The hostage situation in Sydney, Australia has come to a predictable end with two dead and others wounded. Oh yes, the terrorist animal responsible, who would like his name mentioned here, was also killed. Special operators around the world have an aphorism that comes down to this: it sucks to be a hostage. It sucks because hostages virtually always end up dead. The heroic, single-handed rescue of hostages without a single death is a staple of movies, but reality is virtually always all too different.
We don’t yet know enough for me to go into any depth on this situation, and a few of the points I’m going to make in this article might be mistaken, or at least made without the perspective available to the officers and commanders on the scene. If so, I’ll correct as necessary later. For today, a few observations, in no particular order:
* The officers responding had no lack of proper equipment, but apparently didn’t use it. They had repeated, clear shots at the hostage taker, but didn’t take them. I suspect that’s because their political masters wanted to be politically correct and were more concerned for the feelings of Australian Muslims than they were for the lives of the hostages. That’s harsh, but all too plausible.
* Tactical officers are often not allowed to do what they know they have to do and need to do.
* Where was the SAS? If I’m right, the political leadership didn’t want one of the world’s most effective units involved for the reason already stated.
* Not all Muslims are terrorists, but virtually all terrorists are Muslims. It will be interesting to see what kinds of political contortions are done to avoid placing any blame on Islam despite the obvious connections.
* Some pundits are suggesting this kind of attack will be the terrorist wave of the future. It will not. The wave has been washing over us for years already at Ft. Hood, the Oklahoma beheading and a variety of other less well-known attacks here and abroad.
* There will be more of these terror attacks. Terrorists know that America and other western societies are full of soft targets like businesses, theaters, public transportation, athletic stadiums and schools. They’ve been attacking those targets across the world for decades. They’ll get around to us, and in a big way, before long.
* Allowing large terrorist movements to grow and thrive unchallenged allows and encourages them to expand their operations into America and her allies. We either obliterate them when and wherever they crop up–on foreign soil–or we’ll be fighting them in the streets of America on a large scale.
* Whether an attack was carried out by a lone terrorist without obvious organizational terror ties, or by multiple terrorists taking instructions from an established terrorist organization makes no difference to the victims or their survivors.
* Australia is a gun banner’s dream, a virtually gun free state, a paradise of honest, law-abiding citizen disarmament. Australian and American gun banners will cry that the attack is evidence they haven’t gone far enough. They will want to ban shotguns.
* In virtually every mass shooting in memory, the police had no hand in preventing them, and seldom any hand in stopping them.
* From what is currently known, it appears it was the hostages that saved themselves and that took the initiative while the police stood about in their tacticool gear and watched.
* Gun banners often argue that armed citizens are dangerous and completely ineffective. In this situation, one armed, capable citizen in that coffee shop could have killed the terrorist without a single loss of life or injury.
* The police can’t protect anyone, and cannot be held accountable for failing to protect anyone.
* In any hostage situation, the police will always be constrained by political minders who do not have the best interests of the hostages as their primary concern. They will usually want to wait and will want to negotiate with terrorists who have no interest in negotiation. They will usually tacitly–or knowingly–accept some number of dead or maimed before authorizing deadly force.
* Government has no conscience.
* Anyone who has taken hostages and is using deadly force to keep them is, under the law and common sense, a free target from that moment. Their hostages are under continual, imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death. Shoot the bastard as soon as there is a clear shot.
* In any hostage situation, it will take the police a long time to arrive, and the police may not know who the bad guy is. The hostages know. Is there a better argument for concealed carry?
* To save lives, particularly if it is known they are Islamists, they must be killed at the earliest possible opportunity. By the time they start killing hostages, it will be too late.
* In any Islamist attack, it must be presumed they have explosives. They must not be given the time and opportunity to place and prepare them.
* The probability, for any individual American, of being caught up in a terrorist attack is low, but there is nothing preventing it.
* The Australian government and police knew that the attacker was a Muslim radical, a nut case, and a probable murderer. That didn’t matter.
* The American government knew that the Ft. Hood killer was a Muslim radical and an increasingly dangerous nut case. That didn’t matter.
* Political correctness, and the fear of hurting the exquisitely sensitive feelings of Islamists and their apologists, kills. It will keep killing until Americans and the citizens of all nations demand of Muslims what they demand of all other faiths: obey the law and don’t kill people not of their faith.
* Take responsibility for the safety and survival of yourself and those you love. No one else will. This is nothing new.
* Buy and carry an effective firearm. Get professional training. Practice. Develop situational awareness.
* God grant the victims and their surviving friends and relatives the peace that passes all understanding.
Update: Thanks to my favorite Bookworm for the link, and welcome to all Bookworm Room readers!