What's truly intriguing about the attacks over the weekend, wasn’t the attacks themselves -- but the responses to them.
FIRST, CONCLUSION JUMPING IS FINE, AS LONG AS IT’S MEDIA APPROVED. We are warned not to jump to conclusions, which is prudent -- except it's usually the media that does the most jumping.
The first jump is, "Don't say it’s terrorism."
The second jump: "Blame the gun."
The third jump (when it's not a gun) is: "It’s a pressure cooker." But not a bomb! Please don't say bomb!!
I've said it before: Hardening soft targets is the industry we must embrace. Instead of spending time thinking about how to fight terror, why not take steps to prevent it?
Accompanying this response is also sometimes this: “Imagine if it were gun! It could have been so much worse!” Yea, tell that to the 9/11 dead – brought to their deaths via box cutters.
The fourth jump "It's a random attack."
But then usually, after we find a link to terror (the St. Cloud terrorist asks victims if they're Muslim; the Chelsea bomber had traveled to the Middle East a number of times prior), everyone pretends they always knew it was terror.
So here we see a media more outraged over saying bomb, then being bombed.
But by avoiding the term "bomb," while a rigged pressure cooker is staring you in the face -- isn't that jumping to a conclusion, too? By saying it "doesn't appear to be terrorism" -- isn't that jumping to conclusion as well?
Perhaps you should pretend it could be an angry tea partier upset over ObamaCare (I will never forget that one, Mr. Bloomberg). By the way, it appears the bombs all had timers. Was it wrong to immediately assume they were bombs, when they could have been clocks?
SECOND, THE BEST RESPONSE, WAS THE HOLY ONE. Meaning, an off- duty cop filled a terrorist full of holes. Putting the Saint in St. Cloud, Officer Falconer quickly hardened a soft target -- adding a gun to the mix, saving lives. The mall was a soft target before he got there, which allows a powerful side by side comparison.
- Without a gun, a terrorist stabs people without interruption.
- When a gun appears, the terrorist is dead.
I'd call that a pretty good cause and effect. Imagine if a replica had been present in Orlando? Or Paris?
The lesson? Every arena is better served by turning soft to hard.
I've said it before: Hardening soft targets is the industry we must embrace. Instead of spending time thinking about how to fight terror, why not take steps to prevent it? By the way, after Officer Falconer wasted that creep, I was patiently waiting for the article entitled "Another senseless act of gun violence." But it never happened.
Anti-gun celebrities are lucky they weren't at that mall to see their luxurious gun control beliefs go up in smoke.
Also, Officer Falconer is an NRA licensed firearms instructor, according to the website Bearingarms.com. I don’t think I’d question them on this topic, Michael Moore.
THIRD, WE SHRUGGED. The citizen response to the attacks in Chelsea seemed low key. In my neighborhood a half mile away, people kept drinking -- interrupted only by their phones, warning them to stay away from windows on 27th street. The bombing did not stop the pub crawl -- I know -- I was the one crawling.
The downside to this reaction: it appears we don't take this stuff seriously, especially when no one dies. We've gotten used to these things.
The upside: treating it like it's no big deal deflates the aspirations of terrorists. It's our way of saying, go screw yourself you pathetic creeps. But my gut tells me if it were 30 deaths instead of 30 injuries, the nonchalance would have been all chalance (i doubt that's an actual word). Which leads me to…
FOUR: THEIR FAILURE MUST STILL BE SEEN AS SUCCESS. Even if no innocents died in St. Cloud, Manhattan or New Jersey, one should ignore that (I’d say, instead to pretend the opposite) and focus only on the intent.
Someone wanted people to die, and will continue wanting people to die. So relaxing one's guard because the bomber was sloppy is pure stupidity. The bombs will only get better, and the terrorists more savvy.
You need to look at terrorism as any kind of typical organism that is shaped by interactions with an environment. What we perceive as failure is merely knowledge the organism ingests to improve itself.
Terrorists will learn from what happened Saturday, the same way terrorists learned from what happened at the World Trade Center in 1993. You couldn’t have had 9/11 without having that attack occur first.
FIVE: As always, my problem with news coverage is with the mindless repetition of details -- which elevates the infamy of the fiend responsible. If we reported it like celebrity suicides (i.e. mute it to prevent copy cats), that would deprive the perverse appeal these creeps get from their actions. But the fact is, we are in the business of reporting news, and expecting anything else is a losing game.
I will continue to write about terrorism, because frankly, what else is there that concerns us more?