The Los Angeles Times today won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the San Bernardino terror attack last December, an event that ignited a surge of gun buying and applications for concealed carry permits and licenses across the nation.
Even the Pacific Northwest has not been immune from the aftershock. During the first three months of this year, the Evergreen State added more than 21,100 active concealed pistol licenses, according to data from the Department of Licensing. The attack occurred on Dec. 2, and by the end of that month, more than 5,600 new Washington CPLs had been issued.
Fourteen people were murdered in that California community. In the aftermath, people crowded gun stores in California, putting up with that state’s restrictive gun laws to reacquire some semblance of security and normalcy. After all, terrorist attacks are supposed to happen in Jerusalem or Paris or Brussels, not on American soil.
Because of that attack, today’s Los Angeles Times is reporting that security at the on-going Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which continues through this week, has been stepped up. Terrorists, after all, prefer soft targets and what better opportunity is there to kill lots of innocent people than a gathering in the Golden State where people in attendance aren’t likely to be packing anything more menacing than bottled water?
For more than a week following the attack, mounted by Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik who were killed in a barrage of police gunfire later the same day, the L.A. Times had a “steady stream” of updates. People wanted to know what was happening, as it was happening.
Significantly, in many jurisdictions, sheriffs and even some police chiefs encouraged legally-licensed private citizens to pack defensive sidearms. Much to the chagrin of gun prohibitionists, arming up suddenly became the “new norm” as Americans figured out quickly that in an emergency, they may have to be their own first responders.
The “new norm” may not be so much that citizens are carrying for their personal protection. It may be that Americans are more alert now than ever, thanks to a couple of murderous individuals who lived long enough to demonstrate that, despite assurances of safety by the Obama administration, the United States is not immune to the acts of extremists.
By some estimates, there are more than 13 million private citizens who are legally-licensed to carry. That doesn’t count all those Americans who live in so-called “constitutional carry” states, the newest addition being Mississippi, where a license or permit is not needed to bear arms.
While the L.A. Times has been justifiably recognized for reporting the news under protection of the First Amendment, the aftermath of San Bernardino proved that when Americans perceive the chips to be down, they quickly rely on the Second Amendment. Many in the firearms community believe that the L.A. Times, like too many metropolitan newspapers, has not been friendly to the Second Amendment. People have a right to keep and bear arms, just as they also have a right to know.
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