The real weapon of terrorism: Fear

What the St. Louis bomb threat and Orlando murders reminded us of.

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The definition of fear: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

Earlier this morning, there was a bomb threat near Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Law enforcement and the Bomb squad had to shut down a portion of a major highway in the city, I-270, in order to defuse a bomb threat and ensure the safety of hundreds of people. If you were traveling between the Ladue exit and the I-64 interchange, you were derailed. For good reason.

This was a real threat. Sure, they blew up the two devices they found and all was well…..today. Backpacks or duffel bags that may or may not have contained something terrible. It was real. You don’t shut down a major interstate on a hunch. 270 takes passengers from North County to South County. It connects cars to the central highway of the city in Highway 40, which takes them into the city or out to West County. It takes cars to I-44 and I-70. It is a major highway and the biggest one in the city. Holding that up costs businesses money and people time. It was done for a reason.

Hospitals are a juicy target. There are people of all ages inside a hospital and more importantly, there are caregivers. Kids, babies, middle aged folks, young doctors, and elder souls. Take out a hospital and you aren’t just taking away life, you are taking away care for life. When a terror attack happens, the first place ambulances and officers think of is a hospital. Take that away and it incites more fear. That is the greatest weapon in all of this. FEAR. Every time an attack takes place, the fear count triples.

It can happen overseas. It can happen in Paris, Russia, China, or on United States soil. Terror lead to a heightened sense of fear and a different way of looking at people. It’s easy and marketable to say an attack brings people together. It can also spread people apart. After the shootings at the Pulse gay night club in Orlando, Florida, I bet one out of every three people went to the gun store and bought. 1 in every 2 family members applied for a concealed carry license. When they walk down the street and see someone that unfortunately carries the skin color of a radical from ISIS or someone who merely unsettles them, violent tendencies will occur. Whether it’s for a legit reason or not, it will happen. Terrorism leads to more fear which leads to distinct reactions to race and therefore sparks terrible evil things inside the most innocent souls.

At the core of our nature, we are innocent and good. Every soul starts out as noble and well. It can then be twisted or bent into something else through teachings, events seen, or just a need to be different. Religion plays a heavy part in terrorism. More often than not, someone is trying to do right by their God by taking life. NBC News reported that the shooter in Sunday’s Florida killings called police and declared himself a radical of ISIS. This terrorism cell is coming over the water and onto USA ground. All of it comes from a certain belief.

I have no horse in the religious game. With no offense to slant to the believers in God, I believe in life, choice, and chance. I believe in what I see. Right now, all I see is death and violence. Via the US government, over 1.6 million people have died via domestic shootings since 1963. Since the 1700’s, 1.2 million Americans have died while serving their country. It’s real. When did the world become so violent? It all begins and ends with fear.

Whenever something bad happens, fear ratchets up like a volume dial. Once it goes up, it can’t go back down. It doesn’t matter who is in office. Obama. Trump. Clinton. Blah. The system remains the same with any talking head in the big chair.

Some say take weapons out of peoples hands. What good will that do a family trying to protect their home and future if evil comes knocking? Guns don’t go off by themselves people. Bad people get them and fire them. It’s all about the user and not the instrument. What about the various attacks where a man or woman has a weapon on them and takes out the shooter before more harm can be done? What about a good soul trying to protect his wife and kids carrying a weapon? Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. You can have four more Florida events and that won’t change.

No matter the weapon used, the end result is fear and what it does to people. Who can you trust? Will you be at the wrong place at the wrong time? Can you stop something from happening or merely wish to survive it? Evil lurks everywhere and there’s nothing we can do about it. What you can do is protect your own. There shouldn’t be a law against that.

Whenever something terrible happens, I look at my four year old son and wonder what I will tell him when he gets older and starts to understand this madness. What can one man do to calm his son of the chaos that awaits him one day. I’ll tell him that I still believe there are more good people than bad ones out there. I will tell him the evil have their hands full. That, at the end of the day, the good can still win. The painful thing is the fight is an ongoing one with no end in sight.

All we can do is hope the fear doesn’t spread so fast and produce wild reactions. Terrorism or not, the real damage comes from what we do to each other as a result of fear.

Or as Walter White once said…

breaking_bad___walter_white___fear___by_mangekyou_eyes-d5chr9y

Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

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