When I saw the story, my jaw dropped and I was almost afraid to read on, lest I find the headline too good to be true.
But it’s true–ABC News obtained an exclusive interview with Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble at the organization’s annual assembly in Cartagena, Columbia, taking place this week. For the news report summarizing the interview, ABC ran this headline:
After Westgate, Interpol Chief Ponders ‘Armed Citizenry’
You read that right, 2nd Amendment guardians. The man in charge of Interpol, the venerable international law enforcement organization, has gone on record suggesting that gun-owning citizens are a realistic countermeasure to terror attacks on “soft targets” such as the prolonged massacres at Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya, one month ago, and in Mumbai, India over the course of three days in 2008.
Noble, who is an American and used to be in charge of law enforcement at the U.S. Treasury Department, held a brief news conference with reporters following the opening of the assembly. He expressed the extremely difficult mission faced by law enforcement when contemplating the increase of newer, developing threats posed as terrorists are turning their focus away from increasingly “hardened” targets–prominent landmark buildings and government symbols such as those attacked on September 11, 2001–and are instead shifting their plots toward sensational murder sprees in less-protected public areas where large crowds of people gather, like shopping malls and campuses where access is more open.
Noble emphasized Interpol’s goal of making it harder for terrorists to move from country to country, through passport screening and information sharing among countries. But he also brought up the real challenges involved in attacks in places like Beslan and Nairobi.
“How do you protect soft targets? That’s really the challenge. You can’t have armed police forces everywhere,” Noble told reporters.
Later, in his exclusive interview, he homed in on the subject of armed civilians helping to secure soft targets.
The U.S. and the rest of the civilized world have to decide, Noble said–either turn such public spaces into heavily fortified secure zones, with access strictly screened and controlled at the perimeter, or simply allow citizens to be armed so as to protect themselves.
“Societies have to think about how they’re going to approach the problem,” Noble said. “One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves are so secure that in order to get into the soft target you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”
Referring specifically to the Westgate mall massacre in Nairobi, Noble posed the question of how, or whether at all, such a horrific attack would have played out in regions of America where many citizens are armed.
“Ask yourself: If that was Denver, Col., if that was Texas, would those guys have been able to spend hours, days, shooting people randomly?” Noble asked. “What I’m saying is it makes police around the world question their views on gun control. It makes citizens question their views on gun control. You have to ask yourself, ‘Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past with an evolving threat of terrorism?’ This is something that has to be discussed.”
“For me it’s a profound question,” he continued. “People are quick to say ‘gun control, people shouldn’t be armed,’ etc., etc. I think they have to ask themselves: ‘Where would you have wanted to be? In a city where there was gun control and no citizens armed if you’re in a Westgate mall, or in a place like Denver or Texas?’”
Noble’s words are like a soothing balm to those of us 2nd Amendment champions who, despite holding the line in many legal battles, have been to various degrees distressed and beleaguered by the all-out campaign of propaganda and legislative blitzkriegs executed by gun-control advocates lately.
Further, his remarks give support to those of us who have been arguing that armed civilians could have stopped or reduced the carnage done by crazed shooters at horrific incidents such as the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre, the Sandy Hook school massacre, Virginia Tech, and other infamous attacks where absurd gun laws kept good people from access to the immediate means to thwart the murderers.
Let’s help spread Ronald Noble’s words to the far corners of the cyber-sphere, and the Earth. An armed society is a polite–and safer–society.