The most telling sign of the horrendous events of London of the past few days that we as a society have begun to accept such horrors as the status quo, is the recommendations of the constabulary. Faced with the sudden and savage assault of terrorists bent on untrammeled, random murder and havoc, the metropolitan police of London recommended the latter of the ancient human physiological response to extreme stress, fight or flight. A few brave citizens did not get the war plan and threw chairs, bottles, and whatever they could get their hands on in an effort to put up a defense. The laws that specify that law abiding citizens in England should be unarmed leads to the need to find temporary artillery with temporary stopping power. The highly restrictive gun laws assume that small firearms are dangerous weapons and the public needs to be protected from itself. In the case of the helpless citizens of London under attack, the weaponless society as usual exposes the innocent law abiders to the fact that the attacking wolves are assuming the lambs are undefended. The death toll of 7 dead and 21 critically injured may very well have been unavoidable with a different set of circumstances, such as conceal/ carry as in the United States. But the effect of knowing the immediate response of the citizenry is fight rather than flight, might bring the first hesitations to the next jihadist who sees an easy prey for their fantasy of the power of death over the innocent.
The United States, though having a unique Bill of Rights that secures in the Second Amendment, a right to bear arms, has a similar aversion to the presence of firearms available for defense in public buildings. The typical sign fronting essentially every arena, hospital, school and theater is the proud sign securing for the illegal gun carrier or person bent on public slaughter is that the law abiding people and and security personnel will be the ones who will be disarmed. If one studies the worst of the gun violence statistics in the United States it is the ubiquitous presence of illegal firearms in cities with the tightest of gun restriction laws. As usual, the criminal or prospective terrorist cares not a wit for the law, only its effect to leave those with something to lose with no means of protecting themselves. Though, there is …run, hide, and tell. Not exactly the pronounced societal retort immortalized for all free societies in the response of the brave citizens of Flight 93.
I am not trying to make a ludicrous argument that society’s gun laws have anything to do with the horrific tragedies we are facing in western society today regarding Islamist terror. The ‘losers’ as President Trump so aptly called them are not likely to be deterred in their willingness to do violence. But we have to be more upfront in our willingness to defend ourselves and make it known we will not cower passively into the dark night. Deterrence is clear when a society declares itself ready to defend, and ready to dispatch the murderers where they stand. We are a free people, and we will not run and hide. Freedom is not a privilege our governments defend for us, it is our right to defend for ourselves. It is time for western governments not to run interference for these scoundrels, but seek them out and send them back to places where they won’t have to worry so much about despising a free civilized society. If these governments don’t, don’t be surprised if people restore the proper balance to fight or flight, and become one with their own physiology.