Giving In To Fear

by Joyce Clark

A common reaction is to attack back. Makes sense, but it's important to be sure of your target. Personally, when I'm attacked I take it as an invitation to kill and act accordingly; however, only when I know who attacked. I don't subscribe to the "turn the other cheek" or "stay in and hide" camps.

The other thing I see is too much identification with the "victims" - all the signs of prayers and sympathy for the victims, news stories of who they were, and extreme measures being taken to make sure it doesn't happen again. Casualties is a better word. They were casualties of a planned attack, not victims of misfortune.

Yes, we should feel anger, sadness, and even fear, but we can't stop it, or something like it, from happening again. We especially should not shut down our entire airline industry over it, or make it impossible for airlines to make a profit. This is giving in.

Terrorism has been around a long time now, and it can't be stopped overnight. I think we, in this country, have been complacent about terrorism because it was something that happened mostly in other places. Well that is over! It's here now, and the types that did it are not alone - and they are capable of finding others ways.

We should be thinking about what will be tried next, and take "reasonable" measures to stop it. We should all be vigilant and report suspicious behavior. We should take steps to see that terrorism does not succeed. We should track down and eliminate all known terrorists, those who support them, and those who hide them. If we are at war, it is a war against terrorism, not a against a country, race or religion. We should punish all who support and endorse terrorism. We should make sure that there is no gain to be had by acts of terrorism.

The extreme measures taken against our airline industry are wrong headed at best, and extremely stupid at worst. The bad guys will always find a way, if we make it worth their while. Totally disarming all potential casualties is the worst thing we could do. We should encourage all flight crew, military, and law enforcement people to carry arms on aircraft, as well as anyone with a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The arms do not need to be guns, although some with proper ammo should be allowed.

There are many other useful and effective weapons. The ordinary citizen should be aware of what can be used as a weapon, and should think about what to do in various situations. Look around you. What is handy within 5 feet that could be used? If you think, you will see many things, many of which have been mentioned, but also bare hands, heads and other body parts, cameras, coffee mugs, pencils and pens, any heavy object, any object that with a little effort can be made sharp or pointy, like tearing off the food tray from the seat in front of you. How many toiletries cause extreme pain in eyes? How about always carrying a sock full of coins wherever you go? Someone wants your cash? Give it to him!

Giving in to fear, and hiding in your safe homes, only rewards terrorism! Don't do it! The effect on our economy and our very way of life is at stake. Yes, the world looks different now. It is different! We can't go back. Life is short - we should get on with living it!

You might want to reconsider some travel locations, but other than that, get on with your life. We never know how much time we have - don't waste it in fear of living. If everyone is a little more watchful and goes forward with normal living, the odds greatly favor having nothing happen to you personally.

If something does happen, at least live until you die. It's not like any of us are going to get out of life on this planet alive anyway. None of us know the where, when or how - that's part of the package. At the same time, the war against terrorism should go forward, but let's be careful how we go about it!

Return to Port Of Call Home Page
Return to October/November 2001 Table of Contents