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Friday, November 20, 2015

Situational Awareness is a Two-Edged Sword

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
It's been a week since the Paris attacks and my mind is still fixated on them. I cannot think of anything else, prepping-wise, to talk about. Unfortunately for me, most of the important things have already been said by others and I'm not sure what else I can bring to the conversation.

Chaplain Tim, who lived through a riot in Germany, spoke about how to prepare for and protect yourself from mass violence in cities in last Friday's post. On Monday, Bearing Arms wrote an article titled "Ten Ways to Avoid Being killed During a Terrorist Attack". The entire event has been analyzed and dissected from multiple perspectives.

And for the life of me, the one thing that I cannot get out of my head are the conflicting notions of "Stay away from crowds, you're vulnerable there" and "If I stop doing the things I want to do because there are other people there which might make a good target, then my actions are being dictated by fear which means that terrorism has already won."

If we don't want terror to win, then we need to continue living our lives as we normally would -- but that leaves us vulnerable to people who terrorize us because we haven't taken precautions.

As preppers, we have a certain advantage in that we normally live our lives at least aware of the possibility of trouble and with an idea of how we'd react to it. We are fortunate that situational awareness is a way of life for us... but unfortunate in that it keeps nagging at us.

Example: Let's say that I live in a city that is famous for having tourists from all over the world, and that I am eagerly awaiting the new Star Wars film. Do I:
  1. Not go see the film until well after opening day (and risk having key parts of the movie spoiled before I see it), because the risk is too great?
  2. Avoid large crowds by skipping the nice theaters with digital projection/IMAX/3-D and instead go to smaller theaters where presentation is merely average?
  3. Say "screw it!" and go anyway, and try to enjoy myself as much as possible -- which means being completely enraptured by the event and letting my guard down?
  4. Go to the movie, but maintain situational awareness -- which means watching people as they enter/leave the theater, being alert for unusual sounds or smells, and generally not paying attention to the movie I just paid to watch?
  5. Give up on watching the movie in the theater and see it on DVD months later?
To be honest, none of these appeal to me. I'm not even sure if there is a right answer here; it's all a question of how much risk a person wants to take, and that's something which must be decided individually. 

I'll tell you this much, though:  if I do decide to see the new Star Wars movie, I'm going to do it armed, and I'm going to go see it with a group of people who I know have my back. 

Stay safe, everyone.

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