By Richard Bogath
You don’t need me to tell you how tragic the recent terrorist events have been. By now, respectfully, you’re probably even sick of hearing about it.
As most of the huddled masses clench their fists in anger, swearing acts of vengeance and pounding their chests in defiance of terrorism—most are also pretty careful to not make any sort of direct threat toward ISIS or any other group by name due to the fact that they are also quite afraid of at the repercussions that could come of that, if singled out.
Peppers…most preppers, that is… are a little different.
Do you find yourself getting over the initial anger and fear that we all feel when something terrible and tragic like this happens? That the outrage instead morphs into more of a curious scenario building in your head asking the question.. “What would I do?” and “How would I handle this?” Most preppers adopt this mentality and then spend the next few days/weeks thinking about the problem. Working out the details. Getting down to the nitty gritty.
Of course, being fired upon in a restaurant or movie theater is difficult to plan for, but not impossible. The point is, where most people want to forget and move on with their lives, blindly moving from day to day in self-inflicted ignorance, preppers learn a lesson.
I wrote an article some time ago about being aware of your surroundings and taking account of what actually goes on around you during life. It’s as poignant as ever as the world changes. The unfortunate reality for most people living their lives day to day is that, essentially they are blind to what goes on around them and in many cases, intentionally so. Let me also state that in no way am I saying this to cast the blame on the victims for not being ready for an attack. That would be stupid and irresponsible and completely redirect the anger from where it should be.
The governments have a lot to do to combat this. Bombing some town or village three-thousand miles away gives the perception of doing something useful, and maybe even serves a long-term purpose of cutting the head off the snake (more likely poking the snake in the eye). The issue that must be dealt with on the persons level is that of awareness. Still, as mentioned, that does not prevent us getting shot inside a restaurant, a concert or other place of business. Its hard for the pepper to prepare for a nut job radical in a suicide vest, hell-bent on killing civilians.
Still, there are some realities to consider. The poor souls caught in the blast radius have little opportunity to learn something unless they survive. The rest of us have the responsibility to learn from what transpired instead of living our lives in fear of it happening to us. Chances are that you will not be killed in a terrorist attack. More likely you’ll die from that bacon double heart attack washed down with a twenty-four ounce, fizzy sugar water. But what can we learn from an attack that happened fifteen hundred miles away?
Accept that you are a soft target
We are ultimately killable. No natural armor, no built-in weapons, no passively occurring deterrents. Only our brains put us at the top of the food chain and some of us don’t feel it necessary to make full use of that ability. When it comes to defenses, we are essentially soft, warm bags of meat with a little crunch added in here and there, easily converted into a fine red spray when introduced to an active explosion in progress. Our vulnerability defines our first defensive instinct—run like hell. If we accept and understand our frailty, we can also accept that an attacker—be he/she a gunman or bomber—is also just as frail and the only difference between them and us is the fact that that they are armed. So how can we accept, acclimate and overcome? Be armed—legally. Would a concealed carrier of a firearm have been able to save all 100+ people killed in Paris? No, not by a long shot. Could a few dozen people have been saved had a CC holder opened fire in retaliation? Maybe…with a healthy frosting of “probably”. CCW not allowed in your state? Yeah, I hear you.
Think like a terrorist
“How dangerous is the situation I am putting myself into?” This is a question that preppers ask themselves every day. “Were a bomb to go off, where is my best chance of survival?” “How would I defend against an active shooter in this (restaurant, bank, shop, street corner, bus, train etc…)? Not that you should drive yourselves nuts with scenario planning every minute of every day, but with practice, a casual glance around your surrounding can provide you with so much information that can be processing instantly into a defensive strategy or escape plan for your family. It’s better than hiding behind the societal blinders that most people wear each day.
Make an impact, make a difference
The local and federal governments love to tell us to “See something, say something” and little do they know that they are promoting the prepper mentality in a positive way. It also happens to be a really good mantra to follow—especially if your rights to carry a firearm have been socially or legally impeded. The mentality of “something is just not right here” can save lives if acted on accordingly and appropriately. And sorry kid—i thought your school project laden with wire and electronics that turned out to be a clock in a briefcase, looked like a bomb too, regardless of what the President says. School officials did exactly the right thing by hauling your ass off with the intent to save the other kids in the school. Had it turned out to BE a bomb, and nothing had been questioned, we would have the same people outraged by his arrest, yelling about how more wasn’t done when upon observation it was so obviously a bomb.
Preppers learn from other peoples mistakes. We learn lessons from history. We learn better ways to cope, to prepare for danger, to accept what will be inevitable. Acts of evil teach us a little more each time.