Over the past week, both the U.S. and the UK have had to deal with attacks that were labeled as terrorism. But the similarities begin and end there.
In the U.S., terrorists who used legally obtained guns killed fourteen and wounded twenty-one more. A few days later in the UK, where getting weapons like the ones used in San Bernardino is pretty much impossible, a man wielding a knife in the London subway injured two — one seriously.
No one died.
But don’t forget, the NRA says that if people can’t get guns, they’ll just use other weapons. Never mind that those other weapons are nowhere near as lethal as guns, as the London attack proves.
Speaking of guns, let’s not lose sight of the fact that the London attacker taken down by a “good guy without a gun,” as British police do not carry them.
That’s lesson number one from the two attacks: maybe guns don’t kill, but someone with a gun can kill many more, much more quickly than can someone who uses another type of weapon.
The responses to the attacks have been instructive as well. The London attacker called out “This is for Syria!” as he slashed his victims. As onlookers watched police deal with him, one man can be heard yelling to the attacker, “you ain’t no Muslim, bruv!” The hashtag #YouAintNoMuslimBruv is being used as a symbol that people recognize the London attacker was merely using Islam as an excuse for violence. Life goes on in London, as citizens show the same resilience and defiance that their grandparents showed during the Nazi bombing some 75 years ago.
British journalist Mo Farooq summed up the feelings of Britons with a single tweet.
Meanwhile, in the “land of the free and home of the brave,” we have Donald Trump declaring that no Muslims should be allowed to enter the country. Republicans refuse to pass legislation that would keep those whose names are on the terrorist “no fly” list from being able to buy guns. Media talk of how the San Bernardino killers were “radicalized.” And of course Fox News is leading the chorus of “be afraid, be very afraid,” with reports such as the one below, titled “Is ISIS using US refugee program to smuggle in terrorists?”
So, where do you stand? With the defiant East Londoner who calls out to the attacker at the end of this clip?
Or with Fox News and Republicans like Representative Michael McCaul?