With the war of words heating up over the Department of Homeland Security’s spending bill, there was surprise and skepticism when Secretary Jeh Johnson toured the Sunday news shows with warnings of a terrorist threat targeting the Mall of America in Minneapolis.
“I would say that, if anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they have got to be particularly careful,” Johnson said on CNN. He doubled down on ABC, telling of a video from terrorist group al Shabaab that made specific threats against the mall. While the video is not in doubt, many are wondering about the timing of the strong language. Would Johnson have made the same comments if the fate of the DHS spending bill was not in hanging in the balance?
Certainly, he got little backup from the White House. Josh Earnest denied that there was any specific, credible threat against the mall. He also maintained that Johnson’s comments had nothing to do with the impending DHS shutdown. At the same time, he defended the secretary, saying that Johnson “was noting how important it is for the American people to continue to be vigilant. That said, the intelligence community has said that they are not aware of any specific, credible plot against the Mall of America or any other domestic commercial shopping center here in the United States.”
Gun Control Takes the Stage
While the administration tries to use fear to force Republicans to back down, at least one state lawmaker is using this as an opportunity to speak out against the Mall of America’s gun policies. Republican Tony Cornish, a Minnesota state lawmaker, says that the existence of the threat should be enough to take down the gun ban in effect at the mall.
“This is completely ridiculous,” said Cornish. “The complete opposite of what they should be doing. If we’re threatened with an attack, the last thing you want to do is disarm citizens.”
As it stands now, the mall enforces their “no guns” policy by claiming that, as private property, they are exempt from the state’s concealed carry requirements. Cornish plans to challenge that claim. He believes that the law permits only individual stores within the mall to enact gun bans if they so choose.
It remains to be seen if the mall will be attacked, if the DHS spending bill goes through, or if the Mall of America relents on their gun policy. One thing is certain, though. Democrats – and the Obama administration in particular – have earned any catastrophes that might happen on American soil. By disarming Americans, by taking lightly the threat of Islamic terror, and by putting illegal immigrants ahead of national security, they have earned every last victim.