How to fight terrorism

As an ordinary human being, you may feel that there is nothing you can do in the fight against terrorism. You couldn't be more wrong.

You see, terrorism directly targets ordinary people. You, an ordinary person, can deny terrorists their victory simply by refusing to be a victim. Believe it or not, you have a choice in the matter. This is because the victims of terrorism are not simply those who get blown up during the initial attack. It's the people who are scared to fly in airplanes or visit big cities afterwards. It's the people who get dragged into a war against an abstract concept. It's the people who get attacked in the street because they look like they might come from a hot country.

I live in England. On July 7, 2005, our capital city was bombed. This was our reaction. Read it. Read it all, and learn. The attack failed. Terrorist attacks can fail, despite the body count, simply because of human spirit. And once terrorism ceases to be effective, terrorism will cease.

Here is how you, an ordinary human being, can fight terrorism:

Ignore it.

The more you think about a threat, the larger it grows in your mind. The more you talk about it, the more worried you and people around you become. So quit talking about terrorism. Quit seeking out horror stories in news shows and on the internet. The media's job is to sensationalise things to get you to watch them. That's how they get ratings and they are very, very good at it. Don't get dragged in by these ploys. Turn off the sensationalist television. Be informed, yes, but don't stand for any of that alarmism, speculation, bias, uncertainty and denial.

Instead:

Know the facts. There is no risk.

The odds against you being killed in a terrorist attack are millions to one. Ditto plane crashes. Only somebody who regularly enters lottery draws would be put off by odds like these. You have more chance of dying in a car crash tomorrow, and do you fret about that? Hell no.

Understanding this will enable you to:

Show no fear.

Terrorism, by its very definition, sets out to provoke terror. If you are scared afterwards, the act of terrorism was successful. If you refuse to be intimidated, the terrorists have lost. It really is as simple as that. You are not a mindless animal. You can choose not to give in to your basic impulses. Show some backbone.

Don't be provoked.

Don't get irrationally angry against the entire country that the terrorists originate from. Don't start to take out that anger on nearby people who look like they might be from that country. And don't accept a similar reaction from your leaders. The reason? Hate breeds terrorism. If you attack people, you give them motivation to retaliate. And if you hit back harder then they'll hit back harder still. It's a cycle of aggression which only you can break.

As the attacked party, you're supposed to be the good guy here: act like it. Back down. Walk away. Be the bigger man.

Stay free.

Refuse to let your civil liberties be restricted. Benjamin Franklin said that "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." But you won't even get safety, just the illusion of safety. Security cameras on subways won't stop terrorism. Compulsory ID cards won't stop terrorism. Suicide bombers don't care if they get identified. There are better ways to fight terrorism and, as I said above, there are more people to protect from its effects than just those caught in the blast radius. Don't stand for it.

Refuse to alter your lifestyle in any way.

That sums the whole thing up. Bury your dead. Heal your wounded. Rebuild stronger. Go the hell back to work the next morning.

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