Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble told ABC News that one of the only ways to prevent terrorists from hitting soft targets was to arm citizens globally, noting that the Westgate mall siege would have been averted far quicker if it had taken place in gun-friendly states like Denver or Texas.
Noble’s statements are a powerful rebuttal to the anti-gun lobby, especially given his background. The Interpol chief was formerly the head of all law enforcement for the U.S. Treasury Department.
Stressing that an “armed citizenry” was the only option besides turning soft targets like shopping malls into enclaves surrounded by “extraordinary security” perimeters, Noble suggested that the siege in Kenya, which dragged on for days and ended in the slaughter of 60 civilians, represented a huge public relations blow for gun control advocates.
“Ask yourself: If that was Denver, Col., if that was Texas, would those guys have been able to spend hours, days, shooting people randomly?” Noble said, referring to states with pro-gun traditions. “What I’m saying is it makes police around the world question their views on gun control. It makes citizens question their views on gun control. You have to ask yourself, ‘Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past with an evolving threat of terrorism?’ This is something that has to be discussed.”
“For me it’s a profound question,” he continued. “People are quick to say ‘gun control, people shouldn’t be armed,’ etc., etc. I think they have to ask themselves: ‘Where would you have wanted to be? In a city where there was gun control and no citizens armed if you’re in a Westgate mall, or in a place like Denver or Texas?’”
As we reported last month, an off-duty SAS soldier armed with a handgun helped save at least 100 lives during the Westgate siege, returning to the building a dozen times to rescue hostages.
Noble’s argument that guns in the hands of responsible citizens can prevent bloodshed is backed by hard statistics.
According to a 1993 National Self- Defense Survey conducted by Gary Kleck, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Americans use guns to defend themselves against a confrontation with a criminal up to 2.5 million times a year. This means that every day in America some 6,800 people use guns toprotect themselves.
Scholars Clayton E. Cramer and David Burnett have documented how “a great number of tragedies — murders, rapes, assaults, robberies — have been thwarted by self-defense gun uses.”