Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Terrorism Can Happen Here: Prepare

I watched an entire video of terrorist training the other day. You tube has many short 3 to 10 minute clips. This one was 35 minutes. It was a training camp in Syria (no surprise) and was run by ISIS (another no surprise). But I feel we can learn a lot from these training videos. This particular link was sent to me by an FBI analyst in Quantico.
From the looks of these videos we as regular citizens need to change our attitude about the threats that we face in this country. We will always have criminals and crime that we need to prepare for, but now it is the rise of an organized, trained, and well-armed team we must prepare for. A team that is bent on killing and not afraid to die themselves. Most of their goals are just murder and terror. Many criminals will shrink from even the sight of a defensive weapon leave alone someone shooting at them. These Muslim extremists (yes I said it!) are zealots who want to die for what they perceive is their cause. By the way, make no mistake, they are Muslim extremists. That does not mean that all Muslims are dangerous or terrorists, but only that most terrorists in the world today are Muslim. In World War Two we did not fight the “War on War”, we fought the war on Nazi Germany. While not all Germans were Nazis, we still had to fight Germany to defeat the Nazis. Not all Muslims are terrorists but nearly all terrorists in the world today are Muslim. So it stands to reason that we have to fight Muslims to defeat terror. But I digress…
So this means that it is time to ensure the gear you carry (EDC and otherwise) meets that challenge. If that means switching primary guns from an 8 round single stack to a 17 round double stack for more rounds then maybe that’s a good start. I have always carried a spare magazine but now have wondered if I should go further. I also think where you live makes a big difference. I live in the country outside of a small town. I don’t worry too much about a terrorist attack because the body count would probably not meet the terrorist needs. I’m not saying it can’t happen here, I’m just saying it is unlikely.
I have added some magazines and a box of ammo to my vehicle. If I lived in a large metropolitan area I may consider a battle rifle and a TAC vest in my vehicle. This is something you must decide for yourself. Always consider the problem of storing a weapon in your vehicle considering safety and risk of it being stolen.
I have always said the going to a range, standing up in front of a paper target in perfect stance and squeezing off several rounds, is not really training for reality. Shooting in many different positions and cover, drawing from many positions, combat reloads (even though most civilian confrontations do not require a reload) and shooting a moving target is more real than what we are used to.
Situational awareness and “moving off the X” or changing the OODA loop is also something that needs to be addressed. Knowing what is going on in a large crowd, such as big concerts or sporting events, is very important. Recognizing the sound of gunfire is something that many people should learn about. Do you know the difference between a firecracker, and handgun round or a rifle round? If you are around it much you start to know the difference and even the sound of an AK from an AR. Identifying shots fired and from what direction should be learned.
Exit awareness and what might constitute cover also may be something practiced. Most large groups like concerts and sporting events are free fire zones. You usually cannot be legally armed at these events so what would you do? A tentative plan of action to get yourself and your loved ones out of harm’s way and not trampled in a panicked crowd is a real thing. Having a plan is not paranoid but prepared.
Your gear should reflect what you consider a real threat. How you will deploy those items and when is also a consideration. Remember how you would look to a SWAT team member going through a parking lot with an OD green vest on and holding a “evil black” rifle. Those are real considerations you must face.
Informing your family of your plans may give you some “eye rolling” but you should inform those with you your plans so they too can act accordingly. It would be horrible in a real world terrorist event if most of your family is following you to an exit and one person goes a different direction.
Restaurants can also be a magnet for terrorist activity so know exit location and choose your table well.
Now is the time to consider these things. Do not delay. Assess your situation, your gear, your training, and that of your loved ones. What scenarios should you prepare for and how do you need to train? Where are you lacking? This is the time to take this seriously and prepare your gear and train.
Semper Paratus
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