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04
May

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Changing our Perception of Terrorism

 

In the ‘50s & ‘60s we left our doors unlocked and keys in our cars on the street. In the ‘80s “Radical” was the cry after a boy landed a skateboard after a jump. The ‘90s changed that to just “Rad”.  Back then an emergency normally meant just a broken arm. Terror was a horror movie with cheap makeup and cheesy visual effects. Since 9/11 all of that has changed. Fear now has a special place within our hearts.

The remarkable thing is that Americans are safer than ever. Since 9/11 there have been no large scale terrorist attacks. Only 45 people have been killed by radical Islamic terrorists since then, and taken as a percentage of the population of the United States (318.9 million) that means there is only a 0.014 percent chance of being one of those victims. Driving cars is far more dangerous. So why are we so afraid of terror?

The truth is that today we are always looking to anyone but ourselves for help when we need it. This makes us feel small and weak, when together we are strong, mighty, and resilient. With a shift in our thinking away from a dependence on outside forces for our protection and towards independent emergency prevention and training each and every one of us would buoy each other and act properly and responsibly.

We have to become aware of the problems and issues before us as a society. It will not happen with sound bites or bumper stickers. It won’t happen with arming ourselves or gun control. It will happen when we decide to understand and embrace the basic planning to an emergency. It is possible, it is feasible, it is affordable – but it is an investment and a commitment.