There have been indications that America’s enemies intend multiple terrorist attacks in this country, patterned after the 11/26-29/07 incident in Mumbai, India that left 168 civilians and authorities dead, and 308 wounded. It was perpetrated by ten members of Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba group, armed with explosives and automatic rifles. Only one of the terrorists survived.
Note that some of the responding police in India were unarmed, and some others were equipped with hastily-issued WWI technology Lee-Enfield bolt action rifles, and cartridges issued by the handful. They were poorly trained by American standards. By contrast, American police have gone heavily to coordinated “active shooter response” training since the Columbine tragedy more than a decade ago, and AR15-type patrol rifles are widely distributed. US law enforcement can be expected to respond much more swiftly and effectively to a Mumbai-style incident.
In India, the citizens were effectively unarmed and helpless against the ten terrorists who slaughtered them at will. Armed Americans are likely to respond differently, particularly in the Southwest where there are indications that such potential terrorists have already crossed the border, and may “stage” near it. In Southern Arizona recently, it became apparent to me that more ranchers and even townsfolk are now storing rifles in their cars, and carrying handguns routinely. They can be expected to shoot back, an assessment that comes not from this writer’s guesswork, but from history.
Northfield, MN September 1, 1876: The Jesse James/Cole Younger gang raids the community, and armed citizens use guns to drive off the most feared bandits of the time. It ends with two dead on each side. Coffeyville, KS October 5, 1892: The five-man Dalton Gang, armed with Winchester repeaters (the “assault rifles” of the day), attempts multiple bank robbery and is annihilated in minutes by the rifle fire of armed citizens, with only one wounded gang member surviving. Death toll is four on each side.
Fast forward to August 1, 1966: the Texas Tower massacre perpetrated primarily with a long-range rifle by Charles Whitman. When his position in the 300+-foot tower proves impregnable to outgunned police with .38s and shotguns, rifle fire from armed citizens on the ground pins Whitman down and stops his death toll at 14 until citizen Allen Crum, armed with a .30 caliber rifle, leads police officers to the top of the tower, where they kill the sniper.
An American Mumbai? Yes, it could happen, and seems more likely than ever based on recent intelligence projections. If it does occur, look for a MUCH faster and more decisive response by American police than those of India…and if it happens near the Arizona or Texas border, look for bullets from armed citizens’ hunting and defense rifles in the bodies of at least some of the dead terrorists.
Cochise County, Arizona deputy, right, shows visiting out of town cop Colt AR15 with ACOG reflex sight and MagPul magazine that is standard equipment for all deputies in his agency. Yes, the cops on that Southern “Edge” are ready… Photo courtesy American Handgunner magazine.