Having worked in the military and higher education, my friends tend to be either on the extreme right or extreme left of the political spectrum. It gives me the ability to sit back and watch their views juxtaposed on social media over current events such as the Parisian massacre.
The ones on the right are celebrating the dispatch of the two terrorists by the French police and hope that this means we will see a repeal of Obama's withdrawal from the war on terror. Those on the left are torn between seeing the attacks as an attack on their ability to question religion or as an invitation for more bloodshed in the name of protecting Americans.
Of course things really get interesting when the right and left start to point fingers at one another. In this case, it seems to be most focused on that favorite lightning-rod issue; guns. The right smugly believes that gun-ownership and concealed carry lessens, or even eliminates, the likelihood of a Paris style attack from happening (except in liberal bastions of gun-control such as New York). The left are just as smug in their conviction that all of theses guns in the hands of the masses will insure more, not less, carnage than was the case in Paris.
Fascinating, rather than focus on the very real probability of an attack happening on the US and figuring out how to deal with it, we allow ourselves to turn even the most horrific events into an opportunity to criticize one another's political beliefs.
During the holidays, there was a local incident that proves both sides were wrong;
"Mall shooting over athletic shoes robbery attempt"
Basically, an athlete from a local high school and an accomplice attempted a robbery. This quote though is what my friends on both sides fail to interpret correctly, "They say one of the juveniles produced a gun and demanded merchandise from the adult males. Police say one of the males, who had a valid concealed carry weapon permit, pulled out a gun of his own and shot the teen who had the gun."
The gun rights/conservatives will say, "See? This proves CCW carry works!" What they fail to understand is Ohio has had CCW since 2004 yet it never occurred to our perpetrator that he wouldn't be the only carrying a weapon that day. The gun control/liberals will say this is why a young high school was dead, quickly side-stepping the issue that without CCW the victim would most likely have been shot or killed. Not to mention, had the perpetrator been successful that night he most likely would have continued his crime spree.
Terrorists in one respect are no different than anyone else, they don't plan to fail. Their plans look at how to insure the greatest chance that their attack will succeed. Rarely do they consider the armed citizen as that's just not part of their scenario. If someone does try to engage them with a firearm, the terrorists will assume their superior training and firepower will overcome any such contingency.
Yes, the US is highly armed but the chance of an encountering an armed citizen isn't going to stop them. If the terrorists are concerned about the armed American, they will just switch to a bomb (Boston Marathon), chemical weapons (Aum Shinrikyo), or cyber attack (Sony Pictures). But that also does not mean my friends on the left are correct. France does not allow private ownership of AK-47s yet the terrorists not only had these rifles but also ammunition plus rocket launchers. No, gun control does not make us safer from the terrorists.
Moreover, terrorists don't target based on which new sites and blogs you frequent. The next attack will target liberals and conservatives with equal abandoned. We need to start to put down our own personal political agendas and figure out how to start dealing with terrorists who are becoming more successful with each attack.