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A week ago, JPFO contributor David Codrea noted in the National Gun Rights Examiner that the cowardly murderers who slaughtered the staff of the French satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo" were aided and abetted by restrictive French gun laws that more or less guaranteed the killers a soft, defenseless target.
Those same laws, so draconian that most American "gun control" advocates are reluctant to even publicly wish for them, did nothing, of course, to disarm the terrorists (you know--the people who actually use guns for evil). The attack, featuring Kalashnikov rifles (presumably select-fire), a machine pistol, a grenade, and even a rocket launcher, has brought considerable attention to the fact that French gun laws, for all their severity, do little to prevent criminal acquisition of firepower unavailable to most Americans.
As has been discussed here before, Islamic terrorist groups have an obvious interest in keeping those whom they would oppress (or kill) disarmed, and so it's no surprise that ISIS has come out and stated that, "No guns will be allowed outside of [ISIS] ranks." The disarmed are, after all, much safer to behead.
With that in mind, one might assume that in selecting a target in the U.S., terrorists would look for a "gun-free" zone in which to conduct their attack, killing with impunity while the police scramble to muster an adequate response. That would indeed be a wise (if evil) choice on the terrorists' part. But it would not necessarily be the wisest of possible choices.
If an early goal of the jihadists is a defenseless citizenry on which to prey (and why wouldn't it be?), the smart opening move would be to discredit the entire concept of armed defense against their attacks. That could be done by attacking in such numbers, and with sufficient firepower, that despite one or even several armed citizens fighting back with concealed handguns, the terrorists could quickly dispatch them with rifle fire. Helping in this endeavor is the low value these groups place on human life--even their own--losing a few of their number to defensive gunfire would not be a serious problem for them. They could enhance their chances against armed citizens even more by wearing body armor (remember that "armor-piercing" handgun ammunition is forbidden to private citizens by federal law),
Anti-gun groups--and compliant mass media--in this country would not waste a second in jumping on this "failure" of armed self-defense. ABC's "20/20" did just that in 2009, even though they had to recreate the Virginia Tech massacre, with a hypothetical armed student (since school policy forbade armed self-defense on campus). By using a highly stacked deck, in an impossibly rigged game, the segment "proved" armed self-defense against mass shooters cannot work. Now imagine how much more enthusiastically they would exploit a real situation in which armed private citizens are cut down by the assailants.
If they were truly diabolically clever, and there is no reason to doubt that they are, they might forgo the superior firepower they could acquire in foreign black markets, and buy their guns at gun shows in the U.S., thus fueling domestic anti-gun groups' drive to close the mythical "gun show loophole," and ban so-called "assault weapons."
American-born Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn once recommended just such a course of action (although he felt the strange need to claim that one could easily buy fully automatic firearms at gun shows, without a background check, and without even showing ID), much to the delight of anti-gun groups. If that gambit was not motivated by a desire on Al Qaeda's part to amplify anti-gun groups' voices, it certainly should have been. If the lack of a fully-automatic fire capability really bothered them, they could use "bump fire" stocks, thus helping to get those banned, too.
If the jihadists wear body armor, in addition to the benefit mentioned above, of helping them overpower armed citizens, they might even manage to jump-start "gun control" fanatics' efforts to further restrict private citizens' ownership of that purely defensive equipment, closing what some rabid "gun control" advocates actually refer to as the "body armor loophole."
Foreign jihadist groups and domestic "gun control" groups cherish a common goal--greatly reduced firepower in the hands of the American people. In the end, it's hard to say that their motives are much different, either.
A former paratrooper, Kurt Hofmann was paralyzed in a car accident in 2002. The helplessness inherent to confinement to a wheelchair prompted him to explore armed self-defense, only to discover that Illinois denies that right, inspiring him to become active in gun rights advocacy. He also writes the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column. Kurt Hofmann Archive.