The Corner

‘Even’ al-Qaeda Wants Background Checks!

Mark the occasion well, for this is the week in which the gun control movement became so desperate to restore the balance of the firearms debate in favor of groundless emotion that it recruited al-Qaeda as an ally in its fight. Per BuzzFeed:

Even Al-Qaeda was arguing that America’s background check system was weak and made guns easily obtainable. In a video released in 2011, Adam Gadahn an American-born spokesman for Al Qaeda argued guns could be easily obtained by buying guns at a gun shows where there would not be a background check.

Gadahn was calling on Muslims living in the United States to carry out terrorist acts similar to the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks in India.

“Let’s take America as an example,” Gadahn said. “America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”

Quite a lot, presumably, including that one cannot “go down to a gun show at the local convention center” and get a “fully automatic assault rifle without a background check.” For my part, I can’t help but see it as a net positive that our enemies are aware that the people they want to kill have such easy access to firearms; and al-Qaeda’s having a slightly inflated idea of what sort of hardware is readily available to your average infidel is no bad thing at all — a sort of domestic Operation Fortitude if you will.

But Mayors Against Illegal Guns is worried. The group has gone so far as to cut the video into a commercial, the basic message of which – “Look, the terrorists will use our freedom against us!” — is rife on its website:

Bloomberg and other gun control advocates have long argued that not requiring background checks at gun shows offers a dangerous opening for would-be terrorists to get weapons.

Even if this were true, acting on it would be rotten. Try saying the following sentence: “even al-Qaeda thinks America’s gun laws are crazy.” Now try a different unalienable right. How about, “Even al-Qaeda thinks America’s free speech laws are crazy!”? Or, “Even al-Qaeda thinks America’s freedom of religion is crazy!”? Or, maybe, “Bloomberg and other assembly-control advocates have long argued that not following people around with drones offers a dangerous opening for would-be terrorists to hatch plots.” Does that sound reasonable? I rather think not. 

If it is problematic that our liberty makes us an easier target for those who would harm us, then presumably we should also abolish free speech, free movement, freedom of religion, and the presumption of innocence? It is undeniable that the way in which we live makes it easier for us to be attacked. Tough. You don’t hand over the blueprints of your society to those who would undo it.

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