The latest radical Islamic terror strike on the people of London was shocking enough. But to think that the victims had no chance to defend themselves was even more shocking. The innocent victims were sitting ducks.

The terrorists drove a rented van on the roadway of London Bridge, mowing down countless innocents. Then after achieving as much mayhem as they could with that mode of destruction, the monsters left the van and entered nearby businesses, stabbing people at random. None of the killed and injured ever had a chance.

Britain has seen an ever-increasing number of terrorist attacks and this was the third in three months. And from the terrorist’s point of view, why not? After all, Europeans don’t have the right to arm themselves. They haven’t the right of self-defense with a firearm. It’s no different from armed terrorists in the United States targeting people in “gun-free” zones. Again, why try to shoot someone who might shoot back? No, it’s far easier and safer for the barbarians to concentrate on people whom they know for a certainty are not armed. Does anyone not think that if someone in the crowd were armed, things might have gone differently?

Just after the attacks, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a newer, tougher stance against extremists and tighter controls on cyberspace to prevent its use by terrorists.

That is all well and good, but it doesn’t address the immediate problem of British citizens being helpless against terrorist raids. Unless the citizens have a way to protect themselves, these measures are no more useful than marches, rallies and candlelight vigils. Only an equal amount of violence will stop those who practice violence. Political correctness in the form of getting to know the reasons for the violence and apologizing for everything under the sun has one big flaw in that it does nothing to deter terrorists. It only makes them want to kill us all the more, because they regard us as weaklings.

Poland awakens

Members of the European Union are required to admit migrants from terror-sponsoring countries or face huge fines. But Poland, an EU member, has rebelled against this policy. Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said, soon after the London Bridge catastrophe, “Poland will not submit to any blackmail on the part of the European Union.”

Szydlo also said Poland will not participate in the “madness of the Brussels elites.” I wonder if in time that will mean not participating in trampling on the people’s God-given right to self-defense? Perhaps it will.

The rest of Europe has not taken Poland’s stance on doing something positive to thwart Islamist terrorism. France, despite being an obvious target and suffering almost regular attacks, has no plans to do anything positive regarding keeping its citizens safe. And England, with its empty measures, remains a terrorist’s dream. When will these people wake up?

American beacon

Regarding not rolling over and playing dead, America stands out like a beacon on a hill, signaling to the world that personal freedoms trump all. And terrorists know full well that many Americans are armed and their question is only which ones in a crowd might be carrying a weapon.

Of course in liberal California, New York and Massachusetts, to name a few states, this is not the case. Politicians there have stolen people’s rights to self-defense and the citizens have embraced their own potential demise. But liberal hotbeds aside, the Second Amendment to our Constitution grants to all the right to self-defense.

I once guided a group of Canadian hunters and while driving to a hunting location, casually mentioned that I had done some pistol shooting the day before. One of the Canadians asked my why I thought I had the right to own a handgun. I said that our Constitution protected that right and furthermore, unlike Canada, our citizens had never relinquished that right. My clients defended their lack of perspective and seemed almost proud that they needed government permission to even own a shotgun. Pity them.

Today in America our gun rights are stronger than ever. Case in point, Maine. We now have something called “Constitutional Carry,” which allows honest citizens to carry a concealed weapon without asking permission from government. And here in Maine, a bill soon to be voted upon would make it a crime for government to keep a list of gun owners.

Hopefully, Europe will see the American beacon of freedom shining and wish to follow our example. We’ll see.

Tom Seymour is a freelance magazine and newspaper writer, book author, naturalist and forager. He lives in Waldo.