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Clueless at Department of Homeland Security

Op-Ed by Larry Pratt
March 3, 2006

John GaverOutside of official Washington, most Americans understand that profiling would make it easier to go after terrorists.

Refusal to profile has led to Washington bureaucrats and policy makers tending to view the entire population as suspected terrorists.

One consequence of this is the very visible and extremely aggravating practice of patting down octogenarians going through airport security while refusing to treat Middle Eastern men as a high risk category. Indeed, airlines can be fined if more than two such individuals are singled out for greater scrutiny per flight.

The idea seems to be that if we treat everybody nicely, or at least aggravate everyone to an equal degree, terrorists won‚t get mad at us. A study of the history of Islamic terrorists, and what they believe, easily dispels the notion that they will respond to niceness. It is all the more aggravating that the rest of us have to suffer the loss of our liberties because of this blind refusal.

The problem has now been notched up quite a bit. The Department of Homeland "Security" has determined that ANY involvement in armed struggle against a government classifies the group involved -- and those who provide material support to the group -- as terrorists.

In practical terms, this means that if the Rwandan Tutsi's had not been conned by the UN into surrendering their weapons, and had fought back against the genocide conducted by the government, they would have been terrorists. Do we really want a definition that sets up a preference for genocide over self defense?

Similarly, the Sudanese in the south of that country have suffered some 2,000,000 dead in the genocidal jihad conducted by the Islamic thugocracy controlling the capital of Khartoum. By fighting back, the South has achieved a semi-autonomous status and more or less eliminated the murderous attacks from the jihadists. Are we now to consider their resistance to have been terrorism?

Now, in February of 2006, the Department of Homeland "Security's" insane definition of terrorism is being applied to some Burmese Christian refugees resisting extermination by the socialist thugs ruling in Rangoon. The State Department had cleared the way for some 150,000 Karen refugees to be given refugee status and admitted to the US for asylum. But the new definition of terrorism at Homeland Insecurity has blocked that. No terrorist is going to get into the US under their watch! Right.

It is disturbing that Homeland "Security" is using a definition of terrorism that is very consistent with the view of armed resistance at the UN. For years, the UN has pushed for gun control (meaning civilian disarmament). They use the term "non-state actors" to describe those who should not have guns. Guess who a non-state actor is. Rwandan victims of genocide. Southern Sudanese freedom fighters. Karen refugees in Burma. Average, hard-working Americans?

One more problem with this definition should be addressed -- our own State Department is in danger of becoming a terrorist enterprise because they have given "material support" to the Karen refugees. Further, anyone who has helped relieve the suffering of these people, such as Christian Freedom International located in Front Royal, Virginia is also a terrorist.

It is time to deliver a message to the Clueless Ones at Homeland "Security." The President, Senate and House of Representatives need to hear that a better definition of "terrorist" is needed. Self defense hardly belongs in the definition of terrorist. If the definition of terrorist is not changed, perhaps we can at least get Washington to send the Karen a large shipment of weapons and ammunition. That way they won‚t run out of bullets the next time they are attacked.

Jim Jacobsen, head of Christian Freedom International, told me in an interview I gave him on my Live Fire radio show that time is running out for the Karens. People wishing to contact the President and their Congressmen can do so through the Gun Owners of America Legislative Action Center on the GOA web site ( Check to send your own message rather than one of those that have been pre-written on other issues. All you need to get going is to type in your zip code.

Larry Pratt is Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, a national gun lobby with over 300,000 members located at 8001 Forbes Place, Springfield, VA 22151.

Either Pratt or another GOA spokesman is available for press interviews.

Copyright 2006 Action America and Gun Owners of America

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