Rise and rise again
Until lambs become lions
- Robin Hood Movie (2010)
Terror is a "normal part of life" some have said. And that statement may not be inaccurate. The process usually follows in this way. "Thoughts and prayers" are posted on social media. Religious groups make a show of solidarity. Everyone holds hands, lights candles, and weeps. Then the inevitable placement of blame and dialog on prevention. Who commits such acts? Well, its no secret requiring a government funded study. It is either the purview of crazy people (the psychologists and psychiatrists will forgive me), or the work of religious/political extremists. In New Zealand, apparently its everyone's fault and most of the country will now be unarmed or criminals. Something the left in every nation seeks as one closer step to total Venezuelan-esque control.
But lets take a moment and really take a serious look at prevention of such situations. Quickly the talk turns to adding police and armed guards everywhere, creating safety screenings, building tall fences and fortifying everything. All the fearful nod at this sort of thing as the responsibility is placed elsewhere. There is usually a big surge of this sort of thing immediately after an event like this. But you know what happens? Keeping up a high level of security is expensive and requires a great degree of focus.
Administrators eventually begin to shrink at the bill from the city, or the security company. And then patron, parishioners, shoppers, and others stop coming because going becomes a pain in their now very secure asses. They get tired of the checkpoints, and random searches, and opt to stay home instead. Or (gasp) go to a less "secure and invasive" place. Empty churches, schools, and shopping malls defeat the purpose of them being there in the first place which is building profits. (Yes, Virginia...even churches, temples and mosques need to make money).
As time passes...sometimes just a few weeks for westerners with poor memories, they convince themselves that "precipitating event" was so long ago, and that things are now different. Such extreme security measures are expensive and tiresome and no longer necessary. Besides, those big muscular guys with the earpieces frighten the ladies at the church tea service. And as a wilting flower, things go back to their normal state of wishful hoping that nothing bad happens.
Or, just as bad, they check off the box. One large church I visited recently had no security team. Instead, they paid one rather well-fed Deputy to sit in his car in the parking lot during service. I casually asked the Pastor who is a "friend of a friend" and he candidly told me that was all his insurance company allowed. Do any of the readers think that McDeputy is going to do anything to stop a character like the shooter in NZ?
Here is the reality of things. Nobody will ever be able to prevent an event like this with laws. Nor will they be able to maintain a preventative security posture indefinitely unless they are motivated and funded. Moreover, as much as some wish it, evil men will not disappear from the earth. Nor will firearms ever disappear from the earth. Both are here to stay and in large numbers. But there is something that can be done. It is really simple, but it will be the hardest thing to accomplish because it requires a change in the paradigm of modern life. It is a simple thought process.
- You are on your own. No matter if you are a soccer mom or a retired soul snatcher. No matter what they promise you, nobody is ever coming to help you in time.
- Site security will fluctuate with the collective will, but your attention to your own security must not. If that means breaking the rules, then get good at breaking rules.
- No matter what you think, you will not be able to maintain focus and attention everywhere and at all times. But you can generally plan for those times with general practices.
On September 10, 2001, the paradigm of action on an airplane was to sit quietly, don't be a hero, and allow the professionals to solve the problem. Worst case, you got a free Mojito in Havana before your return flight. But today? How many stories do we have of passengers not waiting for the professionals and knocking the shit out of would-be terrorists on airplanes since then? Different times require different perspectives.
If it became a common thing for the ostensibly helpless intended victims to rise up and shoot the terrorist to pieces, I expect we would see fewer and fewer of these events. If the lambs became lions, fewer terrorists would consider them as victims.