With the immediate crisis over it’s time to take a look at how we responded and how we can prepare for the next attack. How could you say another one is going to happen, you ask? Quite simply the kinds of individuals who attacked the world trade center twice, Times Square, the Boston marathon and many others successful and unsuccessful are still out there. They cannot be appeased they cannot be reasoned with their thirst for the blood of innocents is unending. We may stop some, but there is always the chance of others slipping by.
Nice imagery there isn’t it? Well, a lot of other countries are doing their best Bruce Willis imitation (again) and yelling “welcome to the party pal!” Right now we all have a choice; we can become the people who believe it won’t happen again here, the people who won’t expect it to happen to them (and they might be right, but they’re still wrong), or the people who expect it to happen again and plan accordingly.
Generally myself and those few who stop in to visit occasionally train to meet a threat with a weapon in our hand. While that is still an admirable pursuit to be encouraged, chances are in an incident like this we are either going to be an asset or a liability. To be an asset, get training in First Aid/CPR so you know the basics and then get Trauma training. Active Response Training (WARNING: Graphic Images) has some advise that can help as well as places to go for training. Yes, it costs money. However, people with trauma training will be an asset in mass casualty events no matter the cause.
While we’re at it, assess your personal health. Need to exercise more (I do) get out there and get to it. Being in good shape helps you deal with stress and can help you help others when the world has take a crap on your door step.
Things we should not do
Give up liberty for temporary safety. What happened in Boston was an over-reaction that handed the last living terrorist and those who supported him (either materially or otherwise) a win. Locking down the entire city is not a proportional response and neither is forcing citizens out of their homes at gun point like prisoners. The police knew who they were looking for, people not matching the description should be calmly and politely approached by police and asked for their cooperation. I’m sure that under the circumstances they would have been able to clear just as many homes and fewer people would have been offended.
The unfortunate reality is that the lock-down of Boston occurred 238 years after men bravely stood in Lexington and Concorde and said no such abuses of power by authorities. I hope there are citizens of Boston today who will at least stand up in court and do the same, but I doubt it. We need to change the relationship between the law-abiding citizenry and the police from the adversarial on it is today to one of mutual respect and cooperation. We need to return to the principles laid out by Sir Robert Peel among which are “…the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”
Politicians need to be reminded that they are the servants and not the masters. Efforts to infringe on our liberties need to be spoken out against and remembered at the ballot box. Our liberties are not only our greatest strength they are also our greatest protector. The homeowner who noticed something amiss with their boat AFTER the police had cleared in and called the police typifies the principle quoted above. Denying them the right to protect themselves in such a situation, is a crime far worse than the despicable act the terrorist committed.