreements with American foreign policy; in 2003, Army Sgt. Hasan Akbar killed two officers and wounded fourteen others when he rolled a grenade into a tent in a homicidal protest against American policy.

Please do read the rest of Goldberg’s thoughtful, intelligent and intellectually honest post.   Then think about everything else you’ve read.  And then wonder if the Fort Hood massacre will be the breaking point for the American people, because it will stand as the moment when they can no longer stomach the cognitive dissonance of a media that so assiduously avoids the hard facts playing out in real time before our eyes.

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*And it is fraud, as a matter of law, the the speaker deliberately fails to disclose material facts in order to deceive.

**I promised a military friend I wouldn’t use his rank and name together, since he doesn’t deserve that honor.

*** I see Goldberg pulling a John Stossel and seeking a more salubrious and intellectually honest work environment.

The yin and yang: Obami insanity and military strength *UPDATED*

These are a matched set, and you must read them, one after the other:

Janet Napolitano, the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, having thought long and hard, decides that the real victims of the Fort Hood massacre are  . . . wait for it . . . Muslims.

On the flip side, Cassandra, at Villainous Company, talks about the solid courage and real values that characterize the American military.

Just to get things laid out nicely and neatly:  our current administration coddles our enemies, fears and denigrates our own military, and is actively seeking to destroy our economy.  Can anyone here remind me why we have this administration?

The only sort-of solace I have right now is the 2010 election, but even that doesn’t inspire great hope.  The Republican Party is so inept and out of tune, being neither Democratic fish nor Republical fowl, that I am not sanguine about its ability to provide voters with an exciting, or even viable, alternative to the Democratic march into the Marxist ocean.  Really, the only hope is that these trials are sent to us for a purpose, as the Anchoress, in a very uplifting way, believes.

UPDATE:  Rick, himself a religious man, has taken the Anchoress’ message and run with it.  As I told my mother (who, like me, can best be described as an atheist), those of my blog friends who are religious have a serenity we lack.  Even when things are bad, they feel that there is a purpose, although they might not be able to see it.  They can be upset, but they still feel they’re in God’s hands.  I mentioned that they manage to have this attitude without being condescending, antisemitic (which is what my Mom so fears in religious Christians), or fatuous.  They are very, very lucky in their faith.

As for me, while I can’t seem to beg, borrow or steal spirituality, I find comfort knowing that those I respect see a bigger, more important picture than I do.

I’ll add here as a random aside, given Cassandra’s point about the military, that I find it a good thing, not a bad, that our military has so many religious people in it.  Aside from the fact that my experiences with American Christians have been uniformly good, I also find it wonderful that those who are willing to put their life on the line for the preservation of my life and liberty, have a faith that they can turn to as they take the risks that go with their jobs.

The Fort Hood shooting *UPDATED*

I just heard about the Fort Hood shooting, and have nothing of my own to say.  The New Editor, however, is watching closely and updating constantly.

Ed Driscoll also has running updates, as does Hot Air.

What I learned from a military friend is that, even though it’s a military base, the troops are not armed, leaving them as helpless as college or high school students.

Probably meaningless, but the one shooter who is named (of the three military shooters involved) is Major Malik Nadal Hasan.  I’m sure the name is just a coincidence, and could as easily have been, say, Maj. Tom O’Malley, or Maj. Jerome Goldberg, or Maj. Lou Chan.  And I’m sure it had nothing to do with anything that Hasan converted to Islam.

UPDATEAt JoshuaPundit, info comes through that it was one shooter, so not a conspiracy.  My question for you:  if it’s a lone gunman who shoots because his religious ideology dictates that he do so, is it still a Muslim terrorist attack?  I say yes, but I’m sure the MSM will play the crazy soldier under stress angle.  JoshuaPundit, by the way, using actual facts, asks the same question and, quite thoughtfully, comes up with the same answer.

I’d blog more, but Thursday afternoon and evening are serious carpool and family time.

UPDATE II:  I’m hearing some back channel chat which makes this sound much more interesting than just a lone gunman.   You’ll probably hear the same stuff before I wake up tomorrow (early, but California time).  The one point I can tell you is that an ex-mil friend noted that this whole fear of deployment isn’t straight.  The guy is a psychiatrist.  Here or there, he’d be sitting on a couch.  In other words, he would never be taking up weapons against fellow Muslims — but he was manifestly willing to take up weapons against fellow Americans.

UPDATE III:  Since I’m getting links from my trackback at Hot Air, I feel it’s incumbent upon me to say something intelligent and coherent here.  Here’s my try:  The most dangerous enemy is always the Fifth Columnist, or the enemy within.  Hasan wore the same uniform as the men (and women?) he shot.  He slept in the same barracks, he had the same military training, he shared their pop culture.  There was nothing alien about him.  As these pictures hint, and as we know to be the case for all military installations, Ft. Hood is set up to repel the enemy from without.  It has no mechanism to protect against the turncoat, the Benedict Arnold who nurses a private or ideological grievance.

I’ve also heard from back channels that people like Hasan have been an ongoing concern within the military.  The fear inspired by political correctness, however, has meant that internal enforcement agencies (FBI, military police, etc.) have been afraid to act on their suspicions for fear of being tarred as racists or ideologues.  This climate of PC fear must have increased dramatically since Obama’s justice department made it plain that it considered those who acted in defense of the U.S. as potential war criminals.  In the topsy turvy world of Obama politics, it’s a worse sin to be politically incorrect than to be a terrorist.  Our national security forces have read the tea leaves and, no matter how patriotic I’m sure they are, they’ve concluded that the sure risk to their career for being un-PC is greater than the potential risk of a terrorist attack from some psychiatrist or foot soldier somewhere in the South or the Midwest, or wherever else the next Muslim loony-toonz starts making noise on American soil.

UPDATE IV:  The media will undoubtedly paint Hasan as a disaffected, frightened warrior (never mind that psychiatrists don’t go into war).  Why do I say this?  Because every Muslim attack in America (e.g., the shooter at the Jewish center in the North West, the crazy guy who ran down people in San Francisco, the D.C. sniper, the Home Depo car driver) is, according to the media, just a crazy person in motion.  I’ve therefore got a syllogism for you:

All mass murderers are crazy.

All mass murderers who look to Allah and the Koran as their inspiration for mass murder are crazy.

All Muslims are therefore crazy.

It’s an utterly stupid syllogism, and it’s meant to be.  I just wanted to highlight the inanity of a media that seeks desperately to avoid the fact that there’s a common denominator to a significant percentage of crazy mass murders in the U.S.  Yes, we have random shooters (the Virginia Tech guy, the Amish killer, the Columbine killer), but we also have a collection of killers all of whom share precisely the same ideology:  they’re murdering for Allah.  That’s not crazy; that’s ideological.

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