First, the good news:
Australian security officials say they stopped a suspected plan by Islamist extremists to capture random citizens and behead them in public and on camera.
More than 800 security personnel raided 25 homes across two cities early yesterday morning in what authorities said was the largest counterterrorism raid ever conducted in Australia.
Authorities said they arrested 15 suspects, one of whom, Omarjan Azari, 22, appeared in a Sydney courtroom later in the day. The raids also resulted in the seizure of computers, documents and a firearm.
To the Australian agents and officers involved: well done. You saved lives because these terrorists would absolutely have done what they were threatening to do.
The report does raise an interesting question, though. You’ll note that they confiscated a firearm. Now, how did that happen? I mean, they’ve banned the private ownership of firearms over there for years. So, there can’t possibly have been a firearm possessed by someone who wasn’t a police officer or some other government agent, right? Or, perhaps, a law that says you can’t own a firearm just wasn’t that compelling to people who have already decided they’re going to pull random Aussies off the street and cut their heads on YouTube. In short – laws don’t stop criminals from acting criminally. It’s the decision to ignore the law that makes them criminals to begin with. The only people these laws keep guns away from are people who abide by the law in the first place.
This incident, frankly, should be making Aussie across their country take a moment to wonder just what they would have done if these people hadn’t been caught. If confronted by a group of men (and women?) armed with swords and, presumably, 1 with a gun who aren’t interested in your valuables or whether or not you even stand against them, politically and religiously, who have decided they’re going to kill you in a very gruesome fashion, what will you do? How will you defend yourself when you’ve legislated away any real means of doing so?
Note that Australia hasn’t been all that active in the Middle East and they aren’t really on the leading edge of actions that these terrorist groups allege to be upset about. So why did these people make the plans to start sawing off heads in Australia? Why not in, say, Dallas? Or, perhaps, Tampa? Parts of Virginia, maybe? Why is it that these people feel like taking to the streets to behead a random person in places like England or, now, Australia? Could it be that they’re choosing those places because they know the citizenry can’t really stop them? Because if they try that in Virginia, they’re seriously taking a risk of discovering that they’ve brought a machete to a gun fight.
These people believe they are at war and they have no issue whatsoever with killing non-combatants. In fact, it’s part of their strategy. I would suggest that unless one wishes to remain at serious risk of being a mourned statistic on some news show somewhere that everyone get a bit more serious about retaining the ability to defend one’s self, family, and community. We are part of the law enforcement in a free nation. I believe we should act like it. And I believe our long-time allies should, too.