Guns and Muslims; and Southpark
Here we have an assertion that the failed car bomb attempt in Times Square may have been retaliation for the South Park controversy concerning the allegedly offensive depiction of Muhammad. In the many commentaries on Comedy Central’s censorship of South Park’s episode on Muhammad in a bear costume; one misses the role of the Second Amendment and it true purposes in the defense of personal liberty. And, why the the right to keep and bear arms is so important in matters such as these.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park’s creators grew up in Texas and Colorado. Though they may have tromped around in the uber-liberal environs of Boulder, Colorado, they, nonetheless live cheek and jowl next to a culture that accepts personal firearm ownership. This is a region, where the probability of a home or car complete with at least one immediately operable firearm approaches unity. It is also a region where said firearms are in the possession of individuals who know how to operate them.
Contrast this to the situation in New York City, headquarters for Comedy Central, where the Second Amendment has been gun-controlled into oblivion. Unless, of course, you’re financially or politically connected enough to score a concealed carry permit.
The net effect is that Parker and Stone probably knew that they would be targeted for all sorts of abuse for this latest Muhammad episode; possibly even expected hot-lead-fired-in-anger abuse. But, I suspect that they may even go as far as to have firearms in their possession. If nothing else, in Colorado, as most of the inter-mountain west, a firearm, with little bureaucratic meddling can be obtained in short order.
In contrast, the Muslim website that warned of a fate similiar to Theo Van Gogh takes on serious gravity in New York City since your life is entirely tied up in the interest and competence of governmental authority. Since the police aren’t in the business of protecting people (their only mandate is to enforce the law), you’re on your own.
In the west, you’re still on your own. But, you at least got a gun.
So, to someone like my self, a death threat would be very unsettling, to say the least. And, yes I would call the police–it may help with creating leads. But, I know that the police aren’t going to camp out at my doorstep as my bodyguards.
However, I would do one more thing. Check the security of my home and business. And, check that my firearms are operable.
A firearm isn’t a talisman against evil. Nor, does it give me the right to go and shoot my way out of every tight spot. Nor, will I necessarily engage in words or activities to provoke anger. An armed society is a polite society (h.t. Heinlein, I think). Moreover, Parker and Stone are in the business of potentially provoking such anger; no one said that South Park is a cuddly chick flick. But, a firearm lends an enormous psychological advantage in giving me the reassurance that, in the gravest extreme, as a truly last resort, I have the means to preserve myself and my family. And, with that calming reassurance, I now have the ability to think through and consider other alternatives to solving a potential crisis.
Moreover, living a culture and environment of gun ownership, the bad guys, most likely outsiders, are going to have a much harder time driving an SUV ladened with explosives without getting noticed by neighbors who are going to start to ask questions. One of the characteristics of those who carry firearms is that they are going to be more alert; more cognizant of their environment. Most people live in condition white, oblivious. Gun owners are more likely to be in condition yellow; not paranoid, just aware.
In New York City, confronted with the gravest extreme, you maybe have a kitchen drawer with some knives. In other words, unless your some highly trained martial arts aficionado, you’re dead. The police will then come and enforcing the law about bringing murders to justice, will dust for fingerprints, zip you up in your body bag and cart you off to the city morgue for more clue analysis. The folks at the Comedy Central home office know this. They caved.
This now brings us to the issue of probable cause. The use of lethal force is limited to stopping an imminent threat of loss of life or serious bodily harm. This involves a reasonable perception that the person stopped had the proximity, means and motive to carry out an attack that would so threaten loss of life or serious bodily harm. Say, a 6’6″ man with a hunting knife ten feet away yelling he’s going to kill you.
While the threats over this South Park episode can’t be directly construed as imminent harm to life and limb; it carries weight as such since it emanates from a Muslim. Unlike the other major religions where killing in the name of religion is very clearly outside the pale, this is a religion that has a significant and numerous enough minority of followers who will, in fact, carry out threats of violence and murder in the name of Islam. It is a religion, who’s holy book, the Koran, specifically advocates killing certain specific enemies. And, it is a threat that Comedy Central has construed as an imminent threat to life and limb. Hence censorship.
The real purpose of the Second Amendment is to give each individual citizen the physical means to defend life, liberty and property from criminal elements; whether the common street variety or those working at the behest of a criminal government. Or, in this case, to give the individual citizen the means to defend those same rights to life, liberty and property when the government abdicates its duty to defend those rights. Unfortunately, with our Secretary of Homeland Security so tied down with identifying critics of Dear Leader Obama as terrorist threats, you’d better move to Colorado and get a gun because you’re on your own.