Owner of Istanbul Nightclub Where 39 Were Killed: Gun Bans Empower Armed Terrorists

Burak Kara/Getty Images
Burak Kara/Getty Images

Memet Kocarslan, who owns the Istanbul nightclub where 39 people were gunned down in cold blood minutes after 2017 began, contends that Turkey’s bans on private ownership of popular semiautomatic rifles made it easy for a terrorist who ignored the ban to outgun police and overpower security at the facility.

According to CNN, “Police checks had been increased around Istanbul for the festivities, and Kocarslan had also made sure his Reina club had extra security. But he said they had no hope against a well-armed and determined killer.”

One policeman was at the club, and he had a gun, but it is illegal for the private security to be armed. So the private guards made party-goers feel safe but offered no real resistance to an armed attack. In the end, it was one policeman with one handgun versus a terrorist with a semiautomatic rifle, which civilians are banned from possessing in Turkey.

University of Sydney’s Gun Policy.org reports that “civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms and semi-automatic firearms.” This means “private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited.” But the man who attacked the nightclub used such a weapon, just like the January 7, 2015, Charlie Hebdo attackers and the men who attacked Paris on November 13, 2015. Such attackers do not follow the law. Rather, they use the law to their advantage, knowing that law-abiding citizens will not be able to shoot back.

Kocarslan recognizes this. He told CNN:

This gunman is unbelievable. I believe he has been fighting in war for many years. He was too professional. How can a guy with a pistol win against a man with a war machine? We must change this law. We are dealing with terrorism. We need to do something.

Notably, Democrats in the U.S. responded to the June 12, 2016, Orlando Pulse terror attack by wanting to adopt the very types of gun bans that now exist in Turkey. However, the Istanbul nightclub example proves that such a ban actually gives the upper hand to those who are willing to breach it for terror.

Whether we are talking about Istanbul, Paris, or Newtown, Connecticut, one thing rings true: the way to stop an armed bad guy is to ensure he is greeted by armed good guys.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.


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