When the Paris attacks took place, I was in the middle of one of my favorite CQB classes. Phones went off and everyone started answering calls. As the magnitude of the events that had transpired sank in, I realized that we were in for a dark time, and that this situation was going to take its toll on the tactical industry.
A few days later, the European Union’s commission decided to come up with their own, new firearms regulations. The media celebrated and elevated the story to a whole new level. Bullshit stories like ”Some of the attackers guns originated in Germany” began appearing, but above all those layers of idiocy in the global onion, one title caught my attention: “Europe’s Reaction to Gun Control’s Failure to Stop Paris Attack? More Gun Control.” This was published by a known, reputable news website.
Needless to say, it got me thinking.
I am not going to fixate on percentages and statistics. We all know those, and they’re open source and available to anyone willing to look. I am, however, going to try to put things into perspective. It might piss off certain groups, but I don’t care. I do it because, yes, I do care for Europe’s future (jokes later, you Putin lovers).
The European Union is focusing on the wrong threat
The world will always be viewed in black and white extremes. Even when exploring more nebulous terms and ideas, such as asymmetric warfare, we tend to see things in terms of a black and white dichotomy. From the moment you insert the magazine to the moment the JDAM falls. We are like that by default. We tend to categorize every goddamn thing, just like we categorize time into three parts: past, present, and future. That’s how certain politicians, if not all, see the world. Black and white. Obvious and simple.
When certain activists and politicians were staring, horrified, at their favorite news channel, they weren’t seeing the cause of the mayhem, they only saw the effect. They saw streams of blood and figures with guns. Their immediate instinct was to blame the gun–the tool. It’s like giving a kid a hammer, then assuming it’s the hammer’s fault for fucking up the wood around the nail. I’ve got news for the guys who think guns are the problem: Many other things compromise national security to a far more alarming degree than legally owned guns.
Ban Google and Facebook if you really care for national security
I grew up in a SF unit. No, we were certainly not Delta or SAS. We were working with a lower budget and even lower manpower. We didn’t always have access to the necessary tools for a given job, which was what pushed us to develop a sense for creating our own tools. We used certain social media platforms for many things. We even used Google Earth and Google’s street-view function more than once. We just used the wonders of the Internet to meet our needs. Terrorists use those same resources for their nefarious work, too. You want to inhibit terrorism? Forget about the guns; ban Google and Facebook.
Services like Google (there are others I won’t publish here) are the real required assets that a terror cell needs. Just like they used the leaked Snowden files for counter-intelligence capabilities, Google Earth could potentially help those cells to plan RVs, landmarks, or even tweak a variation of METT-TC to work for them just like it does for any other unit-level intel officer. Services like Facebook could reveal how often people check into locations or how frequently people visit there.
It’s not the gun. Really, it’s not. It is the person wielding it and his sick determination to kill that is dangerous to us who live in a free, civilized society. It is true, there are lunatics. But those will go nuts at some point with or without a gun.
I have major respect for the European men and women who stand on guard. But I also know from experience that the EU is divided by many mentalities and languages, making it even harder for members to communicate. I’ve seen it firsthand. The gun laws in Europe up until now were quite OK. It wasn’t like Texas; it was much harder for people to purchase a firearm.
So what would our enemies achieve if the European Union’s new gun laws pass?
- Confidence in setting up their COA.
- More opportunity to destroy the European Union from the inside.
- Turning the battlefield into an even clearer picture.
- Possibilities for more complicated and effective attacks.
- A false perception of security.
The average person will think that by reducing the amount of legal guns in circulation, there will suddenly be no more guns. While I trust that 99.9 percent of readers here know how absurd this is, the long-term effect of this mindset will be a dangerous increase in the illusion of security.
“Oh well, damn it, they managed to get guns again. Well, at least they weren’t able to buy those legally!”
I said it once, and I will say it again: One of the biggest obstacles the European Union’s intelligence community faces when trying to prevent such attacks is their inability to communicate. Why does this happen? Jurisdiction, contradicting mentalities and interests, and all of those little games. From a recent experience, I can tell you that it takes up to one and a half months for X country to get information from Y country. It is understandable, but this should nevertheless be seen as a glaring hole in the dam.
By the same logic applied to controlling legal guns in the European Union, the French should bomb the living shit out of Brussels. The problem did not come from Syria; it was only born there. The problem originated on European ground. But instead of working together and solving the many layers of this problem, we’re flying thousands of miles to release some JDAMs. By doing that, we’re only falling to the red queen trap. If there is one thing I like about Obama, it’s his tendency not to rush into anything (which has proven both good and bad).
(Featured image courtesy of AP Photo/Frank Augstein)