Over the past few months, we have seen the horrific events unfold in the United Kingdom. In March, an Islamist Jihadi P.O.S. drove a van into a crowd of pedestrians, injuring fifty and killing four. He later abandoned his van and fatally stabbed a police officer before other officers arranged a meeting between the terrorist and Allah. In late May, we witnessed another event where a terrorist detonated a suicide bomb at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester killing twenty-two and injuring fifty-nine. Britons were told more attacks were likely and their alert level was risen. Then this weekend, just after the threat level was reduced, another attack, which began on the famed London Bridge and later moved into a crowded area, left as of this writing, seven dead and forty-eight injured.
I spent several hours on the road this weekend and I listened to a lot of news radio. I heard many of the talking heads spouting different ideas about why this happened, lack of security, failed policies and yes, even politics. I heard a lot of talk about what the government should and should not do. But what I did not hear, except for maybe one or two very short sentences, is what WE can do. What can the average Joe do to protect and prepare themselves for when these attacks come to our shores? Because as we’ve seen in our recent history, they already have.
So where do we begin? We first need to accept the fact that we live in a dangerous world and that it CAN happen to us; to you, to me, to those we love the most. Once we learn to accept that, we can start preparing for an attack when it does occur. I’m not talking about the government or the police preparing for an attack. I’m talking about each and every single person in America, citizen or not. Look at the terror attacks over the past couple years. Who were the targets of those attacks? Was it the police? Was it the politicians? Was it our military? Nope! It was our brothers, our sisters, our mothers, fathers, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, daughters, and sons. It was you and me. WE are the targets of these terror attacks which is why WE need to be prepared; prepared to protect ourselves and our loved ones; prepared to assist if needed; and prepared to respond and act.
Secondly, learn how to become situationally aware. Learn how to recognize dangers and don’t be afraid to listen to your gut. If something doesn’t seem right, tell the authorities. If your gut tells you not to walk down a certain street, then don’t walk down the street. If you feel uncomfortable on a bus because someone is setting off your spidey senses, then get off. Stop worrying about who you may or may not offend. I would rather be called islamophobic than dearly departed.
Learn how to protect yourself and your family. Companies spend billions of dollars every year to protect their buildings, their secrets and their property. What are you doing to protect yourself and your family? Carry some type of protection with you at all times. Personally, since I am legally authorized to carry a concealed handgun, that is my preferred weapon of choice. Unfortunately, there are still many places where you cannot legally carry a handgun so don’t limit yourself to only one method; diversify your protection portfolio. Learn how to fight, learn how to use an edged weapon, or learn how to use common items, such as your car keys as weapons when you have nothing else.
Learn how to give aide to yourself and others. After being in the military for so long, I’ve taken basic first aid for granted. I sometimes have to stop and remember that not everyone has the same level of training as I. Do you know how to assess a casualty for injuries? Do you know how to stop bleeding, apply a pressure dressing or a tourniquet? If your daughter was lying on the ground in front of you with a sucking chest wound, would you know what to do or would you sit there helpless as she died in your arms?
Look, I’m certainly not advocating vigilantism or street justice. But we all must be ready and prepared should we find ourselves in the middle of an attack. It could be any kind of an attack, a terrorist, a robbery, or a shooting like the one that occurred in Orlando just yesterday where at least five people were killed by a disgruntled former employee. Nobody can predict when or where the unexpected will happen and our government cannot prevent every attack from occurring. The police cannot be everywhere all the time. Our protection is our responsibility. WE must protect ourselves. This notion that love will win the day is nonsense. Love will not stop a bullet from taking your life. And this concept that we should not let these terrorist attacks change the way we conduct ourselves daily is anti-pragmatic and foolish. If we continue to walk around unaware, and unprepared, then we will continue to be targeted by these murderers. WE must take action. It’s time for the sheep to join the fight side by side with the sheep dog to protect the flock from the wolves.
WE must be prepared because WE are the targets. WE are the ones the terrorists want to kill. They don’t want to kill the police, they want to kill you and me. Whether you want to admit it or not, the terrorists have declared war not on America, but on us, on you, on me, on our children, our parents and everyone we know and care about. This is a global war and WE are all soldiers, conscripted by the actions of our enemy.
By Dale Antry
Dale is the Chief Operations Officer at Chester Security Group (CSG) and its subsidiary company, Black Tree LLC. CSG is a veteran owned small business dedicated to empowering others through comprehensive threat assessments and training in a multitude of physical and personal protection disciplines. Black Tree specializes in situational awareness training and weapons handling. To learn more about CSG or Black Tree or sign up for a course of instruction, please visit their websites at https://csgblacktree.com or http://www.blacktreeexperience.com