In March 2010, Charles Parsons allegedly left a counselor’s office at Calvary Lutheran Church in Federal Way, then shot six rounds, killing his ex-wife. According to charging paperwork filed in court, Parsons set his weapon aside and waited for police to arrive on the scene.
Even if you follow reports like this closely, you may be surprised how often such scenarios are repeated at churches around the United States. While some church groups call for more restrictions on sales and possession of weapons, there are now churches in Federal Way quietly arming volunteers in order to be prepared for such emergencies.
The economics of security in the workplace may change rapidly in the event of widespread terrorist attacks against businesses. At present, we depend on our government to obtain good intelligence. Nevertheless, the Washington Post recently cited an investigation into “Top Secret America” showing that U.S. intelligence gathering is so unwieldy that it may be ineffective.
One effective way of preparing for predictable threats that many tell us are just a matter of time is to attend firearms law classes. For example, last spring we provided a class in Federal Way to a group of volunteers that work with the Federal Way Police Department. People from every walk of life get trained and equipped without any cost to the government.
Pastors, journalists or anyone else with a message that is politically incorrect can even be targeted by terrorists. You would think from reading the local newspapers that terrorist attacks are unlikely in a place like Federal Way or Seattle. But al-Qaeda has put Molly Norris, a Seattle cartoonist, on a terrorist hit list. Jihadists are encouraging lone individuals like the Fort Hood shooter to conduct simple attacks using readily available weapons: “…a man with his knife, a man with his gun, a man with his rifle, a man with his bomb, by learning how to design explosive devices, by burning down forests and buildings, or by running over them with your cars and trucks. The means of harming them are many so seek assistance from Allah and do not be weak and you will find a way.”
Norris, the Seattle cartoonist, was warned by the FBI that she is on al-Qaeda’s hit list because she responded to terrorist threats against the animated television program “South Park.”
Norris suggested a day where everyone draws Mohammed. A Seattle Times editorial, published July 10, 2010, gave Norris kudos for being satirical and prolific and for calling attention to “contemporary social oddities.”
Another Seattle Times editorial scolded Norris, however, for failing to think before she exercised her freedom of speech. She is living in fear of her life and has apologized prolifically and publically for the mistake of criticizing a subject that the Seattle Times editors apparently prefer that she avoid. The Seattle Times has been almost completely silent about the threats against Norris.
Before you go accusing me of being “blatantly racist against Muslims and any other bogeyman,” ask yourself a question: What will you do if you ever end up on a terrorist hit list? You may not believe the threat is real. The Seattle Times has no such illusions.
Federal Way resident Mark Knapp: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit http://firearmslawyer.net.