Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory tells us that security of one's body and family are near the bottom of the pyramid, or of the most importance to one's basic physiological view of survivability.
In terms of security, America is a contradiction. That which makes us great also makes us vulnerable.
Our freedom of speech separates us from most of human history, but also allows terrorists to rationalize, radicalize and organize an evil ideology - and allows people who are vulnerable to subscribe to it.
Our free and open society, which allows all of us to pursue our own happiness and rise socially or economically, is also quite unique in world history. However, it also allows free movement and the ability to embed within the population by those who may desire to pull off attacks on our soil.
The technology that our country has created has democratized opportunity for millions, perhaps billions around the world. The same technology that allows a young Justin Bieber to upload a video to Youtube, gain millions of fans and a net worth north of $200 million also enables savvy radical Islamic terrorists to spread their evil exponentially.
It behooves Americans - Virginians - to use the best right we have for protecting our families and ourselves: the Second Amendment. Governor McAuliffe should immediately rescind his politically motivated and shortsighted executive order banning guns in state buildings and should support my legislation to allow citizen soldiers of the National Guard to utilize their concealed carry permits in recruiting stations.
The No. 1 duty of any government is based around the bottom of Maslow's pyramid: to protect its citizens. Humanitarian efforts are near the top of the pyramid, meaning they take a back seat to security of one's body or family, and to what a government's duties are.
America has a long history of helping others and we should continue to do so. However, just like when you get on an airplane and the flight attendant tells you to put on your own oxygen mask before you help anyone else, so too must we as a country first put on our "oxygen mask."
Ben Rhodes, President Obama's highly under-qualified deputy national security adviser, unbelievably stated: "We have very robust vetting procedures for those refugees." How exactly?
Ahmed Almuhamed, a 25-year-old refugee from Syria, who was rescued off the coast of Greece when his refugee boat sank, is believed to have blown himself up in the latest Paris attacks. How does Rhodes' statement sound after reading that?
Recently, Obama stated in an interview that ISIS had been "contained." This statement and many actions clearly show a lack of understanding of the threat posed to not only Europe, but the United States as well.
We should take folks at their word. Consider the so-called Islamic State leader's words in June of 2014: "Our last message is to the Americans. Soon we will be in direct confrontation." Consider the kill list of cities in America, including some in Virginia, released by ISIS in March 2015. Consider the threat to Washington, D.C. by ISIS in recent days. McAuliffe must stand with at least 30 other governors in refusing to accept Syrian refugees.
The threat to America is not coming from invading armies. We may have "contained" ISIS' rapid territorial gain in Iraq or Syria, but we have not properly addressed a networked, exponentially growing ideology. Quite frankly and unfortunately, another attack on American soil will come from within, perhaps from folks already here, perhaps from a refugee poser. The kill list and ISIS' statements are calls to action to those misguided souls who most likely are already here and would carry out the attacks.
The West must offensively counter this ideological narrative online, in print and in our communities to overwhelm their messaging and stop the spread of this cancer. International manhunts, pursued everywhere and with a robust coalition of nation states, should stamp out and kill members of ISIS and thus end the Islamic State. Its existence threatens the world as we know it.
Finally, a safe haven must be set up in the Middle East. Refugees can go there. The cost of the European/American refugee influx, the aid already being given, and the pushing of rich Middle Eastern nations to cough up dollars should pay for the safe haven's set-up and security.
We need strong, willing and clear-eyed leadership to do the aforementioned. We don't need strong political rhetoric covering up a weak understanding and response to our global problems. While taking refugees sounds like a humane and good-natured thing to do, as does helping someone with their oxygen mask on a plane, we must first secure ourselves and put on our own masks.