When it comes to stopping terrorist attacks and active shooter situations, former NSA Director Michael Hayden indicated that policies further restricting Second Amendment rights might be worth pursuing.
On Wednesday, Hayden was at the Wall Street Journal’s “Future of Cybersecurity” breakfast in New York. Before attendees, Hayden argued that in terms of surveillance there’s little else that can be done to monitor for potential threats.
“We could probably do more things that’ll squeeze your privacy a bit, to give us a marginally higher probability that we could have caught the Orlando guy prior to the attack,” said Hayden, referring to the Pulse Nightclub shooter.
Hayden continued, “there’s not much more left…that’s gonna buy you a lot more prediction, given the kinds of attacks,” like Orlando, which are like “spontaneous combustion.”
Since the Fourth Amendment stands in the way of additional surveillance measures, Hayden said it may be time to focus on expanding regulations on one’s right to keep and bear arms.
“Why don’t we begin to wonder about making the guy less efficient when he actually conducts the event, that I told you, I’m not probably going to get much more capable of detecting in the first place,” said Hayden, who also served as director of the CIA.
“Maybe the counterterrorism discussion is about, some people out there shouldn’t be able to buy any guns, and there might be some guns out there that nobody should be able to buy,” he added.
Hayden didn’t come out and say it, but it’s easy to read between the lines. He is suggesting that Congress should pass No-Fly, No-Buy legislation, universal background check legislation as well as a ban on black rifles.
When it comes to mass shootings and terrorist attacks they are more often than not carefully planned for weeks, even months in advance. Why all the planning? Well, in addition to looking for soft targets, these determined killers search for ways to break the law without getting caught.
So, for example, if they are already a prohibited person who can’t purchase a firearm from an FFL, they may hatch a plan to steal one from a family member, buy one on the black market or have a friend who is not a prohibited purchaser (a straw buyer) obtain one for them. All methods are obviously against the law, but through careful planning they are able to get their hands on weapons while flying under the radar.
Of course, there is another inconvenient truth as it relates specifically to mass shooters. That is, many of them have no criminal record prior to the attack, which means they are not on any government list nor in the FBI’s NICS database. Since they have a clean record, there is nothing that would set off an alert if they were to purchase a firearm at a gun store.
All this to say that Hayden’s suggestion that more gun control laws will prevent future attacks is a specious one. When it comes to taking innocent lives, sadly, where there is a will, there is a way. Consequently, the best way to stop terrorism and mass shootings is for the government to encourage the citizens it serves to be armed and vigilant. We need to put these evildoers on notice. We need to show them that there will no longer be any soft targets. We need to constantly remind them that any attempt to perpetrate an attack will be futile, as it will be met with swift and lethal resistance.
Bonus: Watch Hayden discuss president-elect Trump’s cabinet picks.