Former INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald Noble has suggested that, faced with the changing nature of terrorism and the challenges it poses for security, armed civilians may be part of the solution.
In an interview with ABC News, Noble suggested there are really only two options for protecting against attacks on soft targets. Option one: create secure perimeters around every location you want to protect. Realistically, though, how many such locations would that be? Many hundreds of thousands if not millions, all of them, anywhere people gather together. And that, of course, just isn’t feasible.
The only other viable option, according to Noble, is to allow civilians to be armed for their own protection. Allow the citizenry to act as a deterrent and defense against acts of terror and violence.
This is no “guns for everybody” nut, either. Noble has worked at the very highest levels of law enforcement on the planet. From 1993 until 1996 he was the Undersecretary for Enforcement of the United States Department of the Treasury. In that position he was in charge of the United States Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms,the U.S. Customs Service Office of Enforcement, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
In 2000 he was elected to be the first American Secretary General of INTERPOL. He was re-elected to the post in 2005, and again in 2010. According to INTERPOL’s website, “INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 190 member countries.
Our role is to enable police around the world to work together to make the world a safer place. Our high-tech infrastructure of technical and operational support helps meet the growing challenges of fighting crime in the 21st century.”
This obviously is a man who knows crime and terrorism, where it comes from, and how to fight against it.
Quoting from that ABC News article, Noble says, “You have to ask yourself, ‘Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past with an evolving threat of terrorism?’ This is something that has to be discussed.”
A controversial quote of author Robert A. Heinlein’s sums it up fairly well, “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”