Paul Marshall Lecture at #Baylor Sept. 19 | "Blasphemy and Other Threats to Freedom of Religion and Speech" https://t.co/8wHFGeeqDF
Incorporating Religion into the U.S. History Survey https://t.co/iu3cHdi0b4 @AndreaLTurpin @USReligionBlog
ISR Interview: A Godly Sociology of Religion - Rodney Stark https://t.co/BCTWPqQB5J
How To Survive Graduate School https://t.co/YIQK9gjt47 Thomas Kidd @TGC
Becoming a More Sensible Evidentialist about Jesus - Stephen Wykstra lecture Aug. 22 https://t.co/Ofq9GfxUwK
Rescuing Syriac Manuscripts in Iraq - The ASOR Blog https://t.co/wHcMzptt7d
The Fence: Mainline Protestants and Immigration Sixty Years Ago https://t.co/QlBENynzYv @USReligionBlog @nickphistory
Crucible of Faith https://t.co/nk532jB1L6 Philip Jenkins on his new book @anxious_bench @BasicBooks
Paul Froese on Meaning and Purpose - ISR ReligionWatch https://t.co/HywQz3LQcg
Baylor Launches Center for Christian Philosophy | @Baylor University https://t.co/aRXOb93cuT via @baylorumedia

ISR’s Philip Jenkins: Gun Control Can’t Stop Such ‘Low-Tech Horror’ as Truck Attack in France

July 15, 2016Philip_Jenkins

Follow us on Twitter:@BaylorUMedia

Contact: Terry Goodrich,(254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (July 15, 2016) — Terrorism scholar Philip Jenkins of Baylor University was horrified, but not surprised, to learn that a truck mowed down people during a celebration in Nice, France, Thursday, killing more than 80 and injuring dozens.

Gun control can’t prevent such “low-tech horror,” and he predicted such attacks a week ago in a column in The American Conservative.

“If a mysterious alien ray swept every gun off the North American continent tomorrow, very ordinary and low-skilled militants could still perpetrate horrendous violence quite comparable to last month’s Orlando attacks,” wrote Jenkins, Ph.D., a Distinguished Professor of History in Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion.

Jenkins, who is traveling in Europe, cited the eight Islamist militants who wielded long-bladed knives in a deadly attack on civilians in 2014 at a Chinese train station. And in Israel — where militants find it all but impossible to obtain guns and explosives — Palestinian guerillas have used cars, tractors and bulldozers.

Before the slaughter in Nice, Jenkins had written that “the most striking thing about these lone-wolf vehicular attacks is just how relatively small the casualties have been . . . It would be easy to imagine drivers choosing denser crowds, during busy shopping seasons or major sporting events.

“Long lines of fans or shoppers or travelers represent a target-rich environment.”

Limiting access to firearms would do nothing to prevent such low-tech violence. What is needed is efficient intelligence-gathering, monitoring and surveillance, and psychological profiling, he says.

But even those methods will not zero in on every potential assailant. They also may produce lots of “false positives — aggressive blowhards who in reality will never commit a crime,” Jenkins says.

Law enforcement agencies face a huge challenge, he says, and prevention of such tragedies is “crucial to contemporary political debates.”

Jenkins is the author of “The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade” and “Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses.”

REPOSTED FROM BAYLOR UNIVERSITY MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS