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Both supporters and opponents of gun control are shoe-horning the tragedy at Virginia Tech into their pre-established templates.  Both have ammunition. On the one hand, Mr. Cho was able to purchase the firearms he used in the murder spree -- Glock 19 and Walther P-22 handguns -- lawfully at a local gun shop. On the other, the Virginia Tech campus is a "gun free zone," where students, faculty and staff are forbidden to have firearms, even if they have concealed carry permits.  Mr. Cho lived in a dorm on campus, where he stored his weapons and ammunition.  The school's policy banning guns wasn't very effective in Mr. Cho's case. A fundamental difference between supporters and opponents of gun control is their attitude toward personal responsibility.  Liberals tend to offer excuses for the perpetrators of violent acts (he was poor; his mother drank; his daddy beat him), and to assume that potential victims have no right to play a role in their own defense. Those who think the law abiding should be permitted to carry firearms argue that if some of the students, faculty, or staff had been armed, they could have cut Mr. Cho's murder spree short.



The Moslem terrorists who bombed the Madrid trains last month are members of an Islamic movement called Takfir wal Hijra (Repentance and Migration). Originally formed in Egypt in the 1970s as part of Iqwan Muslimi (The Moslem Brotherhood), it was responsible for the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981, and scores of savage atrocities in Algeria. The organizer of the Madrid terrorism, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is a Takfir. (See Michael Ledeens column on Zarqawi in this weeks TTP report.)

The Takfiris are now leading a reorganized Al Qaeda as the main Islamic threat to the West. For not only do they advocate the most purposefully vicious terrorist acts they can conceive, but also using immigration as a Trojan horse to conduct Jihad inside Western countries.

As a recent Wall Street Journal article (3/29/04, pA16) puts it: Takfiris see immigration as a key way to extend the radical ideas into Western Europe. One Takfiri scholar, Abu Basir, wrote in 2001 that jihad and immigration go together...the one cannot be achieved without the other.

Which brings me to Mexico.



Danny Dietz understood these words of British philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806-1873): "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.  The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing that is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept free by the exertions of other men better than himself." Linda Cuesta and Emily Fuchs are among the "miserable creatures" to whom Mill was referring.  They're trying to keep the city of Littleton, Colorado from erecting a statue in honor of Danny Dietz, a Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. Petty Officer Dietz was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest decoration for valor, because, though badly wounded, he fought on to permit his team mates to escape from an ambush.  Ms. Cuesta and Ms. Fuchs are among a small group of parents who want to keep his home town from honoring Petty Officer Dietz because the statue depicts him with his weapon.



[Written ten days after the start of The War in Iraq, March 31, 2003]Let me say it straight. I am almost sixty years old, and I have never in my life been prouder to be an American than I am today.I was talking to my friend Tony Blankley, editorial editor of the Washington Times, the other day, and when I compared George Bush to Ronald Reagan, Tony replied, “It may turn out to be the other way around.”



The 15 British sailors and marines held hostage by Iran, and the members of the Rutgers University women's basketball team both have achieved the highest status contemporary liberalism offers: victimhood. Writing in 1852 about the "emperor" Napoleon III (son of Napoleon's younger brother, who ruled France from 1848 to 1870), Karl Marx said history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.  The British hostage crisis moved seamlessly from the one to the other. Just like the Imus-Rutgers crisis.



A SHORT HISTORY OF RUSSIAJack WheelerJanuary 1985[Note the date. Written in 1985 during the Cold War, Russia formed the basis of the Soviet Union]At various times in her history, America has been at war with and has had as deadly enemies: the French, the English, the Spanish, the Germans, the Italians, the Mexicans, and the Japanese. All are today our friends and allies. There is nothing in the nature of things that makes it impossible for this to someday be the case with the Russians as well.Yet it is important to understand how the Russians are not like us -- how their history enabled them to transform themselves into Soviets running an Evil Empire called the Soviet Union.



Patricia Hewitt, Health Secretary in Tony Blair's cabinet, was upset by pictures broadcast from Iran of the 15 captive British sailors and marines, reported Christopher Booker of the Sunday Telegraph. "It was deplorable that the woman hostage should be shown smoking," Ms. Hewitt said.  "This sends completely the wrong message to our young people." When liberals cower when petty thugs make threats (which is pretty much whenever petty thugs make threats), conservatives,  understandably, suspect them of cowardice.  But Ms. Hewitt's bizarre response to her country's humiliation suggest something else is at work. The most remarkable aspect of this most recent Iranian hostage crisis is the lengths to which so many prominent people in the West have gone to make excuses for inexcusable Iranian behavior.



It is a commonplace in a story or article about the Arab-Israeli conflict that mentions Jerusalem to repeat the Moslem mantra that “Jerusalem is the third holiest city in all Islam, next to Mecca and Medina.” You’ve heard this innumerable times -- but how come? Just why is Jerusalem so important to not just Jews and Christians but Moslems as well?



Insight magazine reports that Al Gore is contemplating running for the nominee of the Green Party. Both he and Ralph Nader are evidently convinced that Hillary Clinton will get the Democrat nomination, and Mr. Nader is urging Mr. Gore to take her on under the Green banner. There is little love lost between Mr. Gore and the Clintons, and if you're living in a fantasy world (as Mr. Gore largely has been since his shattering defeat), there are two good reasons to convince yourself you could win as a third party candidate, or accomplish something important even if you didn't.



Have you ever noticed that the older you get, the scarier the world gets -- because you keep noticing that many of the folks who run it are not very smart?I was at a private luncheon in Washington earlier this week and among the guests were two guys from the CIA. Not only were they clueless -- we were discussing Russia -- they were just not bright. OK -- so picking on folks from the Three Bad Words is too easy. Let’s raise the bar and talk about the Chinese.There are a lot of people here in DC who constantly worry about the Chinese, and predict the Chicoms -- China’s Communist rulers -- will soon pose the greatest threat to America’s security. The worriers offer considerable evidence for their argument and they may well be right. But here’s a question:If the Chinese are so smart, how come they are busy surrounding themselves with neighbors who can aim nuclear missiles at them?