paul la rosa

We are all “soft targets” so what are we to do?

As security experts have gotten smarter and better at protecting government, corporate and military facilities from being attacked, Islamic radicals and others have turned their attention on the rest of us–the so-called “soft targets” like the patrons of the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, site of the latest unspeakable tragedy. No use mentioning the shooter’s name. You know who he is but, as of this writing, I don’t know a single name of any victim. That’s life in the 21st century. As horrible as this mass murder was, we’ve sadly seen it all before.

It’s only the latest example–terrorists, foreign and domestic, have attacked coffee shops and theaters in Paris, day care clinics in Colorado, and an airport terminal in Belgium. It’s easy to spot and pick out “soft targets” because they are everywhere crowds of people congregate.

So what are we to do? The easy answer is don’t go out, avoid anywhere crowds of people congregate, from concerts to nightclubs to subways. But that’s unreasonable, right? It is getting harder and harder and the lines are getting longer and longer at concerts, sporting events but it’s the price we pay for safety. Probably the longest line I’ve ever stood in for a concert was for Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam who wrote the song “Peacetrain.” How’s that for irony? But because he’s a Muslim, he’d gotten threats. I’ve never had a more expansive pat down than at the Cat’s Philadelphia concert in 2014.

It seems to me that no amount of security will stop a determined radical with an automatic weapon. I don’t know what the security was in Orlando but, even if it is was the best in the world, you cannot stop a crazy man with an AK-47.

I guess that leaves it to the rest of us and, for an example, we can look to the brother of singer Christina Grimmie, coincidentally gunned down and murdered Friday night in Orlando. Christina’s brother charged the gunman and is being hailed as a hero for preventing further carnage. He’s an example to the rest of us. Our lives are now in our hands and, if you happen to be unfortunate enough to be present when someone attacks, the best course of action may be to charge the gunman. I’m no security expert but, unless you’re standing next to the exit door, what other choice do we have?

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