So I’ve been reading up on terrorism lately, and I’ve come across a common thread in all the best ideas on ending terrorism.Most recently I’ve been reading Gabe Suarez’s latest posts (and re-reading some of his previous ones too), and I think his most valuable insight (as a useful addition to his valuable training) is the concept of “Every man is a counter-terrorist”.
Police procedures during terrorist incidents
Who here knows the standard police playbook in the event of anything the media will retroactively declare is a terrorist attack? It goes something like this:
– Get to the scene as quickly as possible
– Secure the perimeter
– Do not endanger any police/bureaucrat lives by going anywhere near the gunman
– Wait for the Bad Guy to kill himself or run out of bullets
That which is rare and that which is commonplace
Now occasionally you’ll find a cop that actually engages the BG, but that’s more the exception rather than the rule. Read the stats that Suarez assembled on the matter. If you are caught anywhere near one of these events, you are on your own. Say it with me now: I am on my own. The cavalry that’s on its way is not coming to help you. They’re coming to help a bureaucrat get re-elected. The only counter-terrorist likely to be on the scene is you. The only one on the scene with specialised training is you. The only person on hand who lifts heavy weights, does his sprints, puts in the hours on dry fire, who makes time to practise killing people efficiently, is you. The only person close enough to save your family is you. You are the SEAL Team 6 operator. You are the SAS dude kicking in the window of the Iranian embassy. The reasons for this are 2-fold. Number 1: Nobody else is going to do it for you. (If not you, then who? Oh wait, that’s right. No-one.) Number 2: You are a counter-terrorist because you chose to be so ahead of time. The dude who finds himself in an active shooter situation and decides then that he’s going to try rush the BG, is likely to die. Living. Life. Prevailing. Winning. These things tend to happen for the person who plans and prepares for life beforehand. The man who spent his hours stacking the deck in his favour is going to be the one who lives where others die.
This is what happens when you extrapolate
I think that every man a counter-terrorist is a piece of a much larger picture. It’s a part of every man is responsible for himself. This also covers every men being able to spot, evade and put down a mugging. It also covers not complaining that “somebody should do something” because you’re too busy actually doing it. It covers not voting for a politician to fix everything for you. Every man is responsible for himself. Sometimes you delegate that responsibility by paying someone else to mow your lawn (if you really don’t have the time), but it also covers checking out that person’s references and knowing that he might end up robbing you. Putting in the effort to fully background check a gardener is what a man does. Complaining when the gardener you failed to check up on robs you is what you do when you want to be coddled and mommy’d your whole life.
Let me put it another way. Calling the cops is what a man does after the home invader has been dealt with successfully and you’ve called the obligatory ambulance first (to show how you consider the BG’s life as being of utmost importance). And then you only really call the cops because if you don’t get a case number then the insurance people will automatically reject any claims for broken property.
But what if everybody had a gun?
To those who lack the ability to follow an idea to its next logical step and cry “But what if everyone carried a gun!?” (gnashing of teeth, wailing, rending of clothes), I answer “Yipee. We’ll all be a lot safer.” Imagine the man wearing the suicide vest who walks into the shopping mall, pulls out a rifle and starts shooting sheep. And all the sheep grab cover (Dash, Down, Crawl, Cover, Observe, Sights, Fire) and pull their concealed pistols because they’re actually sheepdogs in disguise. Terrorism is a subset of crime. And crime is reduced by making oneself a hard target. So go out and train as hard as you can. It’s the only way you can have an impact on crime. Petitions and voting are waste of your life at best, and actively detrimental more likely.
Anybody who tells you that terrorism (or any crime) can be completely ended is lying (and an idiot). But we can certainly make it very costly to BG’s to try commit their crimes. Remember, every man a counter terrorist. And what criminal picks on a trained counter-terrorist?