Thursday, January 7, 2016
Europe's Mass Assaults Tilt Gun Debate
Okay; so, I'm not a boisterous advocate for the Second Amendment.
Quite frankly, I can see where gun control advocates get their ammunition about the amendment's "militia" language, and about it not directly correlating to individual gun rights when martial law has not been declared.
However, I can also see where gun rights advocates get their ammunition: You don't have to stretch logic very far to find the amendment inferring that gun ownership precedes any formation of militias. Otherwise, how would defensive weaponry be distributed during a crisis of lawlessness that generated the need for armed civilians in the first place?
See what I mean?
So, speaking of ammunition, let's talk about the growing furor over in Germany these days. It's a furor sparked by news of hundreds of men, purportedly from the Middle East, assaulting unsuspecting women during public New Years Eve events in Germany and Finland.
Haven't heard about it? Well, join the crowd, as it took a few days before the media began disseminating this story to the general public. Some in Germany are now accusing their media of trying to cover up the blockbuster news, since on the surface, it looks pretty damning for Middle Easterners, especially refugees from Syria.
In a nutshell, here's the scoop: during fireworks festivities before large crowds on New Years Eve, it has been reported that a throng of up to 1,000 men who looked and talked like Middle Easterners physically and verbally accosted approximately 100 women in front of the main cathedral in Cologne, with at least two rapes having been reported as well. Similar incidents took place on much smaller scales in two other German cities, and in Helsinki, the capital of Finland.
Sounds like a fairly coordinated occurrence, doesn't it? Hundreds of men who look and speak pretty differently from your standard European guy, meeting in central places in major European cities to grope women? Nobody has yet been arrested, and it's yet to be proven that any of the alleged perpetrators are actually Middle Eastern, or recently-arrived Muslim refugees, but one police report quoted a Middle-Eastern-looking man taunting the crowd by jeering, "I'm a Syrian! You have to treat me kindly! Mrs. Merkel invited me."
If all of the suspicions are correct, and these accusations of "wilding" were really committed by Middle Eastern men, newly-arrived to countries with far more liberalized views towards women than where these guys came from... can you see where I'm going with this?
Unfortunately, after so much refugee migration during such a relatively short span of time, a cross-cultural clash of some sort was probably inevitable, considering the Middle East's patriarchal environment, and the pluralistic environment of modern Europe. Now, consider the scenario of something like that happening here in the United States. You know some right-wingers are already putting it together: how would Americans react? With our gun laws the way they currently are, aren't we Americans in a better position to defend ourselves if we were accosted in such a fashion, or if a loved one was? Many news reports out of Germany claim that some women were molested while groups of Middle Eastern men allegedly held their victims' male companions at bay.
Would the situation have been different if the perpetrators of such behavior worried that enough people in the crowd might be packing heat?
Well, you might reply: Where were the cops?
German police are now admitting that they were woefully under-staffed and overwhelmed by the extent of the mayhem taking place in Cologne that raucous night. And no, the police can't be everywhere all the time. What then? Your boyfriend might be able to punch out one assailant, or maybe two - but dozens? Hundreds? One thousand?
Our world is rapidly changing, and isn't it being foolhardy to presume that the police force of your city can protect you if dozens, hundreds, a thousand men all purpose to molest as many women as they can in one night?
Framers of our Constitution likely had nothing like this scenario in mind when they worded the Second Amendment as they did: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
It's not that America's citizenry needs to protect itself only from a military force running amok. As our world changes, it may become more and more likely that America's citizenry will need to protect itself from organized bands of thugs and violators like the ones in Europe during New Years Eve. Our "brave new world" may be one of limited-sophistication crimes of mass-perpetration organized via social media in real time, which no government could always track.
No, we cannot prevent immigration based on religion, as some say we should. We cannot paint entire nationalities and religions with the same broad brush. After all, Germany has welcomed hundreds of thousands of war refugees just this past year alone, but only a relative handful of them are accused of this heinous behavior.
Partisan politicians like to talk about "gun violence." But here's an example of where violence could actually be thwarted by guns.
Let's not allow rhetoric from any side of this debate distract us from what's actually happening in our world: the proliferation not just of guns, but of people who don't care about any of your rights.