It’s been apparent for a while that the amount of gun-related articles on this site has decreased. Part of this is because I’ve already covered a lot of topics related to firearms and I don’t like to repeat myself. But the other part is because I’m sick and tired of the fear mongering common in many firearms publications. When making an argument for self-defense you don’t need to delve into fear mongering. Statistics and human behavior provide all of the reasons for legal self-defense that you need. Yet many people in the firearms community demand boogeymen and right now, as is so often the case, that boogeyman is who our masters are telling us to fear: Muslims.
Take this story of the Oklahoma man who entered his former place of work and supposedly beheaded one employee and stabbed another before being shot dead:
Sgt. Jeremy Lewis says the alleged suspect, 30-year-old Alton Nolen had just been fired when he drove to the front of the business, hit a vehicle and walked inside.
He walked into the front office area where he met 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and began attacking her with a knife.
Sgt. Lewis confirms the type of knife used in the attack is the same kind used at the plant.
Lewis confirms that Hufford was stabbed several times and that Nolen “severed her head.”
At that point, Lewis claims Nolen met 43-year-old Traci Johnson and began attacking her with the same knife.
Officials say at that point, Mark Vaughan, an Oklahoma County reserve deputy and a former CEO of the business, shot him as he was actively stabbing Johnson.
As with any story the important part of this one are the actions that occurred during it. Details about the attacker and his history are interesting but there’s seldom irrefutable proof that those details were what lead to his actions. In this case the attacker had a criminal record and was a Muslim convert. You know what that means, make the story about the dangers of Muslims because they’re the new boogeyman. And that’s exactly what some gun publications are doing:
We warned earlier in the week about the threat of “soft target” terrorist attacks by organized terror cells sweeping over our undefended southern border. What we forgot to mention in that missive is the threat of Islamic converts on our own shores, who seem every bit as zealous and dangerous.
Emphasis mine. That’s the opening paragraph to the article. The takeaway seems to be that we, as gun owners, should be afraid of anybody who has converted to Islam, which is a stupid thing to be afraid of. Let’s look at the statistics. There are an estimated 6 to 7 million Muslims in the United States. With such a high population you would think people would be getting murdered by Muslims in this country left and right. But they’re not because Muslims, just like the rest of us, are predominantly nonviolent. Just like any other major religious group, the number of violent individuals within Islam is a minority.
What proof does anybody have that the attacker’s conversion to Islam played any part in his violent actions? Unless concrete evidence exists showing the man’s religious conversion was the reason for his attack implying that it was is speculative at best.
So what should be taken away from the actual story? That predicting when violence will occur is very difficult. This is because violence is often immediate and can happen anywhere. Just because you’re at home or at work doesn’t mean you are shielded from violence. Likewise you usually can’t predict when violence will occur. Any self-defense plan you create should taken these points into consideration. Having a self-defense plan that doesn’t rely on accurately predicting when violence occurs or where it will occur will do you far more good than a plan that relies on such predictions (and that’s why a plan based entirely around avoiding certain areas isn’t very good). Fear mongering encourages people to focus on the details that are seldom useful when developing a self-defense plan. Self-defense plans, being risk management strategies, needs to be developed around solid facts not speculation.