While Washington's political and media elites were whining about doing their duty in D.C. and beating their gums about snake oil remedies for our financial maladies, radical Islamists were turning up the heat under the Middle East cauldron. If the first few days of January are any indication, this is going to be a very exciting year:
The ayatollahs in Tehran, Iran, celebrated the infidel new year by firing off several dozen missiles, rockets and torpedoes in the Strait of Hormuz -- and successfully distracted attention from planeloads of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds force "volunteers" and munitions being flown to Damascus, Syria, via Iraq. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin received more media attention in banning Americans from adopting Russian orphans than he did for reinforcing his Mediterranean naval base at Tartus, Syria -- Bashar Assad's last refuge.
In Cairo, the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated regime celebrated New Year's and Egypt's new Shariah constitution by locking up journalists and newspaper editors for "insulting" President Mohammed Morsi. Instead of condemning this abuse -- and the outrage of destroying Coptic churches, businesses, schools and homes -- the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was busy figuring out who is going to lead the committee after Sen. John Kerry heads to the State Department.
Holiday revelry and fiscal cliff fatigue also buried the Dec. 30 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee report on the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. The committee's title says it all: "Flashing Red." The 31-page report, containing 10 findings and 11 recommendations, is replete with unambiguous examples of incompetence and misfeasance that led to the death of four Americans. Despite pleas from Joe Lieberman and Sen. Susan Collins, the report will be widely ignored -- even as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula offers a $160,000 bounty in gold to any jihadi who murders Gerald M. Feierstein, the U.S. ambassador in Yemen.
Apparently, none of the issues above warrants immediate attention by the legislative and executive branches of our government. But when President Barack Obama and Congress return to Washington, they promise to take aim at a really pressing issue: the Second Amendment of our Constitution.
They call it "gun control." It's not. The Second Amendment isn't negotiable. It isn't something to be handed over to the United Nations. It's not a can to be kicked down the road. It's a cornerstone. Kick it at your peril.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.