What Can I Do To Stop a Terrorist Attack?
What Can I Do To Stop a Terror Attack?
"What can I do to counter a terror attack?" This is a question we often ask ourselves following a horrific catastrophe such as happened recently with the truck attack in New York City. Unfortunately, this has been an all too-ever increasing reality in the violent world we live, but short of arming every citizen or having our military patrol our streets on a daily basis and becoming essentially a police-state, is there anything we can do as citizens?
The answer is yes. The fact is that most terrorist acts are pre-planned and not perpetrated off the cuff. While it's true the terrorists are becoming more sophisticated in their techniques, the fact remains that they still must plan and research. This reconnaissance of a target gives us an opportunity as citizens to identify hostile threats and act to prevent, or minimize their effects.
How we do accomplish this? The fact is the same acts that we take as citizens for crime prevention can also help to prevent a terrorist attack. Like criminals, terrorist like to choose "soft" targets, meaning easy prey. Rarely will a terrorist attack take place against someone who is prepared and ready. With the Las Vegas Shooting, where gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of 22000 concert goers who were corralled in a concert venue, he chose his target because it would have the maximum effect and cause the most terror. The venue itself was access controlled, and no citizens licensed to conceal carry could do so because of the concert venues decision to not allow concealed weapons in the event. Though unlikely it would have done any good considering the distance Paddock shot from.
The hotel where Paddock was staying and committed his act from also had a no-weapons policy. So how could this have been prevented? If the shooter had been discovered bringing weapons into the hotel, via an alert security team, or even a hotel guest who notified authorities, Paddock may have been checked out prior to the incident ever taking place. And it is really just that simple. The modest act of vigilance and being aware of our surroundings can prevent future horrific acts.
This does not mean we have to have our heads on a swivel behind dark sunglasses like a Secret Service Agent on President Protection Detail. What it does mean is we should always stay conscious of our location. Where are the exits located in this restaurant I am eating at? Look for close covered positions in the event I need to hide? If there is an attack and I have no way to escape, what do I have at my disposal to fight back?
These are just a few examples of the thinking required to keep yourself and others safe. Given the shear population of the United States, the likelihood that any of us will ever become victims of a terrorist attack is quite small, and we never wish for a police state, or to give up the things we enjoy out of fear, but we also have a responsibility to prevent these attacks.
If we are ever in this kind of position I hope we can invoke the famous words of Todd Beamer, a passenger on the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001: "Let's roll!" and do what we can to stop the attack and protect our family and friends and neighbors.
Jack H. TrippChief Operations OfficerLiberty Firearm Training