Fox News has added to the inventory of absurd excuses to arm everyone. During a discussion with Lou Dobbs on March 22, someone named Angela McGlowan blurted, "What scares the hell out of me is that we have a president . . . that wants to take away our guns, but yet he wants to attack Iran and Syria. So if they come and attack us here, we don’t have the right to bear arms under this Obama administration, if he gets his way." Leaving aside the lack of any program, intent or ability to take away guns and the absence of any expressed desire to attack Syria or Iran, how does she suppose that Syrians and Iranians are going to come here, and do so in a manner that they can be defeated by small-arms fire by civilians?
Did Dobbs point out those small flaws in her argument? Hardly; he agreed and added his form of paranoia: "We’re told by Homeland Security that there are already agents of Al Qaeda here working in this country. Why in the world would you not want to make certain that all American citizens were armed and prepared?" Does he anticipate that al Qaeda will attack his house? Or does he plan to march up and down in front of the nearest power plant?
Dobbs went on to say that his notion that all American should be armed is a "right" enjoyed in Israel, and that we should have the same right. Another panelist claimed that a number of terrorist attacks in Israel have been stopped by private citizens with firearms. If so, a few of those citizens have been very active. Access to firearms reportedly is strictly limited in Israel, and the notion that all Israeli civilians are armed, or that more are armed than here, or even that many are armed, is way off the mark: the US is first in the world in per capita private gun ownership; Israel, which faces real, not imagined terrorists, in one listing is tied for 79th. Whatever the exact number, Israel doesn’t provide us with an excuse.
If gun nuts and others who suspect plots, fear the government, and think that they live in the less-civilized regions of the nineteenth century weren’t provided with daily reassurance that their warped views make sense, they might wake up or at least subside.