The Terrorism We Refuse to Fight
Ben Stein
by

If you open the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal or turn on your TV or Internet, you are guaranteed to see stories of terrorism in Germany and France and England, in North Africa, in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, the Caucasus, the Philippines, all over the earth far away from here.

And you’ll read stories about what the leading statesmen and politicians of the USA are doing and plan to do to keep terrorism from slamming our shores again: “extreme” vetting, water boarding, keeping out immigrants from turbulent Muslim regions. These are all huge stories, and the subject of keeping terror far away from these United States is a vital subject.

There is one giant problem though. Terrorism is already here. Right here. In America. Every day. Every night.

There is terrorism by gun violence in the big cities and small cities throughout this nation. It’s not a threat for the future. It’s happening right now.

In Chicago, the murder capital of the industrial world, there were over fifty — not fifteen, FIFTY — shootings just over the Christmas holiday. Eleven of these resulted in deaths and more may be coming from the ICUs. The number of shootings and deaths in Chicago has risen by very roughly double just since last year. In dangerous neighborhoods, children hide in their rooms. People in cars ride by quickly with faces down, so as not to provoke anyone in the neighborhood by having the wrong look on their faces — which could easily get them killed.

In my beloved Los Angeles, almost every night’s newscast has stories of gun deaths by shooting in gang-infested areas. Even in beautiful Palm Springs and its suburbs, death by shooting of gang members or innocent bystanders has become commonplace.

The son of our housekeeper at our home near Palm Springs was just murdered by being shot in the back, as he stood in his driveway. He was 23. Our housekeeper, of course, is in shock.

Even in Sandpoint, Idaho, our summer home, we get the newscasts from Spokane, about ninety miles away, and it’s a rare night when someone has not been shot in that city.

In D.C., my home town, gang killings are a cruel fact of daily life.

This is not coming from ISIS or Al Qaeda. This is coming from American young men, almost always black or Hispanic, organized in gangs or as individual murderers. They kill for sport or to make themselves feel big or to claim turf for selling drugs or just because.

I’m not Hillary Clinton. I don’t blame the guns. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. But the situation is totally out of control. I like the ability for decent people to own guns, but it’s just nonsense that people can buy guns who cannot fly on airplanes.

It’s also insane that we have demonized and humiliated the main weapon we have to save lives in the domestic terrorism that terrifies our non-white neighborhoods: the cops. We have allowed utterly confused groups to give the totally false impression that it’s the police who are at war against young black men. That’s a complete lie. The police are the ones who offer up their lives to keep black and brown neighborhoods safe. It’s the young black men who are killing the other young black men. More and more aggressive policing is the answer to the problem. It’s not the problem.

Our outgoing President did not lift a finger to fight gang gun violence. He was too PC to go up against Black Lives Matter and other entities who libel the police. Our new President is not afraid and has sworn to uphold the law — not to exalt the law breakers.

Mr. Trump won partly on a pledge to be strong against terrorists from Mexico and Syria. That’s fine. It’s great. But the real terrorism in real time is coming from a few miles from where I’m talking to you, in almost any city and town USA.

Non-white people were liberated from institutionalized racism by a civil rights movement decades ago. Now, it’s time to take action to liberate this generation of minorities from the oppression of gang terror. The time to start is today.

Ben Stein
Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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