This weekend's terrorism attacks here on U.S.A. soil have everyone on edge. My hearts and prayers are with those that were injured by the attacks.
Radicalism and terrorism is not anything new, but the attacks on Western countries are becoming more frequent. Terrorism attacks are becoming the new normal. We may not be able to ever get rid of radicalism and terrorism, we need to do what we can to prevent and reduce these attacks on American soil, in our cities, and in our neighborhoods. Before we can do this, we need to understand more about radicalization and terrorism.
In a June 2016 Article of the CTC-Sentinel titled The Road to Orlando: Jihadist-Inspired Violence in the West, 2012-2016, author Sam Mullins points out the following:
...most attacks were carried out by individuals with no direct ties to overseas terrorist groups and were low-tech and relatively ineffectual. Half of all attackers had a criminal past, and perhaps as many were unemployed. A majority of attacks targeted civilians, although violence was also frequently directed against members of law enforcement or the military. Knife attacks were the most common while shootings were the deadliest.
Radicalization can happen to anyone and anywhere regardless of age, race, religion, and sex. In some cases mental issues were a contributing factor, but in all cases, isolation is the key reason for radicalization. Radical terrorist feed and grow because of fear, and primarily attack "soft targets" that show they cannot fight back. With this information, we can conclude that the best way to combat radicalization and terrorism is by building up stronger communities.
Know Your Neighbor:
According to a Pew Research Center study only 19% of all people know the neighbors that live next to them, but this could be the greatest way to prevent crime, radicalization, and terrorism in your community. If we take the time to knock on our neighbors doors and introduce ourselves to each other, we will find an immediate sense of obligation to look after each other. By knocking on each others doors, we will also be able to identify potential threats to our community.
My wife and I lived in a community in Dallas that committed to getting to know each other. We created a mission to knock on each other's doors to promote introductions. Through that effort we started to see a reduction in crime, better city services, and a better relationship with police, fire, municipal workers, and politicians. We were also able to find two crack houses, one sexual trafficking house, and several cases of elderly abuse.
In the recent terrorism attack The opportunity of crime and terror is always among us, and public places are where incidents happen the most. We need to all become more aware of potential threats. In the recent attacks two homeless men found a backpack in the trash, thinking there was something of value in it. Instead, what they discovered and their actions that followed potentially saved lives in Elizabeth, New Jersey. We need to use this example to help protect our community by becoming more aware of our surroundings for the sake of our families and those that are around us.
On Constitution Day, my wife and I attended a Texas Handgun course so we could obtain our License to Carry. Most that think we need stricter gun laws in the United States would consider this controversial, but it is my belief that stricter gun laws will not prevent violence since criminals do not respect the law in the first place. In the examples this weekend of terror we watched how radicals used alternative ways of violence including bombs and knives, but in one case, and off-duty officer prevented further terrorism by shooting one of the terrorist from stabbing additional victims.
In our handgun course, we became more aware of gun safety and proper use of weapons for protection. This education has helped both of us have a better understanding of the responsibility that we have been granted. We have also realized how trying to take away our 2nd Amendment right will only make our society more dangerous. Today, I feel that our family and neighborhood is safer because we have two more responsible gun owners, and I highly recommend others to do as my wife and I did.
Finally, our Liberty will be attacked from all different angles, and we all need to become more aware of how to protect those rights. As your next state representative, I promise to work hard to protect those rights, but I can't do it without your help. We all must work together to make our communities stronger.