The attacks on 9/11 had of course, changed the landscape as well. The number of deaths in just a matter of moments was staggering, never again we swore as a country. We went to war because of the attacks, and we heard the government recommend we stock up on duct tape and plastic. Now almost a decade and a half later we are attacked again, and thus, things have changed once again.
What Makes the Most Recent Terrorist Attack Different?
It could be anyone. The government is talking about the so-called lone wolf attacks. About the person that gets it in his or her head to attack people. To attack a way of life, our way of life based on an ideology, which is hard to fathom. The lone wolf scenario is more than likely a fallacy in most cases, a term given, for well, lack of a better term.
The couple in San Bernardino if you think about likely had help, and of course, there were two of them. Once there is more than one attacker then the lone wolf theory goes out the window.
This means that the couple pushing a stroller through the park with a six month old child nestled inside could be plotting an attack, the neighbors next door with the crib and toys scattered about the apartment could be plotting an attack. It could be anyone, or any group of people. We don’t know, and people are hesitant, due to civil liberties, to even wonder if it is possible that it could be a neighbor, a coworker, or a stranger loitering at the bus stop or on the subway platform.
As stated in previous articles the police usually show up after the fact. This is not the fault of the police of course. You don’t know what you don’t know, and so until someone makes their intentions known in such a way as to be considered a viable threat the police have no role, and we don’t judge anyone in this country until they have done something, or express in such a way that they plan to do something.
Once someone acts out then everyone comes forward. Yes he or she seemed quiet, didn’t socialize much, greeted occasionally, but didn’t stop to chat with their neighbors. They seemed aloof at times. They worked late into the night in their garage, and men stopped by and they huddled in the workshop. What was just stated could apply to anyone of us. It could be anyone, any group of people plotting the next attack. This is how things have changed in this country.
So How Do You Protect Yourself
The politicians and others tell us we cannot change the way we live. We must go on, go to parties, go to sporting events, and go to concert halls. Go to a company party in the middle of the day when the sun is shining, and the birds are chirping just outside the windows.
Yes, we all have to carry on with our lives, but we have already changed the way we live, how we see things and how we react to terror even though we may not think we have. Survival is always at the individual level. Even when in a room full of people and there is an active shooter, it is you and the shooter in competition, who will win the game.
When it comes right down to it, sometimes living or dying is all about being in the right or wrong place at the time. How close will you be sitting to the door in which the shooter comes through?
Whom did the shooter first spot as they burst through the door? How close to an exit are you, is there a desk close by, a file cabinet, or wall to get behind. It is about your place, your location in time that often times dictate life or death. You have to change the odds so they are in your favor.
Look for the exits and evaluate the distance as you walk into any room or building. Look for objects that could offer protection and choose one or two. You can no longer spot an attacker. It could be the women with the baby stroller. It could be the man in the expensive suit reading the paper. Remember some of the Paris attackers had purchased expensive suits to blend into their surroundings. It could be your neighbor, who you say hi to as you both head out to work in the morning.
Go over the steps to take in your head, be ready to drop if you hear sounds that are not right. What is the first thing many people say when asked to describe what happened. I thought it was firecrackers going off. Not many assume it was gunfire.
Always assume it is gunfire first, and then after you find out it was firecrackers, then you can dust yourself off, have a good chuckle, and go on. Really though, it has never been firecrackers, if it sounds like firecrackers it is likely gunshots. If it sounds like thunder on a sunny day, then it is likely an explosion of some sort.
Remember situational awareness. Do not try to analyze the sounds or start looking for the source of the sounds. Drop, and move away and if you had previously noted the exits or places of cover then you would move toward them.
Your life may depend on where you are standing or sitting when an attack happens, so make sure to put the odds in your favor. There is no magic solution. Some online may tout they know, and they will try to put out articles and information about what you should do, but it really all comes down to you. Comes down to where you are and what actions you take when the SHTF.