FBI Director James Comey said today that the San Bernardino shooters were “radicalized” but there was no evidence yet they were part of an organized terror cell.
That followed revelations that Tashfeen Malik, one of the shooters, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group through Facebook.
Though Malik, the wife of second shooter Syed Farook, announced her loyalty to the terrorist organization, [Assistant FBI Director David] Bowdich wouldn’t characterize the worst shooting in the U.S. since the Sandy Hook school massacre as an ISIS attack. There’s “no indication” that the attackers were part of a terrorist organization or cell though, FBI Director James Comey said on Friday.
With the ready availability of instruments of mass killing readily available at stores across the U.S., no organized terror cell is necessary for someone to be inspired by someone else’s example, a personal grievance or simple whim to unleash high-caliber bullets in semi-automatic fire. The easier the target and the higher the potential for death, the greater the possibility of notoriety.
This is why the blithe political notion that some good bombing and several hundred thousand troops and resulting death and injury would spell no complete solution to ISIS and the many other violent dissidents operating in the Middle East and everywhere else. We should be vigilant. We should seek always to understand the changing currents of society. We should be prepared.
But President Obama is right. It might make sense to make guns harder, if not impossible, to obtain.
Could we begin with the end to the gunshow/private party loophole on background checks? Actually, a better beginning would be an end to congressional blockade of serious data compilation on the prevalence, use and impact of guns in U.S. society. The NRA doesn’t want this research, fearing what it might show. But no informed and fair debate can be held without some serious research. Who knows? The research might conclusively prove that guns in homes do NOT create additional safety risks and that more guns in society DO produce fewer gun accidents, suicides and crimes.