Do We Really Want To Be the United Whimps of America?

In the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris we’re seeing some predictable reactions from a segment of our American crowd. They can be boiled down to the following:

  1. If France didn’t have such strong gun control, in other words was more like American, then there’s no way the terrorists could have killed so many people indiscriminately.
  2. If France and the rest of Europe had closed their borders to refugees then the terrorists couldn’t have gotten into the country to do the damage.
  3. We need to immediately stop taking any refugees lest we let in terrorists.

I’m going to tackle these one at a time:

  1. Terrorists who will wear suicide bomb vests, who aren’t afraid to die, won’t be dissuaded by locals with guns. And it’s not like they wear shirts that say “Terrorist!” on them, so the element of surprise is kind of a given. Basically your average gun-wielding citizenry is likely to die quickly or inadvertently kill innocent bystanders in their efforts to fight the terrorists.
  2. Closing the borders might make it more difficult for the terrorists to get in the country, but since these are extremists who spread their ideology like a virus you will never be able to prevent them from recruiting people who are already in the country. In other words these folks are like an airborne virus and closing the borders would be the equivalent of fighting it with band aids.
  3. This is the big one. As a nation we profess to be a safe harbor for the tired, huddled masses. It’s literally inscribed on one of our greatest symbols. Why then, when the time comes to deal with a huge number of desperate people fleeing their homeland as it goes up in flames thanks to a geopolitical catastrophe that we played a large role in creating, do we endeavor to turn them away?

    Using the logic in #1 above, we of all nations should be the most prepared to accept refugees who may be infiltrated by some terrorists. We are absolutely armed to the teeth here, so if anyone is (literally) armed to deal with this crisis it’s us. Why then does our armed citizenry, many of whom are avowed Christians who should be chomping at the bit to help these desperate souls, seem so eager to turn them away? There’s only one answer I can think of and it’s fear, and that’s what boggles my mind. Many of the very same people who insist that profligate gun ownership makes us safer are also screaming that we need to close our borders. If we leave it up to them we will come to be seen as the United States of Whimps and personally I prefer that not to be the case.

    Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think you just open the gates and let everyone in without doing everything you can to screen out potential terrorists or other threats. What I do believe is that as a nation that is supposed to be a world leader we should show true bravery by welcoming those desperate souls, providing them with a shelter in the storm while we lead the world in doing the hard work necessary to annihilate the cancer that is extremism, Islamic and otherwise.

    Leaders don’t shy away from risk, danger and hard work and America now has a choice to make – lead bravely from the front or bolt our doors, turn off the lights, hug our guns and pray that the bogey man outside tries to get in our neighbors’ houses instead of ours.

9 thoughts on “Do We Really Want To Be the United Whimps of America?

  1. Doug

    It’s natural for humans to try to grasp for solutions and place blame during senseless events. I also can’t guarantee I would react any differently than those “predictable reactions” you describe if my children or family members were among the victims. It is also not exclusively an American reaction.

    1. Jon Lowder Post author

      I doubt I would be logical of something happened to my family either, but that doesn’t mean it would be right to be illogical. I’m just saying that people are being totally irrational before anything has even happened here. To be clear, it isn’t irrational at all to fear the terrorists, but I think we are being cowardly if we turn our backs on refugees out of fear that some refugees will use them as cover. If we are as exceptional as we like to believe we are then we need to find a way to help the refugees while minimizing our risk of being attacked.

  2. Pete Freitag

    Hello Brother!
    I hope you are doing well! I’ve always admired your intellect and enjoy reading your Facebook posts and your blog. Always well written and entertaining. I appreciate your viewpoint in your post but I think we really need to be careful on opening our doors to Syrian refugees right now. We don’t really have a screening process in place and it opens us up to so many unpredictable attacks. ISIS just threatened DC today with an attack, Their threats are credible. We can’t take any chances with letting Syrian’s in this country w/o a valid background check system. We do not have one. I think its terrible to turn these people away but I also worry about getting a call from law enforcement that someone in my family or my whole family was killed by a terrorist attack in my city. Would you want to get that call?

    1. Jon Lowder Post author

      Hey Pete, Thanks for the very nice comments. I absolutely agree that we should have a screening system but instead of talking about closing our borders or turning them back completely we should be doing the hard work of creating a system of aid (temporary refugee facilities while checks can be done) and making sure our intelligence systems are as effective as possible. My biggest point really is that there seems to be a certain disconnect for people who feel that having very liberal gun laws somehow would prevent terrorist attacks, yet here where we literally are armed to the teeth and folks are willing to turn vulnerable people away out of fear for terrorists. Their stance just doesn’t make sense to me.

      And yes I agree about not wanting to get that call, but as a society I think we need to step up and be brave. Smart and brave.

      Hope all is well with you and your family!

    2. Roch

      Mr. Freitag, You are misinformed.

      From CNN “How do Syrian refugees get into the U.S.? Explaining the process.”

      After the UNHCR refers a refugee applicant to the United States, the application is processed by a federally funded Resettlement Support Center, which gathers information about the candidate to prepare for an intensive screening process, which includes an interview, a medical evaluation and an interagency security screening process aimed at ensuring the refugee does not pose a threat to the United States.

      The average processing time for refugee applications is 12 to 18 months, but Syrian applications can take significantly longer because of security concerns and difficulties in verifying their information.

      Once they’ve completed that part of the process, the refugee is paired with a resettlement agency in the United States to assist in his or her transition to the country. That organization provides support services, such as language and vocational training, as well as monetary assistance for housing and other necessities.

      What’s the security vetting process like?

      Much attention has been focused on the security vetting refugees must go through before they come to the United States, particularly after it was revealed that one of the terrorists in the Paris attacks entered Europe through a refugee processing center.

      Several federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are involved in the process, which Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner recently called, “the most stringent security process for anyone entering the United States.”

      These agencies use biographical and biometric information about applicants to conduct a background check and make sure applicants really are who they say they are.


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