The San Bernardino terrorist attack and the Planned Parenthood attack are two good reasons for people to talk gun control. In the minds of some people who desire a lot more gun control or the country to be “gun free,” enacting strict gun control laws are the solution to “fix” all the gun violence.
However, is their belief now challenged?
Some of the best security professionals in the US and Israel now believe that gun control is actually not the solution, but could be an obstacle to homeland security. “The recent terror attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino now challenge the common sense behind gun control; mainly because gun control only restricts law abiding citizens from defending themselves with their own guns” David Ratkovich, security expert stated.
The reality is that gun control does not apply to terrorists or criminals.
While so called liberals want “no guns and control of who buys them,” the conservatives want “no restrictions and less gun control.” Both sides begin to fight over for political influence and to try to win the debate in the media. Criminals getting guns is not good and that must be controlled.
“Gun control is based on the idea that the state will always provide the protection that you and your family need… the idea has time and again proven false. The Police are always minutes away when seconds count,” Thomas Gilligan, Republican Candidate for Will County Board District Four.
One of the biggest challenges ISIL that is telling their people to attack soft targets and massacre as many people as possible. A second phenomenon that challenges the gun control position is the people with mental issues that are getting motivated to mobilize and commit an attack such as the case in the Planned Parenthood attacks. These two are hard to stop or prevent. It will take a lot for the medical community to be willing to open their records.
A third phenomenon is in regards to the levels of violence seeing in areas of Chicago where gang members are just spraying with bullets people with other gangs but end up killing many innocent people. You never hear the good stories such as the Uber driver who shot an attacker who was firing his gun at a crowd and stopped a massacre in Chicago. He had a concealed carry permit.
“The only thing strict gun control in cities and soft targets assures the criminal that nobody will intervene during an attack because by the time law enforcement arrive, the attacker or attackers have already cause significant casualties,” Lonn Howarter security expert stated. This is the new reality in the US and in counterterrorism is called soft target.
Dakar Eilat, Counterterrorism Trainer currently in Israel working with SWAT in Jerusalem as a Commander and contractor for Contingent Security Services, Ltd. offered the following thoughts during a Skype interview.
Mr. Eilat stated, “30 of the latest attacks in Israel have been stopped in seconds or less than a minute by someone who was at the scene, a citizen with a permit to carry a gun legally. Today, a terrorist crashed a car in a bus stop and was killed by a civilian, before he could get out of the car with an ax.”
If there is something we can learn from Israel is how to respond to attacks and harden targets. Reflecting in what is happening lately, let’s put gun control this into the analysis pipeline, as an intelligence analyst that I am:
1. Soft Targets are too many that law enforcement is incapable of hardening all these potential targets. If you have money to post your own security personnel in every soft target, then carry on but we know that is not the case.
2. The gun control measures only control law-abiding citizens but not the criminals. The one thing that can be done here is hold people accountable who willfully buy guns to sell to criminals. This is a real problem.
3. The ISIL Model to perpetrate attacks with guns is nearly impossible to prevent. We need more people (civilians) capable of stopping an attack during the first minute to 3 minutes. Here is where more civilians trained and able to carry guns lawfully can shift this into a more difficult task for terrorists and shooters, just like in Israel.
4. The idea that a person lawfully carrying weapons poses a higher risk is actually wrong and misleading. People get training and are able to respond to “self defense and/or defense of others,” if the situation comes up. Therefore, the law-abiding citizen carrying a gun actually hardens “soft targets and reduces risks” not only of common criminal attacks, but also of terrorist attacks.
5. Too many restrictions of where people can carry a gun with the proper permit trump the purpose of carrying a gun. It is a stupid idea of letting people carry and then restricting them in 90% or more of the establishments (most of them soft targets). This needs some re-thinking.
6. Civilians are not trained to respond to a terror attack with guns. I have not found anything to support that claim. Civilians with guns in Israel have stopped close to 100% of the attacks in 30 incidents.
7. Let the law enforcement take action and not untrained civilians. Well, the attacker has close to 10 minutes to massacre as many people. The civilian with a gun, lawfully carrying their weapon is at the scene (he or she has zero response time). Statistics show law enforcement can take up to 9 minutes to respond.
Therefore, the challenges in the US when it comes to soft targets are the time that takes law enforcement to come to the scene of an attack and neutralize the attacker(s). “Time is of the Essence,” and the response must be quick and effective.
“We will start specialized training with the same trainers Israel is currently using to respond to attacks in cities in Israel in the US in 2016. We plan to provide specialized training for police, private security personnel, and civilians with gun carry permits, so they can get their skills to the next level,” stated Mr. Howarter.
Unless you have a police officer in uniform or in plain clothes (on duty or off duty) or private armed security in every soft target, civilians with gun permits could be the only defense and way to harden the soft targets. It is time to re-think Homeland Security.