John Lott’s newest piece at Investor’s Business Daily starts this way:
Terrorism is forcing Israel to let civilians carry guns in even the most sensitive religious areas in the wake of Palestinian attacks in places from a sidewalk to the Kehilat Yaakov synagogue. Weapons have ranged from knives and guns to a car.
These attacks mirror the recent spate of “lone wolf” terrorist attacks around the world, including a hatchet attack in New York City, a beheading in Oklahoma and a shooting in Ottawa, Ontario. Yet Israel’s response couldn’t be more different.
Such attacks are likely to continue. Just this past Sunday, in the video of Peter Kassig’s beheading, IS called for more attacks by its followers. Simply by using the Internet, IS has encouraged attacks that have involved no apparent planning or coordination with others, without leaving much of an advance warning about their intentions.
President Obama has responded by beefing up security at federal buildings. But if announcing such increased security has any effect, it simply makes it more likely that other targets will be hit, as there are so many possible targets.
Canada rushed to give security agencies more detention and surveillance power. It can’t hurt, but lone attackers are unlikely to send incriminating emails that law enforcement can intercept.
Using screening also has its limits. The killers in the attack on the Canadian Parliament and the Israeli synagogue found ways around background checks and still illegally obtained guns.
But what is the backup plan if security measures fail? An armed citizenry is one answer.
Last year, Interpol’s secretary general, Ron Noble, noted that there are two ways to protect people from such mass shootings:
“One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves (should be) so secure that in order to get into the soft target, you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”
“You can’t have armed police forces everywhere,” he warned.
The risk of these secure areas is that terrorists will be the only ones with weapons there.
We can benefit from looking at what some countries have learned about terrorism. One is that terrorists enjoy huge strategic advantages as they pick the time and place of attacks.
For decades, Israel responded to terrorist attacks by putting more armed police and military on the streets. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.