When I saw the story, my jaw dropped and I was almost afraid to read on, lest I find the headline too good to be true.
But it’s true–ABC News obtained an exclusive interview with Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble at the organization’s annual assembly in Cartagena, Columbia, taking place this week. For the news report summarizing the interview, ABC ran this headline:
After Westgate, Interpol Chief Ponders ‘Armed Citizenry’
You read that right, 2nd Amendment guardians. The man in charge of Interpol, the venerable international law enforcement organization, has gone on record suggesting that gun-owning citizens are a realistic countermeasure to terror attacks on “soft targets” such as the prolonged massacres at Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya, one month ago, and in Mumbai, India over the course of three days in 2008.
Noble, who is an American and used to be in charge of law enforcement at the U.S. Treasury Department, held a brief news conference with reporters following the opening of the assembly. He expressed the extremely difficult mission faced by law enforcement when contemplating the increase of newer, developing threats posed as terrorists are turning their focus away from increasingly “hardened” targets–prominent landmark buildings and government symbols such as those attacked on September 11, 2001–and are instead shifting their plots toward sensational murder sprees in less-protected public areas where large crowds of people gather, like shopping malls and campuses where access is more open.
Noble emphasized Interpol’s goal of making it harder for terrorists to move from country to country, through passport screening and information sharing among countries. But he also brought up the real challenges involved in attacks in places like Beslan and Nairobi.
“How do you protect soft targets? That’s really the challenge. You can’t have armed police forces everywhere,” Noble told reporters.
Later, in his exclusive interview, he homed in on the subject of armed civilians helping to secure soft targets.