Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
One of the main problems with overly stringent laws is that only some people will follow them, while others will ignore or even exploit them. The result, all too often, is that law-abiding citizens will be put at a disadvantage vis-à-vis law-breakers.
Overly restrictive gun laws offer a prime example: only those who already “play by the rules” will obey such restrictions, whereas criminal elements will naturally ignore them. The result is that those who merely seek to defend themselves may end up being disarmed, whereas those targeting them will be armed.
Unsurprisingly, this topsy-turvy phenomenon is also evident in the “brave new world” ushered in by COVID-19. Not only, as a John Hopkins study recently revealed, have “ill-founded” and draconian lockdowns had “devastating effects” on economies and societies; but in some cases, they have even empowered murderers and disempowered their victims.
This comes out clearly in a recent report titled, “Militia Failed to Obey Covid-19 Lockdown, Killed 24 Christians Observing Government Orders.” According to it, a group of Islamic terrorists “wielding AK-47s and machetes … killed twenty-four people, who were observing COVID-19 lockdown orders”—and, as such, were sitting ducks.
The [lockdown] order was issued by the state government. However, this group of Fulani militants failed to abide by the order and managed to pass through military stations on their way to the Kaura village. The attack, which took place in a Christian village, lasted about thirty minutes.
Such stories can be heard repeatedly in the surrounding villages … and hundreds of others across Nigeria’s fertile Middle Belt.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a community leader explained how, along with lockdown rules, gun bans are also leading to the exposure and subsequent massacre of Christians:
The government and security agencies have failed us. We don’t know where to go, we don’t know who to believe in. It is the constitutional responsibility of government to protect lives and property, but this government has failed us woefully. People are asking why the government allows herdsmen to move about freely with guns to kill people? Since the government has failed in tackling these killers, we should be allowed to also carry arms like them.
Finally, and perhaps unsurprisingly, “The community leader said the militants claimed more lives than the pandemic in his village. ‘We can’t farm or go to school. The Fulani militants will attack you. We are suffering.’”
To be sure, this is just one of many examples of how COVID-measures have been used to discriminate against or persecute Christians throughout the Muslim world.
At any rate, here, then, is one more example that, when it comes to protecting a people’s welfare—which is what gun laws and COVID lockdowns are supposed to be all about—it’s probably best to let the people themselves decide on what course of action to follow.
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