Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Most Significant Lesson To Draw From The San Bernardino Attack

When they searched Farook and Malik’s home, police recovered a dozen pipe bombs, 2,000 9-millimeter handgun rounds, 2,500 .223-caliber assault rifle rounds and “hundreds of tools” that could have been used to make additional explosive devices, Burguan said.
Referring to this find, San Bernardino police Chief Jarrod Burguan stated that the cache of weapons and ammunition found at the couple’s home suggested that the shootings were preplanned, and that the couple could have committed additional attacks.

As to the perpetrators, the article says:
Farook was born in Illinois, and had worked at the health department as an inspector for five years. He recently traveled to Saudi Arabia and returned with a woman he met online. Farook stayed in the country for nine days in the summer of 2014, according to the U.S. Embassy there. 
The embassy had no records indicating that Malik was a Saudi citizen. She was born in Pakistan, according to a federal law enforcement source who requested anonymity. She was in the U.S. legally on a visa, according to Burguan.
A senior federal government official told The Times that Farook was in contact with a small number of suspected extremists. There are also indications the 28-year-old gunman communicated with at least one person who is currently being monitored as a potential terror suspect, the source said.

Farook's connection to the potential terror suspect may only be tangential, the source said, but the link suggests there may be a "deeper terror matrix" behind the San Bernardino shootings.
Yet the article goes on to report that "Farook and Malik were not known to federal investigators prior to the attack, the source said." It is also notable that, on November 25, 2015, President Obama announced that Federal law enforcement authorities "know of no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the U.S. homeland."

The point I want to make is that the government cannot protect us against these threats. Sure, they can see a fleet of ships, or a squadron of aircraft, but, notwithstanding all the domestic spying, the government is unaware of the threats posed by individuals or small cells of individuals planning terrorist attacks. Ultimately, the responsibility and duty for our safety lies with ourselves. And this is why gun control is the wrong path--it takes away our ability to take responsibility for our safety.

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