Earlier this week 31 people were killed and more than 300 were injured in a series of explosions in Brussels in a series of suicide terrorist attacks. All death is tragic. There are never stories like this that fully allow us to turn our hearts away from the sadness but I can't help but ponder on the implications for our self-defense community.
Here are the immediate lessons I am trying to internalize from this tragedy:
There is NO Safe Haven
Airports sound like a place where one might feel safe. There are cops (both local and federal) all over the place and history has taught that terrorists target places of large crowds and airplanes are a favorite. There is NO safe place. Tragedy and death can happen anywhere from that favorite coffee shop to your Grandma's house.
Despite Our Best Intentions Sometimes You Will Not Be Able to Respond
If I am armed to the teeth and have Chuck Norris like skills but I'm standing 10 feet away from someone when they activate a suicide bomb strapped to their body I will not have time to respond and protect myself or anyone else there. The bomb will explode and there ain't jack I can do about it. That is very sobering.
Situational Awareness is EVERYTHING
While I can't respond once the event takes place, I might have been able to respond before the bomb was activated if I had been paying attention. Did anyone notice some suspicious behavior? Our human instincts are really good and when we exercise them to observe other people we get even better at detecting unusual behavior.
Guns Are Not the Only Way To Kill and Injury People
I'm reminded of what gun rights supporters have been saying for a very long time. Guns don't kill people. People kill people. There will always be a weapon where there is a will to take a life. Gun Control will not stop bad people from doing bad things. It only disarms the good people.
Terrorism is About Taking Away Hope
Terrorists want to break our spirits and make us feel unsafe and without hope. We fight terrorism by showing them that this events bring us together and unite us in a way that builds hope. Ask yourself how you can help that battle and we will start to win!