How do we stop it?

“How do we stop it?”

These are the words I woke up to this morning from a Today Show anchor regarding the most recent public shooting at the LAX airport. It is not the first or last time that question will be asked, but I wish people would submit that the right question is not begin asked. Its not “how do we stop it?” You don’t stop crazy. You can maybe mitigate it in the future, which talking about that is usually a nice slippery slope of arrogant people voicing that we need more restrictions to one extent or another, but crazy doesn’t stop.

Besides my education in psychology, I have been a student of terror, both foreign and abroad for over ten years, and make no mistake, this was a terror attack. What Ive found time and again, is the wrong questions begin asked usually drives the conversation.

The immediate, “Ban everything, its for the children!” knee-jerk reaction doesnt work. Immediate ideas with good intentions rarely do.

The questions that should be asked more, in my estimation, are, “why is this happening?” and “what are the common factors in these events?”

The “why” is because we live in a imperfect world. That’s not a good enough answer for me, and the answer that I will offer as you read on will explain it. The common factors are more often than not hate and mental illness. So with that being answered, we of course come back to “how do we stop it?” and at some point you do need to ask “how do we stop it?” Well I have the three part answer to reign in the current threat, and to give the best possible chance to curb terror attacks in public places in the future.

My answer: Religion, Education and Israel.  Its simple really, or it should be. You teach and instil morals and ethics early on in life, when to use them, and finally how to get your ass beat if they arent used.

Now anyone who has read much of what Ive written on this blog has an idea that I have long ago embraced my hypocritical ways, heck I titled my first book in homage to that idea, so when I say that we need religion, I kind of mean everyone else, but let me explain. Im not a very religious person myself. I’m open to it, have attended a couple different churches, I just haven’t embraced it as a person as of yet. What I do like though is to be around those who have. 

God loving  (I never liked the term God fearing), families generally speaking, raise their kids with morals and ethics. That’s not to say its the only way. I dont feel that a fear of Gods wrath and punishment and being damned to hell is the only way to teach right and wrong. I was not raised in a church family and I believe I have good morals and ethics, but the point of what I am saying is that every little bit counts. Studies are showing a huge drop off in people who claim any sort of a religion over the last 20 years. You cant tell me there is zero correlation with that and the path our country seems to be on; ie, were goin’ down the crapper.

No, as I have shown with myself, religion is not the only acceptable answer, but the idea of of it at the root, using it as a vessel to teach right and wrong, well if that’s what other people utilize to raise kids who will see the problem in wanting to emulate a violent video game or movie or whatever, well that might be a poor example but lets just say in my life Ive met more non-religious assholes than religious ones.

So thats the religion part in a nutshell; next is education. I went to college and think it was a waste as far as getting the degree to hang on the wall. Life experience wise, yeah, that was worth it. I say this to let you know that Im not one of those people who thinks everyone should go to college. I do think everyone should strive for continuing education in one form or another though. My preferred path would be skilled trades. Check in with Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame for even the smallest glimpse of why skilled trades should be focused on more than some nebulous higher education degree.

But lets back up a moment. It is generally accepted that public education has been dumbed down for the lowest common denominator. the more kids graduate high school, the more federal funding those schools get. the schools need the money, and the teachers unions push for their members to not be overworked, as such the quality of education, the real nuts and bolts that challenge kids to try, is left wanting. Combine that with colleges infested with doctrine hypnotized professors, well what passes for “education” these days is crap.

Of course I like most everyone else cant afford private schools and budget wise, I have to work, so home school isn’t a plausible option, so we are left with what there is and the only way to hope to get public education back up to an acceptable standard is parent involvement and interaction.

You’ll run into wall after wall with arrogant unionized teachers, but we have to try. Persistence by overwhelming numbers will have a better chance of effecting sometime than nothing at all.

So far we’ve got that people are godless idiots, what was the last part then? oh yeah, Beating some ass.

At some point you do have to ask first, “how do we get through the here and now?” Israel did, and you know what they have done? They made the safest community that ever existed in conjunction to being under 24 hour a day constant threats of wrath and hatred by those who want to persecute, terrorize, and annihilate the entire country’s population. How did they do that? By adopting the philosophy of beating some ass.

Kenyan mall shooting? Not in Isreal.

You know how many terrorists have boarded planes in Israel? Well with their system of profiling the statistically most likely people to be terrorists, the answer is zero.
You know what happens in Israel if someone causes a disturbance in public? they get their ass beat because everyone, man and woman, has gone through one form or another of military training and service.
I do not want to live in a police state, I do not want mandatory military service, but if the US were to adopt just a few of the proven ways from the culture that these days is trading the lead back and forth with the US on being the worlds most hated country, we could mitigate future attacks. I very much doubt we will ever see trained profilers overlooking the lines at the airport, but better trained and armed guards? Would a crazy LAX shooter with no rear sight have made it as far as he did through the terminal if there was a better presence there? Probably not.
Active shooters target areas woefully prepared for a response. That is a fact. In Israel, there are no areas woefully prepared to repel a person intent on causing death and destruction. Everyone is armed. So yes, that changes the game to bombs and IEDs, and the officials have to have bomb sniffing dogs out on active patrol in the streets and boarder checkpoints (boarder checkpoints? Thats a grand notion isnt it…). All Im saying is they have had to adapt to a more secure culture in order to survive the current state of world affairs.
And as the saying goes, adapt, or…
– Ian

For a better read than I could give on this subject, I highly recommend checking out the book: Brotherhood of Warriors by Aaron Cohen.


3 thoughts on “How do we stop it?

  1. There has been some political pressure about the number of guns and carrying them in Israel, but listening and discussing and knowing they are under constant threat dries that up. Good except I am still trying to figure out the education angle – but I do believe in continuous education, just most of the good stuff never comes from government unless it was at a fine library that encouraged your participation.

    • Right, I think by “education” I typically mean “self-education.” Continually learning from everything and anything. So many people seem to stop learning at some point, even in their day to day lives. I want to be old and refined with knowledge, not cranky and crotchety.

  2. You’re right. The issue is one of people, not guns. Taking away guns to stop violence is like attempting to prevent fishing by outlawing fishing poles – the people that really want to fish will still find a way. Turning the corner on violence requires winning over hearts and minds, then drawing and acting upon a “line in the dirt” for public disturbance events (as in opening a can of whup-ass).

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