Is There Such a Thing as Overreacting To a Threat or Perceived Threat?

Threat

Los Angeles closed all of their schools, leaving some 640,000 kids without a classroom. The threat was real according to experts, so real, in fact, they took the unprecedented step of cancelling classes for the entire district.

Crying wolf to many times may cause some people to ignore the threat, write it off as another false alert. The government up to this point doesn’t seem to know what the threat is let alone deal with it, so can we believe them when they say it is a credible threat, dare we ignore them.

Maybe that is what the enemy wants us to do however. We have to be careful. It is hard to envision that terrorists would warn anyone of an attack, but tactics change, and we all have to be aware that what was normal yesterday, may not be considered the norm today.

Communities cannot ignore any credible threats, and therein lies the rub. What is credible, who gets to decide, and just how far should we go to counter the threat or to protect the community, when warned of a possible attack.

We expend resources, upend communities for hours or days at a time, and nothing happens, a hoax, a crank call, akin to some kid pulling the fire alarm at school so they don’t have to take the math test. Watch the scared people run, watch them huddle together, watch them gather and grab their cell phones to spread the fear even more.

Parents feel their hearts in their throats when they get a text alert or hear on the news that their children’s school is locked down or closed due to a credible terrorist threat. This is the very definition of terrorism. Terrorist will instill fear, sow discontent, and confusion, and then let people’s imagination do the rest of the work for them.

Keep Us off Guard

Send threats, and then gauge the response, so the enemy can then adjust their tactics based on how law enforcement responds to various scenarios, scenarios that the terrorist control. They are testing us, and we will never know when the threat is real or when it is a hoax and they want it that way.

This country has found itself in a defensive posture. Forced to defend a position, we can’t move toward the enemy and neutralize the threat, because we are too focused on holding what ground we have.

What Can We Do What Can You Do

Frankly, at this point as an average citizen, we can only react. We rush to school to get our kids before the bombs go off. We listen to the experts. We hear the phrase repeatedly “out of an abundance of caution”.

We react, and always after the fact. The second largest school district in the country brought to its knees by a single email, a worded threat, unspecific, and yet the implications are clear. Your kids are not safe, your staff and educators are not safe, and the parents that rush in to grab their children are not safe.

A simple email now means that at any time, they can bring a city to its knees without firing a shot. This is just the beginning however. There will be shots, there will be explosions, and they will come when we least expect it, because already the LA school district is being criticized for what they did, and so next time a school district, a town, or a city will hesitate, and that is when the shots will ring out and when the bombs go off.

We could fill page after page of recommendations about what you can do, and should do, but it will not do any good. It will not do any good, because we really don’t know what to do. We only know something must be done. We as humans are designed to be thinkers, to work out the problem on paper, on slate, and we carve the questions and answers into rock, and yet the problem still exists.

Learn how to shoot a firearm and carry it wherever it is legal. Doing nothing is not an option. You will always run towards your children if they are in danger, and when you have to, at least run toward danger with some way of defending your children, yourself and your community.

We have stated it before and we will state it again. The police only show up after the shooting starts. They are not your personal security force. They are sanctioned to enforce the laws. They are not your bodyguards, they will show up, but who will be there first besides the shooters. Will you be there with a way to defend your children and yourself?

Will you stop waiting for others to step up, who out there will grasp the reality. Understand that the country we live in today has changed. It is time we all adapt to the new normal.